Yonkers Hosts Last Levy Elimination

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Ted Black

April 16th, 2017

On a warm spring night, Yonkers Raceway hosted the fifth and final preliminaries for the George Morton Levy series as nearly two dozen free-for-all pacers looked to secure a berth in the $500,000 final next weekend while others were hoping to salvage a spot in the $100,000 consolation.

In the first of the three divisions of the George Morton Levy elims, McWicked (Matt Kakaley) lived up to his role as the even-money choice when he angled out first over early backside, grinded his way toward Caviart Luca (George Brennan) by three-quarters and through the far turn and edged clear late to a length score in 1:51.4. A six-year-old McArdle stallion trained by Steve Elliott, McWicked notched his first win in five series tries after a pair of second-place efforts.

Caviart Luca, who had no chance of earning a berth in the final, lasted for the place spot while Mach It So (Tim Tetrick) settled for the show spot and will not make the final. Provocativeprince N (Jordan Stratton) offered little after a second over journey

Then one race later in the second Levy fifth leg split, Bit Of A Legend N (Stratton) left alertly along the pylons to secure the advantage, rolled by the half in 56.1, met token pressure from Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett) down the backside and then held safe Rockin Ron, Great Vintage and the closers to score in 1:51.3.

An eight-year-old Bettor's Delight stallion trained by Peter Tritton for owner Harry von Knoblauch, Bit Of A Legend N notched his second win in five series tries and vaulted past Missile J - who was fifth in this division - and idle Soto to become the new points leader heading into the final briefly. Rockin Ron just missed earning a spot in the final, but Keystone Velocity and Missile J had already both secured a final before their start on Saturday.
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Then one race later in the third Levy elim, Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) gained command in a modest 28-second opener, got a breather to the half in 56.4 and held safe Clear Vision (Brett Miller) for a two-length score in 1:51.3. A six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca, Somewhere In L A notched his second straight series score and was able to leap past Bit Of A Legend N and Missile J to become the new points leader heading into next week's final.

Clear Vision raced superbly to likely earn a spot in the consolation, while Guantanamo Bay settled for third and also is headed to the consolation. Wakizashi Hanover offered little late despite a two-hole trip and also appears headed to the consolation.

When the dust settled after Saturday's final Levy prelims, Somewhere In L A topped the standings with 287 points, followed by Bit Of A Legend N (280), Missile J (255), Keystone Velocity (242), McWicked (225), Soto (220), Blood Brother (217) and Provocativeprince N (210). Rockin Ron (208) just missed a spot in the final and will be eager to see if any of the others just above him opt out.

Also on Saturday night, Rosecroft Raceway hosted a live 12-race card that got considerably stronger as the program progressed.

Just past the midway point of the card, Coaster (Kim Vincent) overcame post position six and a modest climb in class to lead throughout and capture the featured non-winners of $6000 last five starts class. A five-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding trained by Buddy Bright, Coaster notched his second straight score after stopping the timer in 1:51 for a new lifetime mark. Coaster now sports two wins and one second-place finish from five starts at the meet and likely earned a berth in the Open next weekend.

Then one race later on the card, Classiesistar N (Allan Davis) rallied from far off the pace to capture a non-winners of $4000 last five by a nose in 1:51.4. An eight-year-old Christian Cullen gelding trained by Tim Crissman for owner Mildred Ventriglio, Classiesistar N notched his first win in eight starts this year and now owns a 17-12-13 slate and $296,000 banked from 100 career outings.