Older Pacers Ready for Levy Fourth Round

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

April 8th, 2016

This Saturday evening Yonkers Raceway will host the fourth leg of the lucrative George Morton Levy Memorial Series for older, Free-For-All pacers and the gradually thinning group of 28 will clash in four consecutive races just past the midway point of the card.

Saturday's sixth race is the first division of the fourth Levy leg and the race includes one of the two series points co-leaders, Take It Back Terry (George Brennan), as well as opening round winner Texas Terror N (Matt Kakaley) and Santa Fe Beachboy (Jason Bartlett) who uncorked the fastest mile of the series to date when he scored last weekend in 1:50.2. Take It Back Terry appears headed for the $550,000 final here on April 23.

Take It Back Terry has always performed well over the New York half-mile oval and he was very competitive in this series a year ago, rallying for second in the final. Through the first three legs of the current Levy series he is only one of two horses - Bit Of A Legend N is the other - to have notched a trio of legs. He has also been favored in each of those outings and he should assume that same role again this weekend from post three.

Texas Terror N benefited from fast early fractions when he won an opening leg in 1:51, but he has been third and fifth, respectively, in two starts since then for trainer Jose Godinez. He drew well again this week, but he typically does his best racing from well off the pace so an inside draw for him is no necessarily a bonus.

Santa Fe Beachboy has displayed ample speed in two of his three Levy efforts and last week delivered a wicked 1:50.2 score, easily the fastest of the first 15 preliminaries. He headed into the Levy following a sharp 1:50.4 victory against conditioned foes, but he could not duplicate that performance right away in the series. He will be out and rolling early from post six, but it remains to be seen if he can repeat last week's effort and will almost assuredly get overbet.

Dream Out Loud N (Yannick Gingras) gets the ultimate post switch going from the eight hole in the leg won by Take It Back Terry to the rail. He is also well down the points standings, so this Darran Cassar trainee is going to have to use the rail to its fullest advantage this weekend in order to have any hopes of at least earning a spot in the $100,000 consolation.

Both Ideal Cowboy and Phil Your Boots have raced well during the series, with Phil Your Boots earning slightly more points thanks to a gritty, second-place effort last week after setting wicked early fractions before finally being nailed late by Bit Of A Legend N. He should be on the move early from post five and another good performance will get him one step closer to a spot in the consolation. Ideal Cowboy raced well two starts back but then settled for sixth from the eight hole last week, but should improve from post four this week.

One race later reigning harness horse of the year Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) drew the coveted rail after finishing second from post seven one week earlier in his Levy series debut. Wiggle It Jiggleit trailed early, raced fourth over to the half, launched a bold three-wide bid down the backside and through the far turn and rallied to get second behind loose leader All Bets Off. He should enjoy a much, much better trip this weekend and looms the odds-on choice again.

Just to his outside is All Bets Off (Kakaley), who gained command from post six last week and never relinquished the advantage en route to a 1:51.3 score, his first in three series outings. This Ron Burke trainee was second to Bit Of A Legend N in the series opener, got buried by that one one week later but then displayed his usual early zip last week and held safe the late bid of 'Wiggle' for the length victory.

Lucan Hanover (Brett Miller) won the first two legs of the series for trainer Andrew Harris before settling for eighth a week ago. He drew post five this week and again represents Miller's only drive in the series, so look for him to be out and rolling early. But don't look for Wiggle It Jiggleit or All Bets Off to be too generous on the first turn, so Lucan Hanover may find himself parked for a considerable distance or forced to tuck.

Opening round winner PH Supercam (Bartlett) will have to improve on his last two efforts to keep his hopes alive of at least getting into the consolation, one year after he was among the dominant forces in the series and two years after he captured the final. Mcearlean, Polak A and Scott Rocks have been minor players so far and Polak A has skipped the last two legs.

One race later in the third Levy split, three-time series hero Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) again finds himself with an outside draw and will leave from post six. But as he did a week ago, Bit Of A Legend N will likely take back and then look to pick up the pieces. He appeared disinterested last week for the first half-mile, but the wicked early fractions enabled him to corral the leaders in the lane. Like Take It Back Terry, this Peter Tritton trainee has already secured a berth in the final.

But the other six starters here will have to improve quickly. Let's Drink On It (Tim Tetrick) finished sixth in each of his first two Levy tries, then dropped into a conditioned event last weekend and won easily in 1:51.1 and gets the rail for this event. The Real One (Pat Lachance) was second in round one but has been fifth and sixth in two subsequent outings, but he gets post two here and should be out and rolling early.

Doctor Butch has been second once, third once and fourth once in three Levy outings and is on the bubble for a spot in the final. A win in this round would help his chances, but a spot in the consolation appears likely. Limelight Beach has been third twice and fifth once, while Bettorever finished second last week after a pair of fifth-place tries, but draws outside again. Lettucerockthem A skipped the first two legs then was third last week, but would need to win simply to have any hope of a spot in the consolation.

Then in the ninth race, the fourth leg of the Levy offers another solid group. Mach It So (Tetrick) won an opening round leg then rebounded from a fifth-place finish in the second leg to finish second to Take It Back Terry last weekend. He is clearly Bamond's best hope for a finalist.

Defending Levy hero champion Domethatagain (Daniel Dube) won the second leg from the rail but finished fifth and seventh, respectively, in his other two Levy outings. Melmerby Beach won the second leg but has been seventh twice, while Te Kawau N, Bettor Rock On N, Texican N and Forty Five Red all seek spots in the consolation. Both Bettor Rock On N and Texican N have recorded a pair of second-place finishes in three outings.