Blue Chip Matchmaker, Levy series both head to round four

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Ted Black

April 3rd, 2019

A glimpse at the draw for this weekend's fourth round of both the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial series for Free-For-All pacers at Yonkers Raceway reveals a hint of both attrition and strategy in the demanding, lucrative venture.

Among the 22 distaffers slated for the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker, 19 will be making their fourth consecutive appearance in the series on Friday and one of the absentees, Apple Bottom Jeans, owns two wins and one second-place finish in the first three legs and likely will tuneup for a berth in the $400,000 final on April 20 next weekend in the fifth round.

In the first of three consecutive BCMM divisions slated from Friday evening at Yonkers, two-time series winner Feelin Red Hot (George Brennan) will seek to secure her berth in the final for trainer Ron Burke, while railbound Don't Think Twice has one win and a pair of second-place finishes for trainer Andrew Harris and looms a serious contender for the final. Maryland-bred Twinkle was second in each of the first two rounds before bypassing last week and will seek to climb back into the top 10 this weekend.

One race later in the second split, railbound Ideal Lifestyle A also boasts one win and a pair of second-place finishes and will look to join the elite eight in the final with another good performance. Bettor Joy N owns two wins and one runner-up effort in three good efforts for trainer Jim King, Jr., who appears destined to have two in the final. Delightfulmemphis N won an opening round division and has been second once since, while Betterb Chevron N has been hindered by poor posts and has finished third twice and will seek to improve her status thanks to an inside draw.

The third and final BCMM fourth round split includes defending heroine Shartin N, who owns two wins in the series and was fourth while enduring a brutal overland journey in a round two split won by Feelin Red Hot. Seaswift Joy N owns two wins and a third-place finish in the series and is slightly ahead of Shartin N heading into this round. Railbound Kaitlyn N has been second once and third twice and could improve her standings here, while Medusa has been third twice in three outings.

Saturday's fourth round of the Levy leg was condensed into four divisions comprised of 31 entrants, 26 of which will be making their fourth appearance in the series. Among those bypassing this round but assuredly back for round five to tune up for the $660,000 final is two-time series hero, Rodeo Rock, a runner-up to series favorite Western Fame last weekend.

In the opening split, owners, trainers and onlookers will be looking to discover which horses are genuine. Pacing Major N prevailed last weekend at 67-1 for trainer Peter Tritton, while Endeavor owns one win and a pair of fourth-place efforts in three tries. JJ Flynn handed Western Fame a 20-1 upset in round two then was second last weekend, while Imarocnrollegend N has been second twice in three tries but draws outside again. Major Crocker was third in her series debut last week and could potentially earn a spot in the $100,000 consolation.

Two races later in the second Levy split, two-time series hero More The Better N will look to improve his chances of reaching the final from post six, while railbound Anythingforlove A, who owns one series win, Rodeo Romeo, I'm Some Graduate and Bettors Fire N will look to improve this weekend. Anythingforlove A has shown speed but little desire late in his three outings and looms the most overbet horse of this round.

One race later in the third Levy division, two-time winner Ideal Jimmy gets post eight for trainer Erv Miller but looks destined for the final. Leg winners The Downtown Bus, The Wall and Lyons Steel - fresh off a series best 1:50.4 score last weekend - still have plenty to prove. Don Domingo N has been the unluckiest horse in the series, drawing his third seven slot this week to go along with one eight hole encounter. Bettor Memories bypassed round three to win an overnight race last week and steps back into the Levy leg despite still being eligible to the same non-winners of $30,000 last five starts class he won one week ago.

Then two races later in the fourth Levy split, two-time winner Western Fame gets post three and will have serious pace presence to his inside from Gokudo Hanover and Somewhere In LA, who won the second leg after being second to Western Fame in round one. Dr J Hanover benefited from a pocket trip behind Western Fame last weekend en route to being runner-up, but gets post six in a split with plenty of speed and he may have to race from well out of it this weekend.