Day At The Track

Levy, Matchmaker series in Grand Circuit spotlight

01:24 AM 21 Mar 2019 NZDT
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This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series second legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y.

Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features four $40,000 divisions on Friday (March 22) in the second round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (March 23) card at Yonkers will see six $50,000 divisions in the second round of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers. Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link.

Last time: Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series for Free-For-Allers began Saturday night (March 16) with six $50,000 divisions.


Dan Dube posted his 9,000th career win with Western Fame. Mike Lizzi photo.

Say this much for Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's opener of the Levy. His open-length romp with favored Western Fame ($4.40) not only served as the 9,000th win of his career, but threw down the Free-For-All series gauntlet as the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season.

From post position four in the first division, Western Fame gave nothing else a shot through intervals of :27.1, :56.2 and 1:24.1. The two-length lead off the final turn became 5-3/4 lengths at the wire, helped by his fast feet and a scattering behind after a nasty break by Windsong Leo (George Brennan). Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett) avoided the happenstance to end up second, with Mach It So (Brent Holland), Lyons Steel (Mark MacDonald) and Don Domingo N (Matt Kakaley) settling for the remainder.

For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal co-owned by Go Fast Stable, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts.

Beware the Ides of March (Friday the 15th), provided you weren't mesmerized by the start of Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker. Five $40,000 groupings were consecutively contested, featuring the best pacing mares around.

Defending series champ Shartin N (Tim Tetrick, $2.20), began her purse season by fooling very few. From post No. 2, she found herself away third before finding the front. From there (:27.4, :56, 1:24.3, 1:52.2), she was a puny pari-mutuel proposition. Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett) made the first lead, yielded and missed, beaten a half-length. Bettorb Chevron N (Jordan Stratton) closed for third, with Dudesalady (Jim Marohn Jr.) and Mach It A Par (George (Brennan) settling for the small change.

For Shartin N, a 6-year-old Tintin in America Kiwi lass, co-owned by Tetrick, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King, she comes off a 19-for-24, million-dollar season.

Complete recaps of all the races are available at the Grand Circuit website.

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2019, 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 2019 Grand Circuit awards.

 

Here are the leaders following the opening weekend at Yonkers:

Drivers: 1t. Jason Bartlett - 22; 1t. Scott Zeron - 22; 3. George Brennan - 21; 4t. Joe Bongiorno - 20; 4t. Tim Tetrick - 20.

Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 20; 2. Ross Croghan - 15; 3t. Tony Alagna - 10; 3t. Rene Allard - 10; 3t. Jen Bongiorno - 10; 3t. Tahnee Camilleri - 10; 3t. Robert Cleary - 10; 3t. Dylan Davis - 10; 3t. Erv Miller - 10; 3t. Nifty Norman - 10; 3t. Nick Surick - 10.

Owners: 1. Robert Cooper Stables - 12.5; 2t. Tahnee Camilleri - 10; 2t. J L Benson Stables - 10; 2t. Enzed Racing Stable - 10; 2t. Brad Grant - 10; 2t. Royal Wire Products - 10; 2t. D R Van Witzenburg - 10; 2t. Wish Me Luck Stable - 10.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with legs of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy over the next three weekends. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20.

 

Paul Ramlow

Internet News Manager

U.S. Trotting Association

www.ustrotting.com | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

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