Homeracing

Blue Chip Matchmaker and Levy series continue at Yonkers

Profile Picture: Ted Black

Ted Black

March 24th, 2019

In the midst of the bevy of NCAA College Basketball games taking place, Yonkers Raceway offered the second leg of both the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series for pacing fillies and mares on Friday then the George Morton Levy Memorial series for Free-For-All pacers on Saturday night.

In the opening division of the second leg of the Blue Chip, Dont Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett) overcame post seven to gain command in a 27.2 opener, got a breather by the half in 57 flat, rolled by three-quarters in 1:25.2 then held safe 3-2 choice Newborn Sassy (Tim Tetrick) for a length score in 1:54. A six-year-old Armbro Operative mare trained by Andrew Harris, Dont Think Twice A notched her first win in the series and now owns 20 wins and over $267,000 banked from 41 career tries.

Then one race later in the second BCMM split, Apple Bottom Jeans (Corey Callahan) overcame post position eight to easily gain command in a 27.3 opener, maintained an honest tempo by the half in 56.3, rolled by three-quarters unpressed in 1:25.1 then sprinted clear of Twinkle (Scott Zeron) to a three-length score as the even-money choice in 1:53.3. A six-year-old Mr Apples mare trained by Dylan Davis, Apple Bottom Jeans became the first two-time series heroine and now owns four wins in six starts this year and 29 wins in 67 career outings.

Two races later in the third BCMM split, Bettor Joy N (Tetrick) rebounded from a second-place effort as the 2-5 choice in the opening round to race second over and race widest of all in the lane and overhauled 3-4 Ideal Lifestyle A (George Brennan) to score by a length in 1:53.4. A five-year-old Bettor's Delight mare trained by Jim King, Jr., Bettor Joy N notched her first win in the series and now owns two wins from four starts this year and 12 victories and over $260,000 banked from 32 career tries.

Then one race later in the fourth BCMM split, Feelin Red Hot (Brennan) forged a genuine 5-1 upset when she gained command early, got a breather by the half in 57.4, opened a clear lead by three-quarters in 1:24.2 then held sway late for a two-length score in 1:53.1 as Shartin N (Tetrick) fanned three-wide early and raced three-wide down the backside and far turn and settled for fourth as the 1-2 favorite. A six-year-old Feelin Friskie mare trained by Ron Burke, Feelin Red Hot notched her first win in two series outing and now boasts four wins in nine starts this year.

Through two legs of the BCMM, Apple Bottom Jeans (150 points) was the only two-time winner, while leg winners Ideal Lifestyle A, Feelin Red Hot, Bettor Joy N (125 points each) and Shartin N (108) all looked poised to make the $400,000 final on April 21. Maryland-bred mares Twinkle (100) and Newborn Sassy (83) should have an impact throughout the series and one of them should make the final and the other should appear in the $100,000 consolation.

Then on Saturday night Yonkers offered six divisions of the second round of the George Morton Levy series for older boys and there were several races provided major upsets.

In the opening Levy split, JJ Flynn (Brennan) overcame an extended first over bid and eventually wore down 1-9 favorite Western Fame (Daniel Dube) down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:24 and through the far turn and the lane to finally prevail by a neck in 1:51.3. A six-year-old Western Ideal gelding trained by Josh Green, JJ Flynn rebounded from excess cover and a dull tempo in the Levy opening leg to forge a 20-1 shocker. It was his sixth win in eight starts this year and he now sports 26 victories and $394,000 banked from 92 career tries.

Western Fame gained command from Duplicated N through the first turn and rolled by the opener in 27.1 and got a mild breather by the half in 56.2, but he wilted under serious pressure from JJ Flynn down the backside and through the far turn and appeared difficult to steer on the far turn. Hero of the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft in his season finale in 2018, Western Fame had won the opening Levy series leg in 1:51.1 by six lengths and looked like the solid future book favorite for the final until his most recent effort on Saturday night.

Three races later in the second Levy split of the second round, Rodeo Rock (Andrew McCarthy) overcame an extended first over bod to wear down longshot leader Gokudo Hanover (Brennan) down the backside and through the far turn and finally nailed that one at the wire in 1:52.1. A six-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven stallion trained by Robert Cleary for the Royal Wire Productions, Rodeo Rock became the first horse to notch two wins in the series and he remains unbeaten in three starts this year and boasts 23 wins and over $420,000 banked in 84 lifetime tries.

One race later in the third division of the second Levy leg, Endeavor (Tetrick) angled out first over from third early backside, brushed to command from even-money choice Anythingforlive A (Joe Bongiorno) before three-quarters in 1:25 then edged clear from Control Tower (Austin Siegelman) and Dr J Hanover (McCarthy) to a two-length score in 1:52.4. A six-year-old American Ideal gelding owned and trained by Jeff Cullipher, Endeavor notched his first win in two series outings and now owns 26 tallies and nearly $425,000 banked from 83 career outings.

Two races later in the fourth Levy split, Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland) easily lived up to his role as the even-money favorite when he gained command in a modest 28 opener, got a breather to the half in 57.4, raced unpressed by three-quarters in 1:26 then sprinted clear in the lane to a four-length score in 1:53.3. A six-year-old Western Ideal gelding trained by Erv Miller, Ideal Jimmy joined Rodeo Rock as a two-time series winner and now sports five victories and $95,000 banked from 10 seasonal outings.

One race later in the fifth Levy second round division, The Downtown Bus (Zeron) rallied from far off the pace and widest of all to edge favored Beckhams Z Tam (Tetrick) by a head in 1:53.1. A four-year-old Mach Three gelding owned and trained by Jeff Gillis, The Downtown Bus notched his first win in two starts this year and owns a 12-5-7 slate and nearly $320,000 banked from 35 career tries. Both The Downtown Bus and Beckhams Z Tam benefited from wicked early fractions and were well clear of the others in the lane.

Then one race later in the sixth Levy split, Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) left to secure the pocket behind Imarocnrollegend N (Brennan) through the first three calls, angled out at the head of the lane and wore down the even-money choice to score by a head in 1:53.1. An eight-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca, Somewhere In L A notched his second win in five starts this year and now sports 40 wins and $1.55 million banked in 141 lifetime outings.

In the race between the Levy legs, New Heaven (Jordan Stratton) overcame an extended first over bid to wear down Blenheim on the far turn then outlasted the late bid of Weslynn Dancer (Matt Kakaley) to forge a 31-1 shocker in the $44,000 Open Handicap for trotters. A five-year-old Yankee Glide gelding trained by Eri Abbatiello for the Allstar Stables, New Heaven notched his second straight win and now owns a 3-4-0 slate and $60,000 banked from seven starts this year.

Through two legs of the Levy series, Rodeo Rock and Ideal Jimmy (150 points) boast two wins each, while Western Fame (125 points) and Somewhere In L A (125 points) each have one win and one second-place finish. Endeavor (108) and JJ Flynn (108) both joined the series winners and are among the top eight along with opening round winners The Wall (1098), More The Better N (108), Anythingforlove A (105) and The Downtown Bus (100) while two-time runner-up Imarocnrollegend N (100) has finished second twice.

That same evening at Pocono Downs, Rockeyed Optimist (Mitchell Cushing) easily overcame post position eight to lead throughout through wicked fractions then drew clear late to a three-length score as the 4-5 favorite in a non-winners of $9,100 last five starts class for older pacers in 1:51.1 for his first win in four starts this year. Two races later on the card in the other non-winners of $9,100 last five starts split, Ideal Wheel (Eric Carlson) forged a 30-1 shocker in 1:52.4 in his seasonal debut for trainer Gilberto Garcia-Herrera.
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