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Mach It So looks to build off solid '17 campaign

April 11, 2018
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When trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. looks at Mach It So this season at age 8, he sees a horse that looks a lot like the one he saw a year ago at age 7. Considering that Mach It So established a career high for purses in 2017, the similarity is enough to bring a hopeful smile to Bamond's face.
 
Mach It So earned $759,871 last year, when he won his second William R. Haughton Memorial in three years and finished the campaign with a victory in the TVG Series championship. He finished second in the Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial and Bobby Quillen Memorial and was third in the Breeders Crown and Sam McKee Memorial.
 
For his career, Mach It So has won 42 of 124 races and earned $2.5 million.
 
"He's the same as he's always been," said Bamond, who owns Mach It So with his father as Bamond Racing LLC. "He likes to do his work; he doesn't moan about it. It's the same as it's been every year. Hopefully his year goes the same. If it goes half as good I'd be happy."

Mach It So is off to a strong start this year, with two wins in four starts in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. The final preliminary round of the Levy is Saturday, with Mach It So competing in the second of three divisions. The gelding is the 9-5 favorite on the morning line, starting from post three in a six-horse field. David Miller is his driver.

The eight highest point-earners from the Levy's five preliminary rounds advance to the April 21 championship. Mach It So is fifth in the standings, trailing Somewhere In LA, New Zealand-bred Bit Of A Legend, Rockin Ron, and Dr J Hanover. A horse receives 25 points each time he races in the preliminary rounds. Points are also awarded based on finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth, and five for fifth.

Mach It So's division Saturday includes only one other horse in the top eight, sixth-place Evenin Of Pleasure. Defending series champ Keystone Velocity, who is 12th in points, also is in the field.

Saturday's first division features the four horses that are seventh through 10th in points: Missile J, Western Fame, Bettor Memories, and Australian-bred Chumlee. Long Live Rock, who will start from the rail, is tied for 13th.

The third division includes Somewhere In LA, Bit Of A Legend, and Dr J Hanover. Somewhere In LA and Bit Of A Legend are two-time winners in the series while Dr J Hanover is undefeated in three series starts. Also in the third division is Always At My Place, who is 11th in points.

Rockin Ron, who has two wins in the series, is idle.

"The series is always competitive," said Bamond, who with his father owned 2014 Levy winner P H Supercam and is hoping to guide Mach It So to his fourth appearance in the championship. "It's always about where you draw. Some horses don't draw well and they probably deserve to be in the final and the other way around. The final is just about whoever draws the best and gets the best trip."

Mach It So's best finish in a Levy championship was fifth in 2015, but he has never drawn better than post seven in his three previous finals. Bamond might be looking for a change in Mach It So's luck, but not much else.

"He's off to a good start this year," Bamond said. "I'm very happy.

"He's a little quirky, but he's a pretty cool guy." (Ken Weingartner/USTA)

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