‘Levy’ & Matchmaker Finals, Consolations, Fill The Yonkers Bill; Philly Profit Hunting; Miami Pick-4 Fortunes Loom Boldly

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

April 21st, 2016

Over the years, the George Levy Memorial Pacing Series Final’s winner has not always been the pick of the lot, so to speak. Sometimes the final, raced at Yonkers after a quintet of prelims, has produced a second- or third-rate participant. This has made bettors anticipate the “Levy” final, as it is rarely a stage for the dominant older male pacer of the series. The Blue Chip Matchmaker for pacing mares has had a similar history, though there are less divisions preceding the final mile.

So, April 23 the series’ finals share the same program and bettors will be looking for the value in each, which is where we come in. There is also a Levy-eligibles and a Matchmaker consolation on the docket. As the Grand Circuit season highlights its first two power-packed miles, we analyze the fields and find the contenders that may offer the best reason to play—making profits from any or all of the wagers offered.

Also, more suggested contenders will appear as we try to add the bargain bets made by the public at the Miami Valley Pick 4 this Saturday.

The TwinSpires horses-to-watch list (H2W) grows larger as more tracks open for the 2016 season and with them all we open our personal racing journals to share the outside contenders with our blog audience. It’s true that most of the horses on our list are not going to be found publicly from any handicapping source in print or on the web. The results are usually generous, if not surprising prices in win, place, show and exotic pools. Always consider H2W horses when constructing your wagers.

This weekend’s analysis begins on Thursday, April 7, with chosen “features,” from Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Philadelphia /April 21
Race 3

This is a challenging conditioner to begin a Pick-3 stream, so it could wind up knocking a lot of tickets out early. Bettors may prefer playing drivers’ choices in this and that would be all right with price-seeking bettors who are hoping the morning-line maker is correct. From post 6 and post 7 there are many good reasons for support.

Overandovervictory (post 6) was 5-2 when he lost at this level last week, finishing fourth. The week before caused the heavy betting—he finished a strong third at 37-1 coming off of an impressive race at the Meadows. He has not won but a single race in a long time but has a shot here over those to his left that are bound to be over-bet.

Listed as 20-1 (partially due to Jacqueline Ingrassia’s driving assignment), Cool Beans (post 7) was second for three calls last week for higher conditions and he held on for third with Jacqueline driving. She drove the gelding the week before and picked up a steady fourth at 51-1. A good spot early and a smooth cover trip could present a huge win.

Philadelphia /April 21
Race 9

Extreme Machine N had a few awful trips, barely finishing on the purse grid in four of them, but this is his second race at Philly and he draws four spots to the left of his first try last week. Two back he was hanged to three-quarters at Pocono after racing in higher company on the four turns at Yonkers and Freehold. This is a perfect spot for a clear path to victory and at a good price.


April 23’s features at Yonkers begin in Race 5 with a $50,000 event for horses that were eligible to the main event (this is not the consolation but an added attraction). Eight will be at the gate and the rested Foiled Again, from post 1, should fire quickly. Division-winner Lettucerockthem A will find a way from post 8 to get involved, as will Sunfire Blue Chip and Bettor Rock On N will be winging. The outside contender, though, and probably value-packed on the toteboard, is Te Kawau N. The Levy series is all he has known this season and without a win in only four starts he has earned well.

The $100,000 Levy Consolation is Race 8 and eight launch for rewards. Domethatagain, last year’s Levy final winner (we forecasted he lucked into that win) is here, along with three division winners we nailed in series legs but Wiggle It Jiggleit will suck in all the dough. Most thought he would make it into the final but with only a single division win and a dead-heat win, he didn’t afford the spot. So here he looks to fly easily, even from post 7.

The spoiler for “Wiggle” could be Limelight Beach, aching for a win. He may leave strongly and either overwork Wiggle or duel him through two calls, enough to leave room in the stretch for an opportunistic Melmerby Beach. From post 1, all “Mel” has to do is sit there and be sucked along until the front collapses and a few others struggle to close. He is the top payer in the Levy divisions, one we predicted, and he could make the headlines against Wiggle with a trip win and a big price.


Race 6 is the Blue Chip Matchmaker Consolation for $75,000. Eight mares with only four wins between them all this season, leaving it wide open, a choice race for an outside contender. Of course, having to predict a great price at this point could backfire. However, we can judge good prices based on our own estimations when the betting ensues, so, for your consideration are Carolsideal and For The Ladies N. The latter may wind up with the higher odds but Carolsideal may also go off slightly higher than we think, mostly due to Anndrovette from post 1. She is a crowd favorite, a proven veteran and she has only raced three times this season. She will look for a steal here, from gate to wire, but there are better chances she will be short than she will go the distance on top.

The $309,800 Matchmaker final may be a battle to the wire considering the talent and the posts they drew. Defending-champ Venus Delight gets post 7 while still looking for a win this season. Krispy Apple, raring to go in this after a win, has to deal with the dreaded Yonkers 8 hole. The top four posts send in-and-out division-money earners to guarantee a top-heavy field early.

