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Homeracing

Round Two At Yonkers For ‘Levy’ And Matchmaker; Targeting Freehold Pick-3; Action Around The Ovals

Profile Picture: Frank Cotolo

March 23rd, 2017

Spring begins and the George Morton Levy and Matchmaker series at Yonkers add another leg to their march toward April. On March 24 and 25th, the horses and mares meet for week two of prelims. The legs for horses are $50,000 each and $40,000 for mares.

We start our weekend on Thursday, March 23, at Freehold with personal features and supplement the Grand Circuit events at Yonkers with our suggested contenders listed on the H2W (horses-to-watch) list. Do your own handicapping, and then compare and consider our selections when betting.

FEATURES~FEATURES~FEATURES

Freehold/ Races 3,4,5
Thursday, March 23

Oddly enough, Morning Line (ML) choice Double Bundy N, has post 8 in Race 3, the first leg of this Pick 3. This low-priced conditioned event is filled with skippers and “Bundy” is one. Regardless of the class drop, a lot is going against him to win this volatile affair. The second ML choice, Cultured Pearl, raced sharply stepping up last week, finishing second at 17-1, and he comes back down to where he raced miserably.

This leaves us an outside contender from post 4, Mass Appeal. The mare was good in this company and before and after a trainer change last November. She has a few jumps in her lines but she has been flat lately and she was a co-favorite when she dropped into this class two races back. She will have a great shot at getting this Pick 3 off to a high-priced start.

Again, in Race 4, the ML’s best go to class droppers that must rely on whatever strength gives them to deliver low-priced wins. At 8-5, River Runs Deep is highly over-rated. Speedacious is considered a drop coming from Saratoga, while there is little indication his connections have no clue in which class he will race best.

However, at this level, all we need to do is toss out the 8-hole failure of Trey to find three very good efforts at Freehold. How is his ML 15-1? Some of these discrepancies must be attributed to favorable drivers and/or driver changes that driver-heavy handicappers love to trust far more than the horses they guide.

The last leg, Race 5, is another cheap conditioner. Two ML favorites return after wins in this class: Moveoutofmyway and Our Cullenscrown N. It’s up to you to decide if you want to go three deep with this leg, using those two and another which we see as the outside contender—Donald Doc. We can toss out his March 17 race from post 7, though he did make a positive move for a slow-starter on the outside. He was the betting choice two before that, racing at this level and has hovered in this class after racing with much better.

MATCHMAKER MARES, LEG TWO

Friday, March 24 offers the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series. Races 5, 6 and 7 each offer $40,000.

Race 5 brings back six of last week’s pacing mares and a first-time for the ’17 edition, Sandbeteenurtoes. She’s one of the ML choices here, coming back from Canada where her winter campaign was affluent. Back on the half-mile from Woodbine’s expansive two turns, she gives Shesjustadelight N, a winner from last week, some work to do to repeat.

There is a lot of speed here, which allows a tight trip to take it late. The matters of dueling and shuffling that may occur make great cases for Divas Image, who from post 2 could get the easiest route for a win than she has seen  since 2016. Her 9-2 ML won’t be respected, as the two aforementioned mares will take the bulk of the win pool, leaving Divas Image with a strong win-price promise.

In Race 6 Wrangler Magic joins the series after leaving Yonkers for some winning paychecks at Woodbine. The rest of the field returns from the first leg’s divisions. Big winner Mach It A Par draws out a few posts but considering how she won last week, thwarting a duel and taking over (though she won by a neck), she could repeat, as her ML indicates.

But our choice against her last week, Betabcool N, was in hot pursuit and gained to get third from a first-over trip, proving she is worthy of this class and that she could beat the obvious crowd choice. The 7 (Tessa Seelster) and 8 (Medusa) are weighed with those posts but could play a role in exotics if Mach It A Par struggles any more than she did last week in the late stretch.

The ML in the Matchmaker nightcap, Race 7, gives the nod to the rail horse, Bedroomconfessions, who was second to Mach It A Par with no excuse for losing to her after a garden trip. Last week’s winner Regil Elektra (ML choice) has to cope with post 7, while her recent foe, Change The Rulz N, gets the 6 hole, which seems perfect for her best moves, which come with drafting, not leading. The speed in this affair can easily collapse, especially with Krispy Apple looking to zoom early and make her third start of the season profitable. Change The Rulz N is our outside contender.
 
