Yonkers hosts round two of Levy series on Saturday

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Ted Black

March 25th, 2018

One night after the pacing distaffers had their evening in the spotlight at Yonkers Raceway in the second leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, the older males free-for-all pacers were on display in the second leg of the lucrative, prestigious George Morton Levy Series over the New York half-mile oval.

Just past the midway point of the card in the first division of Levy second round action, Dr J Hanover (Brett Miller) benefited from his second straight rail draw, gained command in a modest 27.4 opener, cruised by the half in 57.3, rebuffed a brief bid from Always At My Place (George Brennan) down the backside then sprinted clear on the far turn and head sway late for a two-length score.

A five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Tony Alagna, Dr J Hanover notched his second straight win in the series and owns two wins in three starts overall this year. Chumlee A (Larry Stahlbaum) benefited from a pocket trip to last for the place spot but was disqualified for going inside several pylons. Keystone Velocity rallied from well off the pace to finish third then was promoted to second, while opening round winner Bit Of A Legend N rallied widest of all in the lane to finish fourth and was placed third.

Then one race later on the card, Evenin of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) lived up to his role as the 3-5 favorite when he gained command from post three in sharp 26.4 opener, rolled by the half in 56.1, raced unpressed down the backside and by three-quarters in 1:24 and held sway late for a three-length score in 1:53.1.

An eight-year-old Dragon Again stallion trained by Jen Bongiorno, Evenin Of Pleasure rebounded from a second-place finish behind Rockin Ron the week before to notch his first win in the series and now looms a logical contender for the final. Bettor Memories (Kyle Husted) rallied from well off the pace at 24-1 to gain the place spot, while fellow longshot Another Daily Copy (Jason Bartlett) finished third, just ahead of a parked-the-mile Orillia Joe (Jordan Stratton).

Two races later in the third Levy split, Western Fame (McDonald) benefited from a second over trip behind Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) down the backside and through the far turn, angled to the center of the track and overhauled his cover to score by nearly a length in 1:53.1. Favored Missile J (Tetrick) left to protect early position, angled out behind a tiring Caviart Luca (Brennan) and finished well between horses late to gain the show spot.

Western Fame, a five-year-old Western Ideal stallion trained by Jimmy Takter, notched his first win in two starts in the series and his first in three outings overall. Somewhere In L A has now finished second in each of his two elims, while Missile J has finished second and third, respectively, in two outings.

Then one race later in the fourth division used as the penultimate race on the program, Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) lived up to his billing as the 1-9 favorite when he gained command from post two in a 26.3 opener, got a breather to the half in 57, faced modest pressure from Mach It So (Tetrick) down the backside and through the far turn and held sway through the lane for a length victory over 11-1 Luciano N (Holland) in 1:53.1.

A six-year-old Real Desire gelding trained by Burke, Rockin Ron joined Dr J Hanover as the only two-time winners in the series, while opening round hero Mach It So finished third after making two moves from post eight. Dr J Hanover and Rockin Ron both have 150 points each, while Evenin of Pleasure has 125, while both Bit Of A Legend N and Mach It So are just behind that group with 112 points each. There are three more rounds of eliminations for the Levy with the April 21 final going for $500,000.

With Yonkers being dark on Sunday the weekly featured $44,000 Open Handicap for trotters was moved to the Saturday night card and Mostinterestingman (Bartlett) benefited from a pocket trip behind favored NF Happenstance (Jack Parker, Jr.) through the first three calls, angled to the inside of the mare at the head of the lane and got up late to score by a head in 1:56. It was the fourth win in 11 starts this year for the five-year-old Manofmanymissions gelding owned and trained by Ricky Bucci.