Then there is Al Raza N. It almost looked like she could sweep her divisions and become the dead-eyed favorite in this finale but she missed two divisions back and then took a week off. These two facts are not to be held against her; she may still be the best of the Matchmakers and she may even be a fair price (your call) going for the best money yet.


Bit Of A Legend N, from post 2, comes to the $609,000 George Morton Levy Series Final with the best 2016 record, much of it from this series. Trainer Peter Tritton’s barn has made a bundle from the Levy and “Legend” has the biggest checks.

Ultimately, this is not the strongest of Levy final fields. It includes a non-winner of a race this year (Texican N) and a few front-pacing speedballs and a shocking upset winner (Texas Terror N, who paid over $100 to win). There are two Ron Burke horses that have not been able to dominate (Take It Back Terry and All Bets Off) and the two top speedballs (Mach It So and Lucan Hanover) leave from the worst outside posts.

And there is one former series champion—PH Supercam. Although he has not walloped the series’ participants, he remains the best horse of this year’s lot and has worked the hardest to earn his spot in the final. His lost to Wiggle was noth embarrassing and his ability to continually race better than his odds leaves us no choice but to be prepared to hammer him to win from post 3.

PH Supercam is a dream horse under any circumstances. He has a mighty and trusty gait, tactical styles, a terrific resume at Yonkers (he seems to adore the track’s four cumbersome turns) and resilience. Last but not least, he has won this event before and would have been aiming for his third-straight crown was it not for the lucky path found by Domethatagain last year (and where is that one this season?).


Miami Valley’s Pick 4 on Saturday, April 23 includes Races 9-12.

A duo of contenders kick off a competitive Pick-4 sequence in Race 9. From the rail, Keystone Rocco should improve off a poor effort as the favorite at this level, considering the parked trips he traveled against this group. Who’s Your Maddy is the other major player, entering off a speedy performance that may signal a turning point in this gelding’s form.

Leg two, Race 10, is a claiming pacing event. The contenders here, Upfrontoutthedoor and Alero Blue Chip, are stalking types. Starting from the pylons, the two also have a class advantage on the field, having started for a $15,000 tag versus the other probable favorites. They should organize the trips necessary for them to surpass a vulnerable pace.

More claimers compete in the third leg, Race 11. Making his second start at this level, Every Play Counts demonstrated his improving form for his new barn by finishing fourth at this level off an open-length victory against $12,500 claimers. With a rail trip he may be the only pacer that can beat the other factor here, Roll’em Up, who should be able to overcome his outside draw with ease. Whether or not he will have the stamina from post 9 is what opens this race to other contenders.

Conditioned pacers will cap the Pick 4 in Race 12. Truly Kissed should offer value in his move up in class after winning wire-to-wire by 7 lengths. Another horse with value may be Doctor Carter, who finished eighth at this level behind a track-record performance. He has been sharp otherwise against Open pacers as well as at this company, which shows that he may bounce back off his last mile. 

H2W Legend

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.


4/23/16, +Just Frank R2

Cal Expo
4/23/16, +Lets go Places R10

4/23/16, Sacred Valley R2; Princesse Dorleans R2; Drake R7; +Twin B Right Way R7

4/24/16, Maritime Girl R9

4/23/16, Crocodile Rock R2; Mommas Artist R8; +Liscloon R8; Artacus R9

4/25/16, +Shiretown Pittbull R7

4/21/16, Regal Motion R2; Hoodwinked R4; Typical Situation R5; Dreamstyle Herbie R11

4/23/16, Roll Away Joe R5

4/23/16, +Shes Swanderful ae R14; Aris Turn ae R15

4/22/16, +Aqua Artist R12
4/23/16, +ER Oliver R5; +Life Is Good Today R5; +Strange Hanover R13

4/22/16, Ms Mac N Cheese R9; +Selmas Wish R10; +Donna Party R10; +Beyonces Rockn R11
4/23/16, +Grana Padanno R2; Jetpedia R3; +Bella Noche R9; +Ufdragons Rocket R11, Tighten Up R11

4/25/16, +Talk Strategy R8; +Divulge R13

4/23/16, Devil Rei R11; White Shark R12

4/21/16, Donnie Darko R1; Amped Up Hanover R4
4/22/16, Danish Diligence R7
4/24/16, +Huh Hefner N ae R5; Lets Drink On It R12

4/21/16, +Flaming Yankee R5; Diamond Master R8; Rockin To Do R1 

4/23/16, +Benjaminbanneker N R8
4/24/16, Della Bia R4; Dees Rocketman R7

4/24/16, Knight Of My Life R1; +Favorite Dune R6; Lark Seelster R8; Proud Maryet R10; +Final Retrieve ae R12

4/24/16, +Pastapalooza R2
4/23/16, Conkers Conquest R8; Jitterbug Hanover R8; Ringo R9; +Can You Fly R10

Western Fair
4/22/16, Missus Big R6; Maritime Girl R6; +Tymal Fireitup R8

4/22/16, That Man Of Mine R2; Adonis Bay R4; Velocity Vespa R7; God Forbid N R7

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition