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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

Harness racing driver Daniel Dube is hoping for business as usual when Western Fame competes in Saturday's (April 20) $662,800 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series championship at Yonkers Raceway, where the 6-year-old stallion has won four of five starts in the event and led nearly every step of the way. He knows it might not be that easy. "I'd like to think I'm going to go around the track like I usually do but for big money somebody is going to take a shot," Dube said. Dube and Western Fame will start the Levy championship from post five. Western Fame has seven wins and two second-places finishes in his past 11 races at Yonkers. He finished seventh in last year's Levy final. For his career, Western Fame has won 20 of 73 starts and earned $1.15 million. He was trained by Jimmy Takter before heading to the stable of Rene Allard at the end of last year. Dube and Allard have teamed to win three of the past four Levy championships. "(Post) five is really good, it's a perfect spot for my horse. I'm happy with that," Dube said, adding about Western Fame's work in the series, "He's been doing it nice and easy. "He's got a lot of good qualities; he's quick off the gate and he's quick turning for home. He's just a nice horse. He's strong. I hope he keeps going that way. If he doesn't get sick or something he should be good." Western Fame finished the Levy's five preliminary rounds with a series-best 350 points. Ideal Jimmy was second with 325 points thanks to three wins and two seconds. But the 6-year-old gelding did not fare well in the draw and will start Saturday from post eight, which has produced only 14 winners in 508 tries (2.8 percent). Last week, Ideal Jimmy and driver Brent Holland started from post six in their preliminary division and led from start to finish. "He's razor sharp, but from (post) eight you've got to have a lot of luck," said Ideal Jimmy's trainer, Erv Miller. "It's pretty hard to get out of there on the lead from the eight hole, but you never know. We'll see what happens. "He's a very handy horse, which he showed the last start. He can do what he needs to do. He's been real good racing from behind too. We'll just have to see how it works out. He's really come into his own. He's really good now. He's real sharp for the final, but the eight hole makes it tough." Of the eight Levy finalists, all but two competed in all five of the prelims. JJ Flynn skipped last week's round and Rodeo Rock sat out April 6. Rodeo Rock, who starts Saturday from post six, returned last week with a second-place finish behind Western Fame. "I would have liked to draw a little bit closer (inside) but it's not a horrible position," said Andy McCarthy, who drives Rodeo Rock. "Hopefully things get mixed up pretty good the first half. I think that's a possibility. I don't know what (Holland) will do with Ideal Jimmy. He leaves the gate so fast, he might take a chance. "It could be a bit of a rush into that first turn. A lot of horses can leave fast and I think they're all going to try to push for a good position there early. I just hope they don't line up. I've got to hope they mix it up pretty good the first three-eighths of a mile and see what happens after that." Rodeo Rock won his first two rounds in the series before a third-place finish on March 30. "He was very good the first two weeks," McCarthy said. "I probably drove him bad that third week. I should have pushed off harder and tried to trip him out a little more, but I came first over. He got just a little tired at the end of the mile. "I thought he raced terrific last week. I had to come first up out of the third turn into a very fast back half and he didn't lose ground. He kept pacing." Racing at Yonkers begins at 6:50 p.m. (EDT). The Levy championship is race 11 on the card. The card also includes the $401,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker championship for older female pacers (race nine). For complete Saturday night entries, click here. Following is the field for the $662,800 George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing championship. PP-Horse-Driver-Trainer 1-Anythingforlove A        Joe Bongiorno - Jennifer Bongiorno 2-More The Better N       Scott Zeron - Ross Croghan 3-JJ Flynn                       Tim Tetrick - Josh Green 4-The Downtown Bus -   Tim Tetrick - Jeff Gillis 5-Western Fame             Dan Dube - Rene Allard 6-Rodeo Rock                 Andrew McCarthy-Robert Cleary 7-The Wall                      Andy Miller - Nick Surick 8-Ideal Jimmy                 Brent Holland - Erv Miller Ken Weingartner

YONKERS, N.Y. – Harness racing trainer Rene Allard knows how it feels to win the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Final. The trainer captured Yonkers Raceway’s richest pacing event in each of the last two years with Keystone Velocity and took the 2015 edition with Domethatagain. Allard will take aim at his third straight Levy victory and fourth overall when he sends out Western Fame in Saturday night’s $662,800 series final. The lead up to this year’s final has a distinct feel for Allard, however. His past winners were outsiders, or even longshots. Despite drawing post one, Domethatagain was 6-1 in the final after winning one preliminary leg and finishing second in another. Keystone Velocity pulled off an 11-1 surprise in winning his first Levy title and was a tepid 5-2 favorite last year after scoring just one victory in the preliminaries. Western Fame however, is expected to be a heavy favorite Saturday night. “I think it’s a lot of pressure, more pressure than usual because we’re going to have the favorite,” Allard said. “Having the favorite is always a little extra pressure, but I would rather be the favorite than the longest shot on the board. That means we have a good shot.” A fixture in the barn of Jimmy Takter since the beginning of his career, Western Fame won a division of the Bluegrass and eliminations of the Little Brown Jug and Breeders’ Crown and finished second in the Jug Final, Pennsylvania Sire Stakes Final, Tattersalls Pace, and Matron Stakes at 3. At 4, Western Fame captured the Prix d’Été and Confederation Cup and was third in the Graduate Final. After racing at the FFA level throughout 2018, Allard eyed the Western Ideal son for his stable. “I was looking, trying to find a horse to replace Keystone Velocity. He was going to stud to breed and retire and I was looking for one in that age group,” Allard explained. “I obviously didn’t think McWicked and a couple of those other ones would be for sale, but I thought this one might come up for sale because I knew Jimmy was retiring. I contacted them and said, ‘if this horse ever comes up for sale, let me know.’ ” About a month later, Allard’s phone rang. Western Fame was for sale. Allard agreed on a price, and the deal was complete. “Everything happened pretty fast,” Allard added. Western Fame made a favorable impression from the moment he arrived in the barn. His intelligence and professionalism impressed his new trainer, who owns the stallion in partnership with Go Fast Stable, Stephen Klunowski, B And I Stable, and Gilbert Short. “Classy horses like him are definitely pleasant to be around. He’s a good horse to be around, very smart horse, obviously Takter did a great job with him throughout his career,” Allard said. “Everything he does, he does it right. Working around fast horses, those are the ones I like to work around the best. I don’t mind if they have issues, but if they have speed, that’s half the battle.” Western Fame made his first start for Allard December 2, 2018 when he captured the $100,000 Potomac Pace at Rosecroft Raceway. After a winter break, Western Fame qualified back at Yonkers February 2 before making his seasonal debut March 9 in the Open Handicap at Saratoga. Although he finished third in that start, he was rough around the final turn as he made a bid to circle the field. “The first start this year, he was struggling a little bit in the turns,” Allard said. “We changed his shoeing and did a couple adjustments to his equipment and he’s been super ever since. We changed his shoes, we have spreaders on him, and he’s been really good since.” Western Fame put his Levy rivals on notice with a first-leg blowout win March 17. He scored in wire-to-wire fashion by 5 ¾ lengths in 1:51.1, pacing a final quarter in :27. After a runner-up finish in week two, Western Fame returned to his dominant ways, taking legs three, four, and five by 2, 5 ½, and 1 ¾ lengths, respectively. Western Fame kicked home in :27 in his last two starts and his fourth-leg victory came in 1:50.4, equaling the season’s mark at Yonkers. “We knew he was a good horse. He’s won a lot of races at the highest level, so we thought he’d be a nice horse to have for the aged pacing stakes, but he’s really gone beyond our expectations. He’s been really good,” Allard said. Western Fame drew post position five in the rich Levy Series Final and is expected to be a heavy favorite off his dominance in the preliminaries. However, fellow leavers The Downtown Bus, JJ Flynn, and Anythingforlove all drew inside the series leader. Allard will leave the race tactics to regular driver Dan Dube, who piloted both Keystone Velocity and Domethatagain to their Levy wins. “I think the horse can be driven any way. Throughout his career, he’s done it from every spot, so I don’t think he’s only one way,” Allard said. “But I believe Dube is probably going to be pretty aggressive being the favorite in there. “Western Fame has been super since we purchased him. He’s ultra-consistent and I expect him to be right there on Saturday again,” Allard continued. “He looks good, feels good. Any time you go for that kind of money on a half-mile track, it’s never easy. It’s not going to be easy, so hopefully everything goes well, and we’ll keep our fingers crossed and hope for the best.” For Allard, winning the Levy carries meaning beyond the purse money. He considers Yonkers his home track; he was leading trainer in 2015, 2016, and 2018 and currently tops the trainer standings. Last year, Allard made nearly half of his 1,717 starts at the Hilltop. “Yonkers is the racetrack that I race at the most and this is the biggest race of the year for us there. I haven’t had a chance to have a trotter in the International yet, maybe one day, but the Levy is a race that anyone who races at Yonkers wants to win,” Allard said. “It makes it extra special; that’s our track that we race at, we’re there every night. It means a lot to win that race, it would mean a lot to get it done. “Last time we won, I think I had Dube on top of my shoulders,” Allard continued. “Every time we win, the party gets a little crazier and crazier. We celebrate; that’s one thing that we do with Team Allard is we try to have fun. You live only once, so we try to live right.” The field for the Levy Series Final is listed below: Post Position   Horse   Driver  Trainer  1       Anythingforlove A         Joe Bongiorno             Jenn Bongiorno 2       More The Better N       Scott Zeron                  Ross Croghan 3       JJ Flynn                       Tim Tetrick*                  Josh Green 4       The Downtown Bus     Tim Tetrick*                 Jeff Gillis 5       Western Fame             Dan Dube                    Rene Allard 6       Rodeo Rock                 Andrew McCarthy       Robert Cleary 7       The Wall                       Andy Miller                  Nick Surick 8       Ideal Jimmy                  Brent Holland               Erv Miller Driver choice to be announced. Saturday night’s card also features the $401,600 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series Final, the $100,000 Levy Series Consolation, the $75,000 Matchmaker Series Consolation, and a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here.  Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series finals and consolations, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features the $662,800 final and the $100,000 consolation of the George Morton Levy series for open pacers, as well as the $401,600 final and $75,000 consolation in the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. All four races will take place on Saturday (April 20). Complete entries for the races can be found by clicking on this link. Last time: Ideal Jimmy and Western Fame have raced with distinction throughout the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Saturday night (April 13) was no exception. The tandem each handily won their respective Yonkers Raceway event. All told, four $50,000 Free-For-All forays were carded. Western Fame added another victory to his Levy Series resume. Mike Lizzi photo. Odds-on Western Fame (Dan Dube, $2.30) - from post position four - stole a cheap second subsection (:27, :56.2, 1:24, 1:51) en route to victory. He disposed of a gallant Rodeo Rock (Andy McCarthy) by 1-3/4 lengths. That one tried to leave, was forced to settle third, then fought the good, first-up fight into a :54.3 back half. More The Better N (Scott Zeron), Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) and Endeavor (Jason Bartlett) picked off the small change. Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Idealowned by Go Fast Stable, B & I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, is now 4-for-6 this season (4-for-5 in the Levy). At no point in the eight furlongs did Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $5.60) look anything except the easiest of winners. From post position six, he aired (:27.2, :57.1, 1:25.1, season's-best 1:52) by open lengths, while under severe restraint. Ideal Jimmy took down Ballerat Boomerang (Tim Tetrick) by 3-1/2 lengths. Rockin Ron (Matt Kakaley) was third after missing four weeks, with a pocket-tiring, 7-5 choice Anythingthingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno) and Somebaddude (George Brennan) also earning appearance coin. For second choice Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old son homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenburg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his sixth win in 13 2019 tries (3-for-5 in Levy). Complete recaps of the weekend 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 this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 126; 2. George Brennan - 90; 3. Jason Bartlett - 77; 4. Scott Zeron - 68; 5. Matt Kakaley - 63. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 82; 2. Rene Allard - 57; 3. Ron Burke - 53; 4t. Tony Alagna - 41; 4t. Richard Banca - 41. Owners: 1. D R Van Witzenburg - 40; 2. Brad Grant - 34.3; 3. Robert Cooper Stables - 32.8; 4. Jo Ann Looney-King - 30; 5. J L Benson Stables - 27.5. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will take place next weekend at Freehold Raceway, with $40,000 (est.) Dexter Cup eliminations (if necessary) for 3-year-old open trotters on Saturday (April 27). Paul Ramlow  

YONKERS, NY, Monday, April 15, 2019-After five preliminary rounds, post positions have been drawn for Yonkers Raceway's harness racing finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Both go this Saturday night (Apr. 20th), worth $401,600 and $662,800, respectively, by far 2019's richest North American races to date. Post time for the 12-race card is the usual 6:50 PM, with the co-features presented as race 9 (Matchmaker) and 11 (Levy). The 11th edition of the Matchmaker autodrew as such for the Free-For-All pacing mares... 