‘Levy’ And Matchmaker III; Canadian Thursday Spot Plays; Watch-List Litany
March’s lion entry was verified by a snowstorm but the snow was cleared quickly enough from Yonkers Raceway where the Grand Circuit began with the George Morton Levy Pacing Series and the Blue Chip Matchmaker series. March goes out like a lamb now, with few winner surprises in either series. March 31 for the mares and April 1—no fooling—for the pacing horses, start round three for both series.
Our weekend opens on Thursday, March 30, at Rideau-Carleton in Canada with a pair of personal features complemented by a lot more of our suggested contenders on the H2W (horses-to-watch) list. Do your own handicapping, and then compare and consider our selections when betting.
Rideau-Carleton/ Race 3
Thursday, March 30
This 12G claimer has a mixed field of class but a Morning Line (ML) for E L Wild Spirit (4-1) may be far too high in this situation. He is at his best recent level and comes into his second race of the season after a strong fourth finish from post 8 in his seasonal debut. Last December he was a a dead-on favorite at this tag twice, winning once after a huge upset at 25-1. He should be ready to tear off a big mile here.
Rideau-Carleton/ Race 7
Thursday, March 30
This is also a 12G claimer and one where the public could skip a ML 7-1 shot with a much better chance than that. Poppys Bucky Boy needs deeply read PPs. His March 19 race at this level showed a big brush midway, which he held for a while in the second tier before fading. That’s a good effort, as is the race before that, also in this class, where he had a slow start but made two moves to finish fourth, this time at 3-1. He was a level higher the two races before that and not at fault in either, one a runaway where he was trapped third and the one an 8-hole waste from start to finish (this was his first of the season). He is in a perfect spot to draft along and use his closing steps to win.
MATCHMAKER MARES, LEG THREE
Only six mares open round three of the series with division one leaning heavily for Mach It A Par, a beaten favorite in round two after winning a round-one division. The ML reflects the round-one race, where she flew to the top on the inside and stayed there throughout the mile. Handicappers place Bedroomconfessions behind her in obvious assessment of the series’ history thus far. Third to the ML is Krispy Apple.
What is not obvious are the chances of Tessa Seelster. Given the first three mentioned, “Tessa” gets penalized for leaving from post 6 just because it is the outside. But it is better to support Ron Burke’s mare here for the very reason that coming from off the pace could produce the best price. Dismissing Tessa as an outside choice is under estimating her, treating her as if she will duplicate her first two division efforts from posts 8 and 7 respectively. Even as a fourth choice in a field of six, Tessa deserves attention and gets it from us, as she did in division one.
There is another field of six flying from the gate in the second division, Race 6. In the first two legs we backed Betabcool N, resulting in two thirds, one worth $11.80, both times defeated by one of the top two public choices. There is no reason not to back her here, even though her ML and probable odds should be more reflective of her chances. That Regil Eletkra is the ML choice from post 6 is quite the plus for Betabcool N if it is an accurate prediction, because Change The Rulz N is also a threat here and she (as we supported in leg 2) can also be in the winner’s circle, if only based on her first-leg’s performance. Don’t leave either of these out of exotics, no less giving them prime winner considerations.
The final division of leg three also presents a tight sextet and features a big ML choice, Shesjustadelight. Beaten at the wire last week, it is best to book a bet for another loss, finding some bargain in the prices. A good shot at a steal here is Medusa, who gets the rail. She tabbed two fourths in a pair of divisions, last week from post 8, and with steady handling she may take this group wire to wire.
Our support for Divas Image last week helped turn her into the race favorite but she looks better as a 4-1 ML element to be in the thick of the mile this time. Take serious her 8-hole fifth in round one because it shows she came into the series to offer a great deal of competition and is showing her proven class on the half-mile.
LEVY LEXICON, PART THREE
So far, the Levy series has been just about even between winners from the majority and outsiders. In eight divisions, 50 percent of the winners were first or second public choices, while 50 percent of the winners were third choices or more. In round three, 28 male pacers go in four more divisions.
Race 5 starts the quartet of $50,000-each divisions, with last week’s winner, Rockin Ron, drawing post 7. Last week’s top performer here, though, was Somewhere In LA, who defied an outside post and played a strong role at big odds in a $505 trifecta including two supporters we were pushing, Missile J and PH Supercam (neither in this division). “LA” should share favoritism with Soto, who is most likely to catch him with a garden trip as “Ron” takes the long route home. From post 1, Bettors Edge will be all out and has a shot to take his share of the series here. Since he should offer the best price, we’ll take him.
The second division, Race 6, presents some newcomers to this year’s event. However, Missile J is here and towers over them. With two leg wins on his card, Missile J is looking for a sweep. If he is beaten he will be nipped or have beaten himself somehow. Next in line could be Clear Vision, which is trained by John Kokinos (Bettors Edge). He would add to an exotic price with Missile J.
The third division matches an improving PH Supercam with Provocativeprincen, who was a beaten favorite, finishing last due to a tough outside trip to three-quarters. Last week we backed Caviart Luca and this week from post 2 he looks better than he did in the first two legs. Of course PH Supercam continues to be highly under rated and is in a spot for a draft trip that will once again make him finish among the top three. With Caviart Luca there, too, exotics could blow a hole in the toteboard.
The Levy nightcap has seven, including our twice-supported Guantanamo Bay, who gets the rail this week. The over-rated Mcwicked will try to fire early and pace away with it, perhaps giving “Bay” a winning garden trip. Melmerby Beach raced last week as we hoped he would the week before and another win will have to come from behind short speed. Making the mile more challenging is Bit Of A Legend N, who will charge from post 4 and look for his first win this season (he has been in the money all four times). The 2016 champ needs a trip.
Too many closers and a sure-fire short-speed leader could make Bay an easy winner with the easy trip expected. We can only hope he is not hammered in the win spot. Look for Always At My Place to improve, perhaps pump up an exotic, since he is in a good spot to also suck along a bit in only his fourth race of the season.
Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.
3/31/17, Pier Ho Exotic R2
4/1/17, Steuben Patriot R4; Littlebitofabrat R7; Nobles Grand Slam R9
3/31/17, Luvuthemostest R3
4/1/17, +Oh Yeah R2
3/30/17, +Big Place R6
4/1/17, +Kirktons Credit R7
3/31/17, +Mass Appeal R10
4/1/17, +Donald Doc R2; +Trey R3
4/1/17, Jacksrluckytoo R6; Preparty R9
4/1/17, Hes Done It All R2; +JK Will Power R4
4/3/17, Im Feelin Good R2
3/31/17, Vance Bayama R11
4/1/17, +MG Kid R13
4/1/17, Skyway Sonoma R5; My Caroline R11
4/1/17, +Queen Of racing R1
4/2/17, Racin Ryan R1; Cashendash Hanover R5; Reigningblackswan R7; Western Dynasty R0
4/2/17, Rufo R9; Haileysgonedancing ae R14
4/2/17, Regalanthropist R4; Gold Star Sonata R8
3/30/17, Espoir Go R1; Chocolate Biskit R4; Lutetia Semalu R8
3/30/17, Tataria R8
4/1/17, Secret Renegade R1; +Wolfs Milan R5
4/2/17, Reagans Revenge R1; +Aberarder Smitty R4; +Corky Baran R9
4/1/17, Daylight Rush R9
3/31/17, Big Jer R1; Perfect Road R4; Raise The Curtain R10; Rock My World R11
4/1/17, Lord Of Misrule R12