LEVY LEXICON, PART TWO

Saturday, March 25 at Yonkers, round two of the big “Levy” series continues with another quartet of veteran pacers, some with Levy impressions already guiding bettors. We will do our best again to read between the lines and find Levy longshots, per se, contenders “out of the box.”

Race 6 features the first division (all divisions for $50,000) and everyone will look to chase Bettor’s Edge, who is bound to leave strongly from the rail. In that chase should be Keystone Velocity and Santa Fe Beachboy; these two may even try to steal an early lead. That triptych of early lick could mean fortune for Caviart Luca, from post 7. Last week he was 3-1 from post 6 but this week he will be even more from post 7, considering the first three mentioned. Hope for the front speed to juggle too much and leave “Luca” to close for the kill.

In the second division, Race 7, the money-burning Mcwicked returns with even more speed challenges than thwarted him last week. Meanwhile, Guantanamo Bay, our choice last week at 7-1, returns to offer more than that while in a perfect situation to race better. In round one, “Bay” made three moves to close well and get third. In the best-case scenario here, Bay will need only one move to mow down the dowsing fires of the rest of the field.

Division three is Race 9, including one of the great Levy performers of the last decade, PH Supercam. The 2017 season has not been kind so far to “PH” and it is hard to believe in his Levy debut this year saw him go off at 124-1. That is strange for PH even from post 8. He faces two of last week’s leg winners, Missile J, arguably the buzz horse this season, and on the rail, Provocativeprince N.

The outer posts host some dangers: Somewhere In LA (7) returns after coming up short last week; Take It Back Terry returns to the series after just two efforts this year, one a win; and the popular Vegas Vacation joins the Levy frays with his speedy threats. All of this looks like a set up for another Missile J win—he lays low well on half-mile tracks until his late charges take charge of fields.

But PH is a threat and we may have to back his huge odds with good arguments (certainly he will engorge any exotic, as well). One of his two races from post is competitive and displays a huge closing move (March 4). The week before that he was first over and fourth and he has two-thirds in January that included traffic and trouble. From post 2 in the series’ leg this week, he must be respected. Certainly, a horse of this magnitude should never be discounted and at a great price is practically a pleasure to back. Consider him, also, in league with Missile J for an Exacta.

Race 10 concludes leg two and should offer some good prices due to the ML favorites, both volatile products. All Bets Off from the rail should not be luring at 9-5, nor should Wakizashi Hanover at 5-2. The bargain shining here, at least from the ML point, is Long Live Rock, who last week dove into the mile and slaughtered All Bets Off and others at 18-1. That was no fluke mile; this guy is going for the top of the rung in this series and post 7 in this race should not be intimidating to horse and driver nor bettor. Embrace the ML at 8-1 and bury your exotic numbers with him as the key—all indications are that he will soar again.


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

Buffalo
3/25/17, Pennys Spirit R5; Elite R7; +Well To Do R9

Cal Expo
3/24/17, +Smoke Eater R10
3/25/17, Oh Yeah R7; +Mikeleh R9

Century
3/25/17, +Noodles R5; +Outlawtriggerhappy R8
3/26/17, +Metajka Road R5
 
Dover
3/23/17, +Remember Me VK R8; +Rocket Da Red R13

Flamboro
3/26/17, Lyonssomewhere R7

Fraser
3/24/17, +Promontory Jo R5
3/26/17, Shaleslittlespirit R4

Freehold
3/25/17, Arts On Fire R3

Meadowlands
3/25/17, +Fearless Leader R10

Meadows
3/25/17, JK Will Power R13
2/27/17, +Keystone Nikki R11

Miami
3/24/17, +Togetherforever R2; +Northern Soul R2
3/25/17, Lucky Crusader R14
3/26/17, +Swingin Jenny R4

Monticello
2/27/17, +Lastchancelily R1

Northville
3/25/17, Queen Of Racing R2; +Dimes N Dollars R5; DCN Make My Day R9

Pocono
3/25/17, Amora Beach R2; +Topcornerterror R11

Saratoga
3/23/17, +Coin Collector R2; +Ella V Horse R4; +Forever Effie R5

Scarborough
3/25/17, Hot Shot Lawyer R4; Corky Baran R6
3/26/17, Wolfs Milan R4; Aberarder Smitty R6

Western Fair
3/24/17, +Winter Storm R5

Woodbine
3/25/17, +Alexas Jackpot R6

Yonkers
3/24/17, Lawgiver Hanover R1; Star Studded Cast R2
3/25/17, Twin B Speedo R1; Sunfire Blue Chip R8; +Dublin Rose R11
 

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