Levy Series Set for Third Leg on Saturday

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Ted Black

March 30th, 2017

While many sports enthusiasts will be focused on watching the two NCAA Men's Basketball semifinals that kick off Final Four weekend on Saturday evening, serious harness racing fans will be keeping a closer eye on Yonkers Raceway as the New York half-mile ovals hosts the third leg of the George Morton Levy Series for male free-for-all pacers.

Through the first two legs of the Levy, only one horse, Missile J, has recorded a pair of victories while the other splits have witnessed six other pacers find the winners circle once each. Missile J will seek his third straight Levy leg score in Saturday's sixth, the second Levy split, and to say he drew in light would be a serious understatement. None of his six rivals in that division have yet to win a Levy leg and Clear Vision makes his series debut on Saturday following a four-week layoff.

Saturday's opening division, carded as the fifth race, looms very contentious as opening round winners Soto (Matt Kakaley) and Long Live Rock (Daniel Dube) will clash with Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras), who won a leg last week, and Bettor's Edge (Brett Miller), Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett), Wakizashi Hanover (Jordan Stratton) and Mach It So (Tim Tetrick), all of which have been no worse that fourth in their two previous Levy legs.
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Of the seven starters in the opening split, all of which have participated in each of the first two weeks of action, Rockin Ron has the most points (125) but gets post seven. Soto (112) is right behind the Burke trainee, while Bettor's Edge, Somewhere In L A, Wakizashi Hanover, Mach It So and Long Live Rock are still on the bubble between earning a spot in the $500,000 final or ending up in the $100,000 consolation, so this split will go a long way toward determining those slots.

Then two races later in the third Levy split, Keystone Velocity (Dube) will seek his second straight series tally and gets the coveted rail, while opening leg winner Provocativeprince N (Stratton) will hope to rebound from last week's collapse as the even-money choice following an aborted brush bid. Our Sky Major N (Joe Bongiorno) returns off a sharp score against conditioned foes at the Meadowlands last Saturday, but again drew outside. Caviart Luca, P H Supercam, Texas Terror N and Burning N appear destined for possible consolation slots.

Then two races later in the fourth division of the Levy third leg, last week's winner Melmerby Beach (Bartlett) draws just inside of defending Levy hero Bit Of A Legend N (Stratton), who has been a sharp second in each of the first two rounds. Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron) has been third once and fifth once in two Levy tries, but the two-time Open Handicap hero finally draws inside and should loom a major presence in the lane. Blood Brother, a sharp second in round one, had no chance from post seven last week and gets that slot again this weekend. Mattamerican, McWicked and Always At My Place all appear headed for the consolation.

Of the 28 horses entered this weekend in the Levy, 24 have already competed in each of the first two legs. Missile J, as mentioned earlier, is the only two-time winner in the series, while six others - Soto, Rockin Ron, Long Live Rock, Keystone Velocity, Provocativeprince N and Melmerby Beach - have won one leg each. Take It Back Terry, Our Sky Major N and Always At My Place have each missed one leg, while Clear Vision makes his series debut after bypassing the opening two rounds.