Yonkers Set to Host Lucrative Levy, Matchmaker Finals

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Ted Black

April 18th, 2017

While thoroughbred fans might consider the next two weekends to be somewhat of a hiatus for serious race watching since all of the Triple Crown prep races have been contested and many of the Kentucky Derby pretenders perhaps weeded out from the serious contenders, standardbred fans will pay close attention to the lucrative finals of both the George Morton Levy and Blue Chip Matchmaker Series that Yonkers Raceway is hosting on Saturday night.

Post positions were drawn for both the $530,000 Levy final and $310,000 BC MM final on Monday and both draws will likely have a tremendous impact on those events. For instance, Lispatty (Brian Sears) got the coveted rail for the Matchmaker, while two-time leg winner Bedroomconfessions drew post seven and Empress Deo got post eight. Serious contenders Shesjustadelight N (Ron Cushing), Mach It A Par (Jason Bartlett), Mackenzie A (Jordan Stratton) and Regil Elektra (Yannick Gingras) drew posts two-five and any of them could prevail on Saturday night.

Then two races later in the Levy final, McWicked (Matt Kakaley) drew the coveted rail, while two-time leg winner Soto (also Kakaley) drew post eight after missing last week. Likely favorite Missile J (Tim Tetrick) drew post three, while points leader Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) got post five and defending Levy hero Bit Of A Legend N (Stratton) drew post six. Other contenders Blood Brother (Sears), Keystone Velocity (Daniel Dube) and Provocativeprince N (Gingras) got posts two, four and seven, respectively.
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Heading into the final, McWicked, Somewhere In L A and Bit Of A Legend N have all raced superbly in each of the last two weeks and all three displayed varying tactics in recording elim victories lately. While McWicked, Somewhere In L A and Bit Of A Legend N are all versatile sorts that can leave the gate and protect position, Missile J has little gate speed but has a tremendous closing kick and will be rolling late regardless of the tempo and he should not have traffic trouble after drawing post three.

In the $100,000 Levy consolation that is sandwiched between the two lucrative finals, Mach It So (Tetrick) garnered the coveted rail, but the razor sharp Clear Vision (Brett Miller) drew alongside him and finals contenders Wakizashi Hanover and Rockin Ron - who was ninth in the points standings and just missed the final - got posts six and eight, respectively. Both Clear Vision and Caviart Luca raced well last week, as did Rockin Ron, although the latter was unlucky in the draw to say the least.

Also on Saturday afternoon, Charles Town will host the latest renewal of the Grade II, $1.25 million Charles Town Classic along with six other stakes, while Laurel Park will offer a handful of stakes, including the $100,000 Federico Tesio for three-year-old colts and geldings, the last local prep for the May 20 Preakness Stakes. Both cards will begin at roughly 1 p.m. on Saturday, with the Classic currently slated for 5:45 and expected to draw defending champion Stanford for trainer Todd Pletcher, past hero Imperative and the streaking Matt King Coal for trainer Linda Rice.