1-Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley), 2-Apple Bottom Jeans (Corey Callahan), 3-Feelin' Red Hot (George Brennan), 4-Don't Think Twice A (Jason Bartlett), 5-Bettor Joy N (Dexter Dunn), 6-Shartin N (Tim Tetrick), 7-Ideal Lifestyle A (Driver TBA), 8-Seaswift Joy N (Jim Marohn Jr.). Shartin N is the defending champ. It's the 32nd Levy, a Free-For-All for the boys again honoring the memory of the Hall of Fame Founder of Roosevelt Raceway. The roster reads as such... 1-Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno), 2-More the Better N (Scott Zeron), 3-JJ Flynn (Tetrick), 4-The Downtown Bus (Tetrick also listed), 5-Western Fame (Dan Dube), 6-Rodeo Rock (Andrew McCarthy), 7-The Wall (Andy Miller), 8-Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland). Dube goes for a Levy hat trick, having won (with trainer Rene Allard) the last couple with the now-retired Keystone Velocity. All 16 finalists race uncoupled. Saturday's card also includes series consolations, going for $75,000 (Matchmaker, 8th race) and $100,000 (Levy, 10th race), along with a pair of $50,000 events for Levy eligibles (races 4 and 6).   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity Yonkers, NY 10704

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fifth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 12) in the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 13) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the fifth and final 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 Blue Chip Matchmaker saw its fourth preliminary round conducted over Friday night's (April 5) 'sloppy' surface. Three $40,000 groupings of Free-For-All mares went at it, down one from a week ago. Shartin N was a 1:54.2 winner on April 5.  Shartin N, the defending series champ (Tim Tetrick, $2.20) was (from post four) the lone leaver, with a highly-predictable result (:28.3, :57.4, 1:26.2, 1:54.2). The margin was a length. Second went to a pole-protecting Kaitlyn N (Matt Kakaley), while Medusa (Jason Bartlett) sat third and wound up there. Sell A Bit N (Jordan Stratton) and a first-up Freakonomics (Scott Zeron) settled for the smallest envelopes. Second choice Seaswift Joy N (Jim Marohn Jr.) could not get involved from behind the eight-ball. For Shartin N, a 6-year-old Tintin In America miss co-owned by her driver, Richard Poillucci and Jo Ann Looney-King and trained by Jim King Jr., it was her third win in four seasonal/series starts. Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (April 6) hosted the next-to-last preliminary get-together of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four $50,000 Free-For All events were carded, one fewer than a week ago. Odds-on Western Fame (Dan Dube, $2.40) restored some normal to the gathering with an as-expected romp (:27.2, :56, 1:23.4, 1:50.4). From post three, the series points leader drilled his foes by 5-1/2 lengths, a personal '19 best and matching Lyons Steel for the fastest Westchester mile of the Levy and season. Gokudo Hanover (George Brennan) was a very loosely-pocketed second, with Rock The Nite (Mark MacDonald), Somewhere In L A (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Joe Bongiorno) earning the minor moolah. Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast Stable, B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, is now three-for-five this season (three-for-four in Levy). Complete recaps of the weekend 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 this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick - 112; 2. George Brennan - 83; 3. Jason Bartlett - 67; 4. Scott Zeron - 56; 5. Matt Kakaley - 46. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. - 77; 2. Rene Allard - 42; 3. Ron Burke - 39; 4t. Ross Croghan - 34; 4t. Andrew Harris - 34. Owners: 1. D R Van Witzenburg - 30; 2. Robert Cooper Stables - 28.3; 3. Jo Ann Looney-King - 27.5; 4t. J L Benson Stables - 25; 4t. Richard Poillucci - 25. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the finals and consolations of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy on April 20. Paul Ramlow

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 www.ustrotting.com

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 6, 2019-Fourth round, four divisions, go 'fourth'. Get the picture? Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (Apr. 6th) hosted the next-to-last preliminary get-together of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 Free-For All harness racing events were carded, one fewer than a week ago. Here's the vivid re-enactment... First division-There weren't many styles point for odds-on JJ Flynn (Tim Tetrick, $3.80), but he did last (:26.4, :57, 1:24.2; 1:52.2) from post position No. 4. After looping Endeavor (Jason Bartlett) early, he held off a second-over Major Crocker A (Dan Dube) by a neck, with a first-up Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) said third. I'marocnrollegend N (Scott Zeron) and Always at My Place (George Brennan) settled for the remainder. Endeavor lost touch and finished sixth of seven. For JJ Flynn, a 6-year-old Western Ideal gelding co-owned by (trainer) Josh Green, Richard Lombardo and Charles Cochran III, it was his seventh win in 10 seasonal starts (2-for-4 in Levy). The exacta paid $17.60, the triple returned $54 and the superfecta paid $204.50. "I had to use (JJ Flynn) more than I wanted," Tetrick said. 'Even last week, as soon as I made the lead, they came at me, but he raced well. They went in (1):50 and change (Lyons Steel's 1:50.4), so I've been very happy with him."   