Older Pacers Poised To Pounce For Six Weeks In Definitive Yonkers Duels

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

March 19th, 2015

The Ides of March behind us, the scourge of winter degenerated, the season’s traditional marathon for older pacers of both sexes plunges into action. The George Morton Levy Memorial and Blue Chip Matchmaker, surface on the Friday, March 20 and Saturday, March 21 programs. Yonkers Raceway’s annual pacing series hosts the first leg of divisions that offer 62 of the best Free For Allers in training—39 “Levy” and 23 Matchmake competitors—have paid to participate. Now it is our turn to aim for profits from them. Both the Levy ($50,000 per race) and Matchmaker ($40,000 per race) offer five preliminary legs, with finals and consolations scheduled for Saturday, Apr. 25.

Each year, dating back about a decade as of this writing, we have analyzed—and many times delivered—strong and surprising characters winning in the legs of this extended series. Along with the understated victors a number of seven-figure earners that have starred in many of the divisions’ top events.

One huge harness star that returns for the Levy is Foiled Again. He ‘s won almost $7 million as he begins his 11-year-old season. He won the Levy consecutively in 2008-‘09. Also returning is the series’ defending champ, P H Supercam, along Apprentice Hanover, Big Boy Dreams, Clear Vision, Dancin Yankee, Lucan Hanover and Warrawee Needy.

As for the mare pacers, starlets abound there, too. Somewherovrarainbow won the 2014 Matchmaker and returns this season. Anndrovette, is also back, along with Carolsideal, Sayitall BB and Yagonnakissmeornot.

Another round of horses-to-watch (H2W) presents across-the-board/exotic contenders for North American tracks, including recently opened Pocono and Rosecroft. The list was on fire last week, with a three-digit winner and a number of two-digit winners, exactas and some place and show prices that offered more profit than some of the lesser-priced winners. Heed these horses when you evaluate their fields.


In the first Matchmaker division we focus upon Coffee Addict. This would be her second time on the H2W list but she shows up in the series instead. With only six horses in this race, the Ron Burke-conditioned Charisma Hanover will surely be the public choice. Venus Delight is the only of the sextet coming into the race fresh, having qualified at the Meadolwands before beginning her five-year-old season. Though she is difficult to evaluate, Coffee Addict is set to make a good impression and gets the coveted wood. We hope for odds near or more than her morning line of 8-1.

Another sextet battle in the second division, with Anndrovette the only debut lady for the year. A California invader, Someislandsomwhere, comes east for the series. Again, the Burke entry will add to the win pool total which is bound to be topped by Carolsideal. It’s possible that the other contender, Palm Patrol, will not be received as well as the top two, which gives her a good shot at a wager worth making. For The Ladies may also go off heavier than the first two. Both of these will have trips to owe to any successes, especially since we assume Anndrovette, from post 6, will try to win her fist out with a quick blast off the gate and a locomotive approach.

Defending-champ Somwherovrarainbow may not be in all six legs but she is ready to start off with a big win at a little biddy price. How we evaluate the remaining four on the track for the Matchmaker nightcap certainly can be argued, because there are a few good cases for each. Even trainer Jennifer Sabot’s second west-coast arrival has credentials, having been on this track before. Krispy Apple begins her seven-year-old season and may try to steal the fractions, as well as she may be better prepared for this series than last year.

Levy Giants

The March 21 Yonkers program hosts a quintet of Levy divisions for leg one. Seven go in division one, with Machs Beach Boy’s early season bankroll tops in the group. The Burke-Yannick Gingras team sends out Beach Memories, looking for his first win of the year and the speedy Capozzo gets the rail. It could be that Fat Mans Alley will be overlooked at a time when he is getting settled into this season. With only three races so far, he can get another win with a sharp ride and a swift closing pace at a worthy price.

