Levy Series opens, Blueridge Western wins fastest split
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Thirty-one of the finest Free-For-Allers in training invaded Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (March 28)for the opening round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.
The series, with $1,000,000 in total purses, offers five preliminary rounds leading to a $200,000-plus final the first Saturday in May. Four $50,000 divisions went postward to begin this test of attrition.
Blueridge Western (Jason Bartlett) toyed with the late-card raindrops and seven outclassed rivals, winning the last-and fastest-foray in 1:52.2.
Leaving from post position 2, the people\'s preference quarter-moved around J P Jackpot (Jordan Stratton), rolled through fractions of 27.3, 56.4 and 1:24.3 while running up the score. The final margin was 4 1/2 lengths, with Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) second and Philos Hanover (Cat Manzi) another 1-1/2 lengths back in third.
For Blueridge Western, a 4-year-old All American Ingot gelding trained by Kevin McDermott for owner Francis Azur, he paid $3.80 for his third consecutive win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.80, with the triple returning $177. The time was just one-fifth off the track standard for Blueridge Western\'s age grouping.
Saturday night\'s first division saw Wholly Louy (Ryan Anderson) be both lucky and good. In play early from post 3, he sat secondbehind 1-2 favorite Share the Delight (Gingras), Wholly Louy managed to keep his head when the leader couldn\'t. Share the Delight broke going into the final turn, and Wholly Louy was the main beneficiary.
He defeated McCedes (Greg Grismore) by 1 3/4 lengths in 1:53.4, off early fractions of 28.1, 56. and 1:24.3, with Test Flight (Manzi) closing for third.
For Wholly Louy, a 5-year-old Camluck gelding owned by Bob Hamather and trained by Casie Coleman, he paid $11.40 (third choice) for third win in seven \'09 tries. The exacta paid $47, with the triple returning $298.50 and the superfecta (Noble Falcon [Bartlett]) paying $1,784.
The second division saw 9-5 choice Palone Ranger (Manzi) the best in a blanket finish. Leaving inside his seven rivals, Palone Ranger sat a loose pocket while defending series champ Special Report (Larry Stalbaum) winged his way through weigh stations of :28.1, 56 and 1:24.3. Special Report was surrounded on both sides early stretch, with Palone Ranger getting first \"run\" at the tiring leader
He outgamed Thisbigdogwilfight (Anderson) by a head in 1:53.3, with Real Nice (Bartlett) third, beaten a half-length. Special Report was a credible fourth.
For Palone Ranger, a 6-year-old millionaire son of Western Ideal, owned by Four Friends Racing Stable and trained by Greg Peck, paid $5.60 for his third (consecutive and local) win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $49.60, with the triple returning $463.
Odds-on favorite King Cat Anvil N (Stratton) took the short way home in the third division, outdrawing his six rivals and leading at every pylon. The consistent local Open Handicap force eased through fractions of 28, 57.3 and 1:26, before prevailing by an unpressured length-and-three-quarters in 1:54.
Beau Rivage N (Cat Manzi) chased from the pocket to completed an all-Kiwi exacta, with Lookout Hanover (Bartlett) third
For King Cat Anvil N, a 7-year-old Down Under Christian Cullen gelding owned by John Kiwczak and trained by Dave Stratton, he paid $3.70 for his third win in five seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10, with the triple worth $39.60. (Yonkers)