Second division-A week after some noticeable traffic issues, Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing, $19.40) was left to his own devices, and promptly made 'em play. From post No. 5, he went the distance (:27.4, :57.4, 1:25.4, 1:53.2), whipping pole-sitting, 2-1 choice Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno) by a three-quarters of a length. More the Better N (Zeron) and Nocturnal Bluechip (Tetrick) came away with the minors For sixth choice Bettor's Fire N, an 11-year-old Down Under Bettor's Delight gelding co-owned by his driver, Kevin Sywyk & Frank Ranaldi and trained by Heidi Gibbs, he's now 2-for-9 this season (1-for-4 in Levy). The exacta paid $67.50, the triple returned $508 and the superfecta paid $4,631.   Third division-The last time there were equally-insane early substations of :26.4 here? Hard-pressed to remember one, so it was no surprise that after a :53.3 intermission, neither tepid 2-1 fave The Downtown Bus (Zeron) nor Lyons Steel (Stratton) were around to tell about it. The former, after getting trapped in the pocket a week ago, was bent on taking no prisoners this time. The speed summarily surrendered around the 1:22 three-quarters, as Mar Nien A (Greg Merton) took his turn as a short-term leader. When the stonedust settled, a from-last The Wall (Bongiorno, $31.60)-from post No. 5--snapped Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland), winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2, matching a life-best effort. Somebaddude (Brennan), Bettor Memories (Bartlett) and Mar Nien A also made appearance fees. For fifth choice The Wall, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by J L Benson Stables and trained by Nick Surick, it was his second win in a 11 seasonal starts (2-for-4 in Levy). The exacta paid $146.50, the triple returned $1,977 and the superfecta paid $2,602. "I couldn't believe how fast they were going," Bongiorno said. "No way I could even keep up. The way the race developed, I thought I'd be second to Ideal Jimmy. I didn't know how he'd do after competing in non-winners of $20,000, but he's been solid the whole series."   Fourth division-Odds-on Western Fame (Dube, $2.40) restored some normal to the gathering with an as-expected romp (;27.2, 56., 1:23.4, 1:50.4). From post No, 3, the series points leader drilled his foes by 5½ lengths, a personal '19 best and matching Lyons Steel for the fastest Westchester mile of the Levy and season. Western Fame                              -Mike Lizzi photo Gokudo Hanover (Brennan) was a very loosely-pocketed second, with Rock the Nite (Mark MacDonald), Somewhere in L A (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Bongiorno) earning the minor moolah. 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, he's now 3-for-5 this season (2-for-4 in Levy). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5, the triple returned $45.80 and the superfecta paid $109. The series standings, as dutifully compiled by Bob (OUTP) Miecuna, accompany this release. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by an odds-on In Secret (Brennan, $3.30) in a season's-best 1:54.4, matching the fastest local trot mile of 2019.   Frank Drucker Director of Publicity Yonkers

Harness Racing This Week: Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series fourth legs, Yonkers Raceway, Yonkers, N.Y. Schedule of events: The Grand Circuit at Yonkers this week features three $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 5) in the fourth round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 6) card at Yonkers will see four $50,000 divisions in the fourth 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: Jordan Stratton’s Saturday night (March 30) at Yonkers Raceway began with a bummer, as former George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series winner Bit Of A Legend N was scratched with what trainer Peter Tritton described as “a serious quarter crack. It’s going to take some time.” Undaunted, Stratton won two of the evening’s five $50,000 third-round events, both with certified Free-For-All bombardiers. A second-over, 67-1 Pacing Major N — from post position No. 3 — held off a third-over, 58-1 The Wall (Joe Bongiorno) by a half-length in 1:52.3. The race unfolded with The Downtown Bus (Scott Zeron), a winner from fourth-over a week ago, leaping over his six inside rivals to make the first lead. He looped 3-5 favorite Endeavor (Tim Tetrick), the latter eventually moving past right at the :27.1 opening quarter-mile. It was a speedy :55.3 intermission before Beckham’s Z Tam (Jim Marohn Jr.) moved from third. Pacing Major N latched on to that tow, getting in range by the 1:24.2 three-quarters as Endeavor was being chased along. Endeavor owned a diminishing length lead on the final turn, but company was coming. After the rank outsiders finished 1-2, Major Crocker A (Dan Dube), Endeavor and a shuffled The Downtown Bus rounded out the payees. For seventh choice Pacing Major N, a 6-year-old son of Art Major owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Tritton, it was his first board finish in six seasonal starts/three Levy tries. What goes around comes around. Last week, JJ Flynn (George Brennan) was 20-1 as went he went up