Matchmaker and Levy Series Head Into Final Leg

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Ted Black

April 11th, 2017

Beginning on Friday evening Yonkers Raceway will host the final round of eliminations for both the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series as the participants vie for spots in the lucrative finals on April 22.

Friday's fifth round of the Matchmaker attracted only 12 mares, eight of which have competed in each of the first three rounds of elims. Among the six starters in the opening division, only Bedroomconfessions, who bypassed last week, has won two legs while Mach It A Par is the only other series winner in this split. Hidden Land and Al Raza have each missed one round, while Divas Image and Sell A Bit N have made all four prior rounds.

The second split came up considerably tougher as Regil Elektra, a two-time series winner who sat out last week, draws the rail in his prep for the final. Shesjustadelight N, a two-time series winner, Lispatty, Mackenzie A and Medusa all arrive with one win in four series tries while Krispy Apple seeks her first win of the series in her fifth attempt. Five of the six mares in the second split should make the final, while the softer opening division might allow Divas Image or Sell A Bit N to earn a spot in the final.

Saturday's three divisions of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series will include 15 durable older pacers who have competed in all four of the prior rounds. Three-time series winner Missile J bypassed last week and drew post seven for his return on Saturday, but he has already assured of making the final so the Scott DiDomenico trainee should simply take part in a training trip this weekend.
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Saturday's opening split includes six horses that have made each round, but only Provocativeprince N and Long Live Rock sport a win in the series. Provocativeprince N should make the final with a good effort, but Long Live Rock is clearly on the bubble along with McWicked and Mach It So, both of which were sharp second last week. A top three finish by Provocativeprince N would enable him to join stablemate Bit Of A Legend N in the final, but McWicked, Long Live Rock and Mach It So all need to finish first or second to earn a berth.

Missile J headlines the second split, but he bypassed last week and got post seven for this week and he is already assured of reaching the final. Keystone Velocity owns two wins in the series and reigning champ Bit Of A Legend N has one win and two second-place efforts and both are assured of making the final. Blood Brother climbed back into finals consideration last week with his first win in the series and he should make the final simply by earning any points for a top five finish.

Rockin Ron owns one win in three series outings but bypassed last week and is clearly on the bubble while currently sitting eighth, only five points ahead of Wakizashi Hanover and only eight points more than Long Live Rock, Mach It So and McWicked. Cooperstown makes his series debut this weekend and can not make the final or the consolation, but a third-place finish would at least enable his connections to break even on their investment of $6,000 [$5,000 for the nomination fee and $1,000 for starting this week].

Saturday's third split includes only two leg winners, Clear Vision and Somewhere In LA. Clear Vision has made only two previous starts in the series and will need a first or second place finish and some serious luck to make the consolation. Somewhere In LA notched his first series win last week to secure a berth in the final, but his speed makes him a serious threat to repeat. Wakizashi Hanover, McArdles Lightning and Guantanamo Bay all have a chance to earn a berth in the final, but only one of them could reach that spot with a win.

Last year's series runner-up All Bets Off has missed one round and offered little last week and gets post seven and could still get a spot in the consolation. Former Levy hero PH Supercam drew post eight and seems unlikely to get his first series win or earn enough points to make the consolation. Two-time series winner Soto bypassed this weekend but has already secured a berth in the final for trainer Eric Ell and owners Kenny Wood, William Dittmar and Steve Iaquinta, the connections of J L Cruze fame.