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Yonkers weekend features Levy opener and Sagamore Hill final

March 26, 2008
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Art\'s Image, well-backed and well-deserved in sweeping his Sagamore Hill Pacing Series sojourns, leads Saturday night\'s $67,000 final at Yonkers Raceway. Art\'s Image, three for three in the trials and an odds-on favorite in each of \'em, landed post position seven for the final, with Stephane Bouchard as the steering committee.
 
Nat Varty trains the 4-year-old Artsplace gelding for co-owners Adam Victor & Son, Yannick Gingras, Frank Canzone and Joe DiScala.

Art\'s Image went down the road each week in his perfect prelims, winning in 1:57, 1:54.3 and 1:55.2, respectively. That middle marker was the fastest effort of the early rounds. For the season, Art\'s Image has four wins and three thirds and 10 tries.

\"He\'s a big horse, but very handy on a half,\" Bouchard said. \"He\'s been perfect on the turns, but I wish they\'d have let me draw a bit better. The (1:54.3) mile really impressed me. He dug in late and held off a good horse.\"

That \"good horse\" is Bob\'s Alibi (Greg Grismore, post 5), who sandwiched a pair of wins around that nose loss.

The 4-year-old His Alibi gelding, trained by Mickey Burke for co-owners Sylvia Burke and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, has four wins and two seconds in his last six starts. Overall, he\'s five for 10 (including the $72,100 Senior Trendsetter at the Meadowlands) in \'08 with earnings in excess of $85,000...by far the most in here.

Victory\'s Boy (Greg Merton, post 2) and Herzon (Jason Bartlett, post 4) each won a pair of preps. Cullen\'s Blue Jean (Jordan Stratton, post 1), Ain\'t No Hearsay (Pat Berry, post 3), Fox Valley Tyrese (Andy Miller, post 6) and JK Lullabye (Jim Pantaleano, post 8) round out the roster. \"Cullen\" and \"Lullabye\" are both trained by Virgil Morgan Jr. and coupled as a Joe Muscara common-owner entry.

A pair of series consolations, worth $25,000 and $12,500, are also included.

And then there\'s George...

The George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, a premier free-for-all event, begins Saturday with a trio of $50,000 divisions. Twenty-four of the 38 eligibles are set for the first of  five preliminary rounds.

Defending champ Maltese Artist landed behind the eight-ball in the opening event for Grismore and Burke.

The 7-year-old Artiscape gelding, fast approaching double-millionaire status, needs better friends in various race offices. He was stuck with a 10-hole across the river last week, when he left for a seat and never found room.

Took Hanover (Merton, post 1) toyed with an Open Handicap crowd here from the same starting venue two weeks ago, while Palone Ranger (Catello Manzi, post 2) returns to the scene of his \'06 Messenger upset.

The second Levy grouping is led by Special Report (Larry Stalbaum, post 7), who was second to Maltese Artist in the \'07 Levy and second-best in his last four \'08 tries. The 6-year-old Keystone Raider gelding, owned by Hugo Iodice and trained by Kim Asher, has hit the board in eight of his nine seasonal efforts (3 wins, those 4 seconds, 1 third).

Saturday night\'s final Levy divide finds the local debut of North America\'s richest harness horse, Mr, Feelgood (Miller, post 3). The 5-year-old son of Grinfromeartoear has won his last couple and four of five, including the $267,700 final of Pompano\'s Isle of Capri four weeks ago (life-best 1:49.4). He enters with \'08 cash of $247,750 after edging Special Report from the pocket (just like in the Isle) last week at the Meadowlands.

Jimmy Takter trains for Lindy Farms, Brittany Farms and John Fodera. 
 
Panaramic Art (Grismore, post 5), he of the gaudy 20 consecutive victories (six for six this season), returns to Westchester for his first crack at the upper echelon. The 4-year-old Hot Pans gelding, last seen pari-mutuelly winning the final of the Exit 16W across the river late last month, abused overmatched foes here in three successive starts last October/November.

The Levy, named after rhe founder of Roosevelt Raceway, returned in \'07 after an 11-year hiatus.(Yonkers)

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