and over an odds-on Western Fame. This time around 10-1 Lyons Steel — from post No. 4 — went up and over 1-4 JJ Flynn (Tetrick this week) after that one’s early intervals of :27 and :55.3. Lyons Steel then threw down a :26.4 third quarter (1:22.4), opening 4-1/2 lengths in and out of the final turn. The final margin, over JJ Flynn, was the same 4-1/2 lengths in 1:50.4, fastest local mile of the season and matching his 2019 and life-best effort. Control Tower (Austin Siegelman), Always At My Place (Brennan) and Bellow’s Binge (Jason Bartlett) settled for the remainder. Third choice Lyons Steel, a 4-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Bryan Dzugan and trained by Dennis Watson, is now 2-for-9 this season (1-for-3 in Levy). “I’ve always thought (Pacing Major N) had the ability, but he tends to crossfire (hit right rear and left front legs) on the last turn,” Stratton said. “He didn’t have any problem tonight and the trip couldn’t have been better. “I didn’t know anything about (Lyons Steel) other than he’s beaten my horses a few times here in some non-winners races. I just asked him down the back and he put them away.” Complete recaps of the weekend 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 this past weekend at Yonkers: Drivers: 1. Tim Tetrick – 82; 2. George Brennan – 71; 3. Jason Bartlett – 55; 4. Scott Zeron – 52; 5. Matt Kakaley – 39. Trainers: 1. Jim King Jr. – 57; 2. Ron Burke – 32; 3. Ross Croghan – 30; 4. Tony Alagna – 29; 5. Rene Allard – 27. Owners: 1. Robert Cooper Stables – 26.3; 2. D R Van Witzenburg – 25; 3. Brad Grant – 23.8; 4. Royal Wire Products – 22; 5. Jo Ann Looney-King – 20.9. Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the final leg of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy next weekend. The finals and consolations for both events will be held on April 20. Paul Ramlow Internet News Manager

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 30, 2019 - Seriously, who saw this coming? Harness racing driver Jordan Stratton's Saturday night (March 30th) began with a bummer, as former George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series winner Bit of a Legend N was scratched with what trainer Peter Tritton described as "a serious quarter crack. It's going to take some time." Undaunted, Stratton won two of the evening's five, $50,000 third-round events, both with certified Free-For-All bombardiers at Yonkers Raceway. Here's what happened in not quite real-time, with none of the names redacted... First division - A second-over, 67-1 Pacing Major N (Stratton, $136.50)-from post position No. 3-held off a third-over, 58-1 The Wall (by Joe Bongiorno) by a half-length in 1:52.3. The race unfolded with The Downtown Bus (Scott Zeron), a winner from fourth-over a week ago, leaping over his six inside rivals to make the first lead. He looped 3-5 favorite Endeavor (Tim Tetrick), the latter eventually moving past right at the :27.1 opening quarter-mile. It was a speedy :55.3 intermission before Beckham's Z Tam (Jim Marohn Jr.) moved from third. Pacing Major N latched on to that tow, getting in range by the 1:24.2 three-quarters as Endeavor was being chased along. Endeavor owned a diminishing length lead of the final turn, but company was coming. After the rank outsiders finished 1-2. Major Crocker A (Dan Dube), Endeavor and a shuffled 'Bus' rounded out the payees. For seventh choice Pacing Major N, a 6-year-old son of Art Major owned by Von Knoblauch Stables and trained by Tritton, it was his first board finish in six seasonal starts/three Levy tries. The exacta paid $1,630, the triple returned $15,607 (both local exotic highs) and the superfecta paid $16,299 (base $2 ticket, 10-cent ticket worth $814.95). Second division - Western Fame (Dube, $4.20), from post No, 5, went around Dr. J Hanover (Tetrick), then went the distance (:27.1, :56.2, 1:24.2, 1:51.4). He whipped that pursuer by a comfortable couple of lengths, with Rodeo Rock (Andrew McCarthy) a first-up third. Nocturnal Bluechip (Zeron) and Luciano N (Brent Holland) completed the cashers. For tepid (by $27) second choice, 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 second win in four seasonal tries (2-for-3 in Levy). The exacta paid $28.20, the triple returned $50 and the superfecta paid $142.50. Third division - What goes around comes around. Last week, JJ Flynn (George Brennan) was 20-1 went he went up and over an odds-on Western Fame. This time, around 10-1 Lyons Steel (Stratton, $22.40)-from post No. 4-went up and over 1-4 JJ Flynn (Tetrick this week) after that one's early intervals of :27 and :55.3. Lyons Steel then threw down a :26.4 third quarter (1:22.4), opening 4½ lengths in and out of the final turn. The final margin, over JJ Flynn, was the same 4½ lengths in 1:50.4...fastest local mile of the season and matching his 2019 and life-best effort. Control Tower (Austin Siegelman), Always at My Place (Brennan) and Bellow's Binge (Jason Bartlett) settled for the remainder. For third choice Lyons Steel, a 4-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Bryan Dzugan and trained by Dennis Watson, he's now 2-for-9 this season (1-for-3 in Levy). The exacta paid $76, the triple returned $246.50 and the superfecta paid $572. "I've always thought (Pacing Major N) had