Yonkers hosts fourth Levy leg

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Ted Black

April 11th, 2016

While thoroughbred racing fans were savoring the Kentucky Derby preps at three different ovals on Saturday, standardbred fans were again closely following the action at Yonkers Raceway as the New York half-mile oval hosted the fourth round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Series for Free-For-All pacers.

Saturday's first division featured three-time series leg hero Take It Back Terry (George Brennan) for trainer Ron Burke and Santa Fe Beachboy for trainer Richard Banca, who boasts the fastest clocking of the series courtesy of his 1:50.2 score in the third leg.

Take It Back Terry gained command early as he normally does then met pressure from Santa Fe Beachboy down the backside and through the far turn. Take It Back Terry shook loose from Santa Fe Beachboy turning for home, but he could not withstand the late bid of Ideal Cowboy to score in 1:52.1.

Ideal Cowboy notched his first win in the series for trainer Jeff Bamond and kept his hopes alive for earning a berth  in the $550,000 final on April 23. Take It Back Terry has already secured a spot in the final for the second straight year.

One race later in the second Levy split on Saturday night, Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) gained command soon after the start from along the rail and led throughout en route to a three-length score in 1:51.1 as the 1-20 favorite.

The 2015 harness horse of the year, Wiggle It Jiggleit notched his first win in the series and his second score in three starts this year. Wiggle It Jiggleit bypassed the first two legs of the series  and finished second in round three, but his victory on Saturday night and perhaps another score this weekend could catapult him into the lucrative final.

PH Supercam overcame a long first over journey to edge All Bets Off for the place spot. Both the Bamond and Burke trainees are on the bubble for earning a berth in the final, but both could be major players in the consolation. Two-time leg winner Lucan Hanover delivered his second straight dull effort.

Then in the third Levy split, Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) kept his perfect series record in tact when he left alertly from post six, sat a pocket trip behind Let's Drink On It to the half and three-quarters then cruised past that one in the lane under confident handing to score in 1:51.1.

A seven-year-old Bettor's Delight stallion trained by Peter Tritton, Bit Of A Legend N has won all four series legs and now sports six wins in eight starts this year since arriving from New Zealand. Bit Of A Legend N has won legs from post six and post eight, respectively, and has won on the lead and from dead last and his versatility makes him a major player anywhere he travels.

Then in the fourth leg of the fourth round, Mach It So (Tim Tetrick) led throughout and just outlasted the late bids of Te Kawau N and Domethatagain to score 1:52.1.

Mach It So has now won twice in four series legs for Bamond and should be headed back to the final for a third straight year. Te Kawau N finished with plenty of energy and has been second once, third once and fourth once in three Levy legs. Domethatagain, last yeas Levy final hero, appears headed for the consolation this year.

Royal Heart, Mattamerican and Sunfire Blue Chip all captured conditioned events on the Levy undercard. All three tried at least two legs of the Levy series before exiting for softer spots.