Yonkers hosts round three of Levy and Matchmaker series

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Ted Black

April 1st, 2018

One night before millions of Americans celebrated the Easter holiday on Sunday, Yonkers Raceway hosted the third round of action for the George Morton Levy series for older pacers on Saturday night, one night after the pacing distaffers were on display for the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series on Friday evening.

Saturday's third round of the Levy series began just past the midway point of the card, Missile J (Tim Tetrick) left alertly to gain command, rebuffed a quarter move bid from 1-2 favorite Mach It So (David Miller) before the quarter in 27.3, maintained and honest tempo by the half in 56 flat and by three-quarters in 1:24.1 then sprinted clear of Mach It So and held safe Bettor Memories and Caviart Luca (George Brennan) in 1:52.

A five-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Scott DiDomenico, Missile J notched his first win in three starts in the series and now owns four wins and $92,000 banked from nine seasonal outings. A four-time series winners last year and third as the favorite in the final, Missile J made his presence known in a big way on Saturday evening and vaulted well into range of reaching the final again. Bettor Memories drew even with a listless Mach It So.

One race later in the second Levy split, Dr J Hanover (Brett Miller) maintained his perfect start to the series when he easily gained command from post four in a ho-hum 28.3 opener, got another ludicrous breather to the half in 58 flat, met serious pressure from Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton) down the backside and through the far turn and held sway through the lane for a length score in 1:53.3.

A five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Tony Alagna, Dr J Hanover recorded his third win in four starts on the year and now owns 16 victories from 46 lifetime outings. Bit Of A Legend N remained on target for the Levy final with another gritty second over try, while Another Daily Copy (Jason Bartlett) saved ground to secure the show spot. Always At My Place (Brennan) offered little in the lane despite an ideal second over trip behind Bit Of A Legend N.

Two races later in the third Levy elim, Western Fame (Mark Macdonald) benefited from a pocket trip behind 1-2 favorite Rockin Ron (Gingras) through modest fractions of 27.3, 56.4 and 1:25 then overhauled the odds-on leader in the lane to score in 1:52.4. A five-year-old Western Ideal stallion trained by Jimmy Takter for owner-breeder Brittany Farms, Western Fame notched his second straight series score and vaulted into the top five in the series standings.

Then one race later in the final Levy split used as the penultimate race on the card, Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) overcame a first over trip down past the half and down the backside, surged to command before three-quarters and held safe Long Live Rock and Luciano N for a two-length score in 1:53. A seven-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca, Somewhere In L A notched his first win in three tries and owns three wins in five starts overall this year and vaulted back into final contention.

One night earlier Shartin N (Tetrick) maintained her perfect start to the series by prevailing as the 2-5 favorite in 1:53.3 for trainer Jim King, Jr. and basically secured her spot in the $400,000 final on April 21. Lakeisha Hall (Brennan) overhauled 1-5 favorite L A Delight (Gingras) to score in 1:54.2, while defending BCMM final heroine Mackenzie A (Stratton) scored as the 1-2 choice in 1:54.1 for her second straight win in the series and Maryland-bred Twinkle (Eric Goodell) notched her second series tally in three tries by scoring as the 7-5 second choice over a gritty Shesjustadelightn (Ron Cushing) in 1:54.1.