The Burke brigade, responsible for many representatives in this series, sends out the top money-winner in the next Levy division, Take It Back Terry. Again, the crowd will empty their pockets on the conditioner’s entry. That being true in this group of seven, more openings for upset surface. Polak A makes a seasonal debut; Sabot’s Pancetta is another California invader; Sappire City, from former west-coast mainstay Paul Blumenfeld, is the penultimate earner of 2015; and Validus Deo is just getting started this year. “Deo” has three races to his name and will appear slow to a betting public that cherishes spotty speed badges but he may be the best-priced candidate for a showdown at the wire.

The third of five divisions brings names more acquainted to the series and the sport. Foiled Again is here for Burke, ready to challenge his fans by taking their money for his season’s starting race. Defending-champ P H Supercam was never as good as his win in the final last year; still he is sharp locally of late. Apprentice Hanover is always in for a share, Mcerlean is a veteran and not expected to be around much in the series; and then there’s Dancin Yankee. Winning at first crack this season would not be a surprise for this wild speedball. To catch him now, at a price, before he burns out as the season ensues, may make for a valuable catch to win.

The penultimate division of the evening is the return of Burke’s Clear Vision, a tried-and-true half-miler with a good history in this series. He starts all over again this season in this race. Another veteran of the elder battles and a cheeky speedster is also here. That is Warrawee Needy. Mark Ford’s student is three for six already this year and has deposited 20 grand more than the next largest bankroll here. That honor belongs to Heez Orl Black N, from the Vallee group. But we see a good start for National Debt on track in this one. The greatly disappointing younger pacer has only one more season to prove he can be a true contender in a division and trainer Roy Coyne, Jr. may want to begin gathering believers here, where a true debt could be paid to bettors who have stood behind him in a crowd. A bold move like a win here could serve to turn his career around—or get it started as the case may be.

The Levy nightcap offers three seasonal debuts—Mach It So, Bettor’s Edge (the Burke boy) and Lucan Hanover. Two others go for the second time without any successes the first time. Then there is Michael’s Power, the top money maker this year, who still looks to make a mark among the elders. There is far too much front speed lurking behind the starting gate, giving Holdingallthecards the perfect position to maintain his early-season ferociousness (he is three for seven with one second). A good trip and a stretch free of traffic (the speed all short) could make for a good winning price.

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.

H2W List

3/20/15, +The Spartan R7
3/21/15, +Peenie R1; Freaky Flyer R7; +Milliondollardad R12

Cal Expo
3/20/15, +Manley Stanley R5
3/21/15, Rays Racer R10
3/22/15, Geevil R5; +I Love New York R6

3/19/15, Good Luck R1; +Celtic Thunder R3; Heaven Is For Real R4; Jesbswesternshake R10; Elite Awards R11

3/19/15, +Barrys Shelby R1; +All Chill No Fill R6; Brandon Iron R6
3/22/15, Black Diamond Star R2

3/20/15, My Drag Queen R8
3/21/15, Yacht King R11; +Whats The Story R2; The Bad Deputy R3

3/19/15, +Just The Way It is R2; Bust My Chops R3
3/20/15, Really Lucky R4; I Bizel The Shizel R7

3/20/15, +Wind Of The North R6; +Modest Prince R8

3/20/15, ER Myron R8; +Black Silk Jammys R9; +Senor Bella R9
3/23/15, Dance Life Well R4

3/21/15, +Paco Labrook R3

3/19/15, +Lindy Truffles R2; +Prince Tasman R7

3/19/15, +Infinite Dream R4; +A Perfect Deo R5; +Kayleighs Future R9; +Jack Attack Brown R11

3/21/15, Digam R1; +Cjs Sweet Racer R5; +Hi Speed Sis R6; Dastardly Dick R11; El Puncho R11

3/21/15, Vance Bayama R3

3/21/15, +Johnny Grippa R1; +Flak Jacket R7

3/21/15, +Notnothingbutu R1; +Klondike Mike R6; +Wild Dream R10

3/19/15, +Rd Done That R7

Western Fair
3/20/15, +Incredible Frank

3/21/15, The Lunch Pail R2

Ray Cotolo contributes to each edition.