the ability, but he tends to crossfire (hit right rear and left front legs) on the last turn," Stratton said. "He didn't have any problem tonight and the trip couldn't have been better. "I didn't know anything about (Lyons Steel), other than he's beaten my horses a few times here some non-winners races. I just asked him down the back and he put them away." Lyons Steel Fourth division - Pocketed from post No. 2, tepid choice More the Better N (Zeron, $6.30) stalked pole-sitting leader Anythingforlove A (Bongiorno) through subsections of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:23.4. The leader was tiring as More the Better N edged out and went by. He defeated a second-over I'm Some Graduate (Matt Kakaley) by a half-length in a season's-best 1:52.1. Anythingforlove A, Bettor's Fire (Ron Cushing) and Duplicated N (Tetrick) were relegated to the minor moolah. For More the Better N, a 6-year-old son of Bettor's Delight owned by Robert Cooper Stables and trained by Ross Croghan, it was his second win in a pair of seasonal starts (2-for-3 in Levy). The exacta paid $24.40, the triple returned $149.50 and the superfecta paid $530. Fifth division - Pole-sitting Mac's Jackpot (Kakaley, $7.30) went first-up from third, disposing of early (:26.3, :56.1) leader Windsong Leo (Brennan) before that one subsequently stopped. 'Mac' then found a 1:24.1 three-quarters, opened a pair of lengths in the lane, then off a fast-closing Ideal Jimmy (Holland) by a neck in 1:52.4. Rodeo Romeo (Bartlett), Rockathon (Marohn Jr.) and Lockton Luck A (Tetrick) picked off the remainder. For second choice Mac's Jackpot, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Howard & Michael Ouriel and trained by Jeff Smith. he's now 1-for-4 this season (1-for-3 in Levy). The exacta paid $33, the triple returned $99 and the superfecta paid $388. The series standings, as dutifully compiled by Bob (OUTP) Miecuna, accompany this release. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a repeating New Heaven (Stratton, $16.80) in a season's-best 1:55.1. "I hope (trainer) Eric (Abbatiello) stays at the Meadowlands," Stratton said a week after he won this race at 31-1. Yonkers Raceway George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series 2019           March 31, 2019                      Name 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg 25 pts/start Total    Western Fame 50 25 50     75 200.0 Ideal Jimmy 50 50 25     75 200.0 Rodeo Rock 50 50 12     75 187.0 More The Better N 50 8 50     75 183.0 The Wall 50 8 25     75 158.0 JJ Flynn 8 50 25     75 158.0 Mac's Jackpot 25 0 50     75 150.0 Somewhere In L A 25 50 0     75 150.0 Anythingforlove A 50 5 12     75 142.0 Endeavor 8 50 8     75 141.0 Lyons Steel 8 5 50     75 138.0 Pacing Major N 5 0 50     75 130.0 The Downtown Bus 0 50 5     75 130.0 Imarocnrollegend N 25 25 0     75 125.0 Duplicated N 25 12 5     75 117.0 I'm Some Graduate 5 8 25     75 113.0 Dr J Hanover 0 12 25     75 112.0 Control Tower 0 25 12     75 112.0 Gokudo Hanover 12 25 0     75 112.0 Rodeo Romeo 12 12 12     75 111.0 Beckhams Z Tam 8 25 0     75 108.0 Lockton Luck A 0 25 5     75 105.0 Bellows Binge 8 12 5     75 100.0 Mach Doro A 25 0 0     75 100.0 Bettors Fire N 12 0 8     75 95.0 Luciano N 12 0 5     75 92.0 Don Domingo N 5 12 0     75 92.0 Always At My Place 0 8 8     75 91.0 Rockathon 5 0 8     75 88.0 Ballerat Boomerang 5 8 0     75 88.0 Rock The Nite 0 12 0     75 87.0 Mach It So 12 0 0     75 87.0 Sams A Champ A 5 0 0     75 80.0 Whittaker N 0 5 0     75 80.0 Somebaddude 25 0       50 75.0 Major Crocker A   5 12     50 67.0 Nocturnal Bluechip   8 8     50 66.0 Micky Gee N 12 0       50 62.0 Bettor Memories 0 5       50 55.0 Mar Nien A 0 5       50 55.0 Windsong Leo 0   0     50 50.0 Bit Of A Legend N 0 0       50 50.0 Rockin Ron 8         25 33.0 Billy Badger N     0     25 25.0 Christen Me N 0         25 25.0 Cruise Patrol 0         25 25.0 Military Master A 0         25 25.0 Weona Sizzler A 0         25 25.0 Funknwaffles           0 0.0 ADDED MONEY 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg Nom. Fees Total      $45,000 $41,000 $38,000 $0 $0 $280,000 $404,000               $200,000             Total $604,000 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 23, 2019 - Saturday night's (March 23rd) night second round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series didn't do a whole lot to establish a clear harness racing favorite, though some of the contenders did indeed state their cases. Another happy half-dozen, $50,000, Free-For-All groups were contested, with a pair of repeaters leading the way. Here's the succinct story, not necessarily in chronological order... Second division - Odds-on Rodeo Rock (Andrew McCarthy, $3.50)-from post position No. 5--'ran down' loose leader Gokudo Hanover (George Brennan), prevailing first-up by a head in 1:52.1. The 13-1 latter had open lengths through intervals of -:26.4, :56.1 and 1:24. Rock the Nite (Mark MacDonald), More the Better N (Scott Zeron) and Major Crocker A (Dan Dube) picked off the remainder, while an amiss Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) lost touch from a pole-sitting pocket and finished sixth. For Rodeo Rock, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Royal Wire Products