Day At The Track

Pacing Major N looks to advance into Levy Series final

03:52 AM 10 Apr 2019 NZST
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Pacing Major N,Harness racing
Pacing Major N
Mike Lizzi photo

Peter Tritton's one-two punch in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series was reduced to one when a quarter crack sidelined past champion Bit Of A Legend N, but Pacing Major N could still carry the stable's banner into the April 20 championship at Yonkers Raceway.

Pacing Major N is 10th in points heading into Saturday's fifth-and-final preliminary round of the harness racing series, from which the top-eight horses advance to vie for the crown. There are four divisions Saturday, with Pacing Major N competing in the third. He meets four of the top seven in the standings: points-leader Western Fame as well as two-time prelim winners The Wall, More The Better N, and Rodeo Rock.

A horse receives 25 points each time he races in a preliminary round. Points are also awarded based on finish, with 50 points for a win, 25 for second, 12 for third, eight for fourth, and five for fifth. Pacing Major N is 16 points shy of eighth place and 25 points shy of sixth. More The Better N is 53 points clear in fifth.

Pacing Major N, a 6-year-old New Zealand-bred stallion by Art Major, had a win in the series on March 30 and finished third last week. He starts Saturday from post three with regular driver Jordan Stratton.

"He's our only chance at the moment; we've got to make do with what we've got," said Tritton, who trains Pacing Major N for owner Von Knoblauch Stable. "He's going good so we'll keep our fingers crossed.

"I've always had a good opinion of him. Yonkers is probably not his favorite track; I think he would be better on a bigger track. He had a bit of trouble getting around those corners and the first couple of runs he wasn't quite right. But we made a couple of changes and I think he's back to where he should be now. We expected that he'd go all right if we had him right. He's good now."

Tritton had high hopes for Bit Of A Legend N, also owned by Von Knoblauch Stable, but the 10-year-old stallion saw his participation in the series end after two rounds because of his hoof issue. Tritton expects the horse to return to the races within a month.

"He's still working, but we haven't trained him," Tritton said. "He's not too far away, I'm just being overly cautious with him because he's older now and I don't want to put too much stress on him. It's a shame. I think he was coming up every bit as good as ever. It's just bad timing. We've got to live with it."

Western Fame leads the Levy standings with 275 points thanks to his three wins and one second-place finish. He is followed by Ideal Jimmy with 250, JJ Flynn and The Wall with 233 each, More The Better N with 220, Anythingforlove A with 192, Rodeo Rock with 187, and Somewhere In LA with 183.

JJ Flynn is the only horse in the top 20 taking the week off. Ideal Jimmy, Anythingforlove A, and Somewhere In LA are in Saturday's fourth division, where the remaining five horses in the field are 25th or lower in the standings.

Leading the group on the outside looking in is ninth-place Bettors Fire N, with 170 points, followed by Pacing Major N (167), Endeavor (166), Lyons Steel (163), Gokudo Hanover (162), Imarocnrollegend N (158), The Downtown Bus (155), and Mac's Jackpot (150).

Bettors Fire N, Lyons Steel, Gokudo Hanover, Imarocnrollegend N, and The Downtown Bus all compete in Saturday's second division. Pacing Major N is joined in the third division by Endeavor and Mac's Jackpot.

The next three horses in the standings - I'm Some Graduate (143 points), Control Tower (137), and Dr J Hanover (137) - all are in the first division.

"The key to this series is you have to keep drawing well," Tritton said. "You've got to have that luck. That's what is good about the series, it's a little bit of luck too. It's good to give everybody a bit of a chance."

For Saturday's complete entries, click here. Racing begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT). For the Levy Series standings, click here.


Ken Weingartner

Media Relations Manager

U.S. Trotting Association

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