This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.; Courageous Lady, Northfield Park, Northfield, Ohio; W.N. Reynolds Memorial, Meadowlands Racetrack, East Rutherford, N.J.; and Dexter Cup elimination, Freehold Raceway, Freehold, N.J.
Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features the $567,000 final and the $100,000 consolation of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers, as well as the $371,400 final and $75,000 consolation in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. All four races will take place on Saturday (April 26).
Northfield Park on Friday night (April 25) will hold the $110,000 Courageous Lady for 3-year-old filly pacers. A field of six ladies will go to the post in the track’s 11th race.
Meadowlands Racetrack’s first Grand Circuit event of the season will take place on Saturday night (April 26) with the $49,015 W.N. Reynolds Memorial for 3-year-old male pacers.
Freehold Raceway will host on Saturday afternoon (April 26) a single $38,460 elimination for the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters. The $115,370 Dexter Cup final will be held on Saturday (May 3).
Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link.
Last time: Yonkers Raceway hosted the fifth and final preliminary round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Series this past weekend.
A pair of $40,000 Matchmaker divisions went postward. Series points leader Yagonnakissmeornot (Daniel Dube) did nothing to diminish her reputation, winning the opening event with a solid, two-move effort. She tackled Scandalous Hanover just past the 1:25 three-quarters, taking a short lead into the lane. Yagonnakissmeornot never relinquished the baton, winning by a length in 1:53.2. Camille closed inside for second, with Ramalama third.
Monkey On My Wheel (Yannick Gingras) authored the 13-1 upset in the second Matchmaker split, going by a tiring favorite Somwherovrarainbow in mid-stretch. Monkey On My Wheel then held off 75-1 rank outsider Summertime Lea by a head in 1:53.2. Somwherovrarainbow had to settle for third, beaten three-quarters of a length.
Foiled Again, harness racing’s richest-ever pacer, added nothing to his $6.1 million bankroll, winding up a non-factor sixth in the third and final $50,000 division of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series this past Saturday.
Starting outside his six rivals, he and driver Yannick Gingras had Mach It So leave directly inside of him. Foiled Again -- his place in this week’s final already secure -- took back to last and never reached contention. Meanwhile, stablemate Easy Again (George Brennan) won by a couple of lengths. Mach It So was a solid, first-up second, with Mr Hasani N third.
The evening’s other two Levy events were won by P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) and Dancin Yankee (Ron Pierce). The former, from post No. 6, left for a seat, wound up in a three-hole, then angled wide in and out of the final turn. He picked a dueling Clear Vision and Apprentice Hanover for the victory. The final margin was a length over Clear Vision in a life best-matching 1:51.1.
As for Dancin Yankee, he negated his outside seven-hole at the start, rebuffed a quarter-move from Bettor’s Edge and finished it off in 1:51, matching Foiled Again’s effort a week ago as the fastest mile of the series. The margin was 1-1/4 lengths, with Bettor’s Edge second and Texican N third.
Complete recaps of the weekend races are available at the Grand Circuit website.
Grand Circuit Standings: In 2014, the Grand Circuit leaders in three categories (driver, trainer and owner) will once again be tracked on a points system (20-10-5 for the top three finishers in divisions/finals and 10-5-2 for the top three finishers in eliminations/legs). Winbak Farms is the sponsor for the 2014 Grand Circuit awards.
Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers:
Owners: 1. Bamond Racing – 93.5; 2t. Burke Racing - 61.75; 2t. Weaver Bruscemi – 61.75; 4. Brad Grant – 22.5; 5. M1 Stable – 22.1.Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands Racetrack and Miami Valley Raceway. Freehold has the Lady Suffolk for 3-year-old filly trotters on Friday (May 2) and the Dexter Cup for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (May 3). Meadowlands Racetrack will host the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old filly pacers on Friday (May 2) and the John Simpson Stakes for 3-year-old colt pacers on Saturday (May 3). The first ever Grand Circuit races at Miami Valley Raceway, the Chip Noble Memorial for older pacing mares and the Miami Valley Distaff for older trotting mares, will take place on Sunday (May 4).
by Paul Ramlow, for the Grand Circuit