Levy series enters third round

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Ted Black

April 3rd, 2015

Through the first two rounds of the lucrative, prestigious George Morton Levy Memorial series for aged pacers at Yonkers Raceway, only three horses own victories in each of the first two legs and only three others have one win to their credit. So for the remaining horses on the brink of being eliminated from contention for the $400,000 final or $100 consolation on April 25 this weekend is crucial.

Saturday evening's sixth race at Yonkers is the first of four divisions of the Levy series' third round of action and it features PH Supercam (Jason Bartlett), one of the three horses with two leg victories to his credit and the defending Levy final hero. An eight-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding trained by Jeffrey Bamond, Jr., PH Supercam has benefited from ground-saving trips in each of his first two series' victories and shares the lead in the points standings with other two-time winners Beach Memories and Polak A.

PH Supercam will start from post two this evening and will likely go postward as the solid favorite, but two others on the bubble for spots in either the final or the consolation both face nearly a must-win situation. Lucan Hanover (Tim Tetrick) was eighth last week from post eight after finishing a sharp second to Michael's Power in an opening round division. He currently is tied for 12th in the points' standings, so it is imperative for him to finish first or second this weekend to join the conversation for the final.

Just to his outside is Clear Vision, who has been third in each of the first two legs and is tied for 14th with Mach It So in the points' standings. This Ron Burke trainee usually peaks in the fall, but he could still be a major player in either the final or consolation. But he is also going to have to finish in the top three this weekend to get back into the mix. American Venture, Aslan, Speckled Door and McErlean all appear on the verge of being eliminated from consolation consideration and looking for conditioned events in subsequent weeks.

One race later the second Levy leg features second round winner Bettor's Edge, a talented Burke trainee who rebounded from a sixth-place finish in the opening round to lead throughout last week. Bettor's Edge is currently tied for fifth in the points standings and benefited from drawing post three in the lightest of the four Levy splits. Railbound Sapphire City, who has been second and third in his two Levy legs, is one of four horses tied for seventh in the points' standings and should be an ideal pocket trip behind Bettor's Edge tomorrow night.

Windsong Jack, who is tied with Sapphire City for seventh, has been one of the surprises in the series but will again have his work cut out for him from post seven. He seems more likely for the consolation than the final, however. The others, Validus Deo, Domethatagain, National Debt - the only Maryland-bred in the series - and Capital Account will vie for minor points and at least two of them will be eliminated from any consolation consideration after this weekend's action.

Then one race later in the eighth, the third Levy leg division, two-time winner Polak A (Brian Sears) seeks a three-peat when he leaves from post three for trainer Tony O'Sullivan. Polak A had the rail for each of his first two elimination legs and took advantage of those inside draws by leading throughout to score on both occasions. He seems like a cinch for the final, but he may yield the favorite's role in this event to one of his more accomplished rivals.

Foiled Again, the venerable and durable 11-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by Ron Burke, has been second and third in his first two legs and is one of the four horses tied for seventh in the overall standings. The sport's all-time richest horse with earnings of nearly $7 million thanks to 83 wins from 225 lifetime starts, will start from post two and will likely be sent away aggressively by Yannick Gingras. He basically needs a win or second-place finish here to remain in contention for the final.

Michael's Power, an opening round winner who was second to Polak A last weekend, will start from post six and will almost assuredly leave from there. He currently sits all alone in fourth in the points standings and can almost secure a spot in the final with a top three finish this weekend. He has enough speed to overcome his outside draw as he did the two previous weeks from posts five and seven, respectively.

Railbound Fat Mans Alley (Bartlett) is tied for 12th in the standings with Lucan Hanover, but this Bamond trainee arguably drew into the toughest division. He figures to secure good position from the rail, but it seems unlikely that he will get away better than third and he will likely stay in for the remainder of the journey. Machs Beach Boy still has a chance for the consolation but time to advance is rapidly evaporating for Texican N, Big N Bad and Dapper Dude.

Then two races later in the 10th, the fourth and final division of the Levy third round action, two-time winner and points leader Beach Memories draws post five for a new trainer, Scott DiDomenico. Beach Memories spent the first two rounds in trainer Ron Burke's barn, but moved to DiDomenico since trainers such as Burke can only have two in the final and two others in the consolation. Beach Memories may top the standings now, but this event came up very tough.

Railbound Dancin Yankee has been second and third, respectively, in each of his first two eliminations and is one of the four horses tied for seventh in the standings. Considering only eight can make the final, it seems imperative for this Josh Green trainee to garner his first series win and join the fray for a spot in the final. He sat a loose pocket trip behind Bettor's Edge last weekend, but finished well and looms the one to beat here.

First round winner Warrawee Needy is tied for fifth in the standings with Bettor's Edge, but again drew outside. Mach It So, who has been third in each of his first two elims for Bamond, is tied for 14th in the standings and like Dancin Yankee needs a first or second-place finish here to garner serious final consideration. Take It Back Terry, who missed last week after being second in the opening leg, is also playing catchup. Frankies Dragon was second to PH Supercam last week, but drew post eight this week. Capozzo and Heez Orl Black N seemed destined for overnight races.