Levy prelims set stage for $529,000 final
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The time to impress the judges concluded Saturday night, with preliminary-round competition ending for Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Round Five saw three, $50,000 divisions go at it.
Favored Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett, $4.10) became the sport’s newest millionaire, easily winning the third event in front-end fashion. From post position five, he never had any angst, especially after a cheapy half with the splits of :28., 56.4, 1:24.3, 1:51.3.
The final margin was a 1-1/4 lengths over a second-up Clear Vision (Brett Miller), with Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron) lasting for an uncovered third. All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) and tiring-pocket Wakazashi Hanover (Tim Tetrick) settled for the remainder.
For Somewhere In L A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D’elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P and Gandolfo Stables, it was his sixth win in a 13 seasonal starts and he is two-for-five in this series. The exacta paid $22.20, with the triple returning $95. As mentioned at the outset, Somewhere in L A is now a career seven-figure performer ($1,022,456).
"I thought I might have an easy lead," Bartlett said. "He deserved it, he's been used hard a lot throughout the series. "He can get bit rank sometimes, but he was very good tonight. The fractions certainly helped."
Defending series champ Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $4.40) threw down the gauntlet for next week finale, going down the road from the pole with fractions of :27.1, 56.1, 1:25, 1:51.3 as the people’s choice in the night’s second event.
After stuffing Rockin’ Ron (Yannick Gingras) in behind, he whipped that rival by three-quarters of a length, note the :26.3 kicker in the final panel, while Blood Brother (Bartlett) was a first-up third. Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) and Missile J (Tetrick) earned the minors, with Missile J—already with three series win in his pocket—getting a ‘don’t get hurt’ trip from his outer venue.
For Bit Of A Legend N, an 8-year-old Down Under son of Bettor’s Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained Peter Tritton, it was his second win in seven seasonal starts and he is two-for-five in series. The exacta paid $7.30, with the triple returning $34.20.
"Two weeks ago (won he won), I could see he was his old self," Stratton said. "With the final next week some guys drove conservatively."
As far as any concern that his last quarter was too brisk a week before the final, "No. He had a lot left."
Saturday night’s first Levy grouping had a first-over favorite in McWicked (Kakaley, $4.30), from post position two, edge past pace-setting Caviart Luca (George Brennan) after that one’s intervals of :27.2, :56.4 and 1:24.4.
McWicked vacated the three-hole, engaged ‘Luca’ in and out of the final turn and prevailed by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.4 and again, note the :26.3 last quarter. First leader Mach It So (Tetrick) held for third, with Santa Fe Beachboy (Barlett) and Provocativeprincen (Stratton) getting the smaller change.
For McWicked, an 6-year-old son of McArdle trained by Steve Elliott for owner S S G Stables, he’s now 3-for-7 this season and is one-for-five in this series. The exacta paid $11.40, with the triple returning $34.40.
Determinations shall be made by the race office for the final and consolation of this series to be conducted on Saturday (April 22) with the draw set for Monday afternoon (April 17)).
The purse for the final of the Levy has been calculated at $529,000 with the sum of added money, nominating and starting fees, pending conformation by those who keep track of such things.
Saturday night’s $55,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Melady’s Monet (Miller, $6.10) in 1:54.4, fastest local mile of the season.