Post positions have been drawn for North America’s two richest races of the season to date, Yonkers Raceway’s $532,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series and $373,000 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker.
The finales, set for Saturday night, wrap up their respective six-week sojourns and highlight a 12-race card worth just over $1.3 million. First post is the usual 6:50 p.m.
The events, for the sport’s leading older pacers of both gender, go ‘ladies first,’ with the Matchmaker as the ninth race and the Levy as race No. 10.
The field for the 10th Matchmaker is: 1-Shartin N (Tim Tetrick), 2-Sell A Bit N (Jordan Stratton), 3-Medusa (Yannick Gingras), 4-Lady Shadow (Jason Bartlett), 5-Motu Moonbeam N (Brent Holland), 6-Dude’salady (Scott Zeron), 7-Twinkle (Eric Goodell), 8-Lakeisha Hall (George Brennan).
The 31st Levy rolled off the auto-draw showroom as such: 1-Western Fame (Mark MacDonald), 2-Dr J Hanover (Brett Miller), 3-Keystone Velocity (defending series champ, Dan Dube), 4-Evenin Of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno), 5-Somewhere In L A (Bartlett), 6-Mach It So (David Miller), 7-Bit Of A Legend N (2016 series champ, Stratton), 8-Rockin Ron (Gingras).
At first glance, the intriguing storyline for the Matchmaker is Shartin N. After easily winning her first three Matchmaker starts -- and getting a subsequent week off -- she returned as the 3-10 favorite last Friday night unable to get out of her own way, breaking right before the start and again at the half. At least the bridge jumpers stayed dry, since the Raceway eliminated show wagering.
"We couldn’t find anything wrong with her," trainer Jim King Jr. said this past weekend. "Regroup and try again."
The final of the Levy is flush with inside speed, with the first half of the gate probably just as comfortable with someone on their backs as someone in back of them.
A pair of consolations, worth $100,000 (Levy) and $75,000 (Matchmaker), are also included in the Saturday card. (Yonkers)