Day At The Track

$663,260 final of the George Morton Levy Series

05:47 PM 21 Apr 2019 NZST
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Western Fame, harness racing
Western Fame
Mike Lizzi Photo

Y ONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 20, 2019 - Turns out, it wasn't a fair fight. Odds-on Western Fame (Dan Dube, $2.50) drilled his seven harness racing foes Saturday night (Apr. 20th), winning Yonkers Raceway's $663,260 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

The prelim points leader having won four of his five starts (with a second), the 1-4 favorite dispatched his foes with stakes-record-time-matching ease on a cool and windy Westchester evening.

If you were in search of drama, go read something else. As for Western, Fame, from post position No. 5, he gave nothing else a shot (-26.4; 55.3; 1:22.3; 1:50.4). He was three-wide early to get around pole-sitting Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno) and JJ Flynn (Tim Tetrick).

The mile equaled Silver Almahurst's long-standing (1993) stakes record as well as his own (and Lyons Steel's) fastest of the local season.

While Western Fame was door-slamming-his two-length lead into the lane widened to 4¾ lengths at the wire-there were others who raced credibly in North America's richest harness race of 2019 to date.

Rodeo Rock (Andrew McCarthy), last at the half, closed from fourth-over to snatch second, snapping More the Better N (Scott Zeron). Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland), meanwhile, left nothing in the chamber from behind the eight-ball. He found an early four-hole, then challenged first-up before giving way grudgingly and finishing fourth.

The Wall (Andy Miller) came away with the final pay envelope, with The Downtown Bus (Brian Sears) and the retreating pair of Anythingforlove A and second-choice JJ Flynn completing the order.

For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his fifth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10, the triple returned $44 and the superfecta paid $198.50.

For driver and trainer, it was a third consecutive Levy win (Keystone Velocity, 2017-18) and fourth win in five seasons (Domethatagain-2015). The event again honored the memory of the Hall-of-Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway.

"(Keystone Velocity and Western Fame) are about even right now," Dube said. "Keystone won twice in this race and this horse is something special, too

"Those fractions maybe looked fast, for him he does it nice and easy. Turning for home he gave me another run. He's so nice to drive; he just doesn't get tired."

I think we had the best horse going into the Levy," Allard said. "It's a bit of a stressful thing to race them every week. The one week where he got second he tied up, so the thing about it is you got to come back the week after and the week after.

"We had thought about giving him the week off before the final, but he was in a good routine.

"Now he's definitely getting a week off, that's for sure."

A $100,000 series consolation was won by Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett, $18.80) in a season's-best 1:51.2

Saturday night's $44,000 Open Trot was won by Smalltownthrowdown (Dube, $3.70) in a down-the-road 1:56.2.

Saturday's dozen-race total handle was $1,047,856.

Frank Drucker

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