Matchmaker, Levy Set for Fourth Round

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Ted Black

April 7th, 2017

This weekend will remind thoroughbred racing fans that the Kentucky Derby is close at hand as three different tracks will offer graded, nine-furlong preps, while harness racing fans will closely monitor round four of the Bluechip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial series at Yonkers Raceway.

On Friday night Yonkers will offer the fourth leg of the Matchmaker series and the group has whittled down to two divisions, most of which will be around for the either the $200,000 final or $75,000 consolation on April 22.

Two mares that appear destined for the final, Bedroomconfessions and Regil Elektra, have opted to bypass this round but will likely be back for the fifth round to tuneup for the April 22 event.

Six of the eight mares in the opening split have already competed in the first three rounds, although none of them have yet to reach the winner's circle. Railbound Betabcool N has finished second once and third twice, Krispy Apple has finished second once and third once, while Sell A Bit N finished second last week in the slop but gets post eight for this round.

Seven of the eight mares in the second split have competed in all three previous rounds, with Shesjustadelight N boasting two victories but getting post eight post eight this week. Regardless of her finish this week and next she seems destined for the final.

Mackenzie A, Mach It A Par and Empress Deo each boast one win in three series tries and all three should have enough points for the final. Medusa was third as the beaten favorite in her round three split and she should be on target for the final with a top two finish Friday night.

Saturday night's Yonkers card will feature a trio of fourth round divisions of the Levy series, while the opening race on the card will include a former Levy star.

In the Saturday opener Foiled Again, the sports all-time winningest horse, draws the rail in a non-winners of $15,000 last five starts class. At age 13, Foiled Again owns a pair of wins and earned $25,000 and he boasts 93 wins and $7.495 million banked from 283 lifetime outings in a Hall of Fame career.

Right at the midway point of the card, Yonkers will host of three Levy splits. Six of the seven starters have already competed in all three opening legs, but only one of them, Long Live Rock, owns one win in the series.

Among the others, Guantanamo Bay, Wakizashi Hanover, McWicked, Caviart Luca and Santa Fe Beachboy have all been well-backed in their elims but none of them has yet to find the winner's circle. Last could change this weekend because Guantanamo Bay has the rail, while McWicked and Caviart Luca will likely leave the gate quickly again.

Last week Clear Vision made his series debut with a good effort, finishing third behind three-time winner Missile J, who took this week off. Clear Vision could still earn a berth in the final with two leg victories, although a spot in the consolation is far more likely.
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One race later in the second Levy split, where five of the seven starters have already competed in each of the three first rounds, Keystone Velocity seeks his third victory in the series while opening round winner Provocativeprince N will look to circle rivals from post six for trainer Peter Tritton.

McArdles Lightning and Blood Brother finally draw favorable posts and could climb back into finals contention with a victory. PH Supercam, a past Levy final hero, has finished third in each of his last two prelims and is regaining past form. Always At My Place has missed one round and gets post eight, while Te Kawau N makes only his second Levy appearance and has no chance to make the final or consolation.

Then one race later in the third Levy fourth round split, Soto seeks his second straight score and third win in the series when he leaves from post two for Eric Ell, while defending Levy final hero Bit Of A Legend N seeks his second straight elim score after a gritty, first over tally last week.

Railbound Mach It So, a fixture in the Levy series and final the past three years, draws the rail and faces a must-win scenario to make the final having been third, fourth and fifth in the first three rounds. Somewhere In LA has been second twice and third once in three good outings and should be headed for the final with another top three finish.

Great Vintage was second last week for trainer Jimmy Takter and Bettors Edge was second two starts back before making a bad break last week from the rail. Texas Terror N, an opening round winner in 2016, has offered little in three outings, while All Bets Off, runner-up in last year's final and hero of the inaugural $100,000 Potomac Stakes at Rosecroft Raceway last fall, has finished second once and third then skipped last week and gets post eight for this round.

Speaking of Rosecroft, Sunday nights feature is the $10,000 Open Handicap that includes the razor sharp McKenry, Rock n Roll Jet and former hero Hi Sir (Russell Foster) who displayed plenty of grit last week when second after a long, first over bid against conditioned rivals for his owner-trainer-driver.