and trained by Robert Cleary, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (2-for-2 in series). The exacta paid $22.60, the triple returned $201 and the superfecta paid $459.50. "I was hoping Scotty (Zeron, with More the Better N would pull from third, but he was happy where he was and just had to go on with it," McCarthy said. "It was a long way (from fifth) in the wind, but he was actually more comfortable tonight than in last week's race." Fourth division - After wiring his opening-leg rivals at 9-1, favored Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $4.10) had a more acquaintances at the windows. From post No. 3, it couldn't have been less simple (:28, :57.4, 1:26, 1:53.3), going the distance by 3¼ lengths. Polester Lochton Luck A (Matt Kakaley), as the 29-1 outsider, and three-hole sitting Bellow's Binge (Jason Bartlett) finished the tickets, while Always at My Place (Brennan) and Bettor Memories (Jim Marohn Jr.) settled for the remainder. For Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenberg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his fifth win in eight'19 tries (2-for-2 in series). The exacta paid $49, the triple returned $136 and the superfecta paid $1,379. "I thought he should have been the favorite last week," Holland said "He's very handy and I'm not surprised he's stepped up in this series." JJ Flynn First division - A week after Western Fame (Dube) traversed the fastest local mile (1:51.1) of the season, he was 15-cents-on-the-dollar to do it again. JJ Flynn (Brennan, $43) was not impressed. After Western Fame led through early fractions of :27.1 and :56.2, JJ Flynn moved-with purpose-from post No. 4. He hooked Western Fame by the 1:24 three-quarters, fighting him off from there. The final margin was three-quarters of a length in a sharp 1:51.3. Duplicated N (Tim Tetrick) was a pocket third, with Ballerat Boomerang (Joe Bongiorno) and Lyons Steel (MacDonald) also making appearance fees. For fourth choice JJ Flynn, a 6-year-old Western Ideal gelding co-owned by (trainer) Josh Green, Richard Lombardo and Charles Cochran III, he's now 6-for-8 this season (1-for-2 in series). The exacta paid $119.50, the triple returned $191 and the superfecta paid $362.50. Third division - Anythingforlove A (Bongiorno) saw his quest for the series two-fer implode from pole-sitting Endeavor (Tetrick, $4.90) pulled from third and rolled right past. The former offered early foot (:27.3, :57.1), but was backpedaling buy the 1:25 three-quarters. Endeavor, meanwhile, opened a pair of lengths in and out of the final turn, eventually winning by 2¼ lengths in 1:52.4. Control Tower (Austin Siegelman) was a loose-second-up second, with a trapped Dr. J Hanover (McCarthy), Nocturnal Bluechip (Zeron) and the fading 11-10 fave Anythingforlove A settling for the minors. For second choice Endeavor, a 6-year-old American Ideal gelding co-owned by (trainer) Jeff Cullipher and Pollack Racing, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal/series starts. The exacta paid $24.40, the triple returned $149.50 and the superfecta paid $530. Fifth division - The Downtown Bus (Zeron, $17.20) took the always-popular fourth-over route to redemption, snapping 11-10 choice Beckham's Z Tam (Tetrick) by a head in 1:53.1. The closers, from post Nos. 5 and 3, respectively, had numbers to chase after Sam's a Champ A (MacDonald) set a contested pace (:26.1, :55.3, 1:23.4) after getting stung early and softened by a first-up The Wall (Bongiorno). Rodeo Romeo (Bartlett) was an outkicked third, with The Wall and Whittaker N (Holland) grabbing the smaller envelopes. For fifth choice The Downtown Bus, a 4-year-old Mach Three gelding co-owned by (trainer) Jeff Gillis and Ellen Ott, he's now 1-for-2 this season/series. The exacta paid $90.50, the triple returned $196.50 and the superfecta paid $540. Sixth division - A two-speed number, where second choice Somewhere in L A (Bartlett, $6.10) edged past just-over-even-money I'marocnrollegend N (Brennan) in 1:53.1. Pocketed from post No. 4, 'L A' earned a 40th career win, the margin three-quarters of a length. Don Domingo N (Stratton) was a ground-saving third, with I'm Some Graduate (Kakaley) and Mar Nien A (Greg Merton) earning the remainder of available coinage. For Somewhere in L A, an 8-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by D'Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P & Gandolfo Stables and trained by Richard Banca, it was his second win in five seasonal efforts (1-for-2 in series). The exacta paid $14.60, the triple returned $126.50 and the superfecta paid $572. The series standings, as dutifully compiled by Bob (OUTP) Miecuna, accompany this release. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by 31-1 rank outsider New Heaven (Stratton, $64) in a season's-best 1:55.3.     Yonkers Raceway     George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series     2019           March 24, 2019                     Order        Name 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg 25 pts/start Total    1   Ideal Jimmy 50 50       50 150.0 2   Rodeo Rock 50 50       50 150.0 3   Somewhere In L A 25 50       50 125.0 4   Western Fame 50 25       50 125.0 5   Endeavor 8 50       50 108.0 6   JJ Flynn 8 50       50 108.0 7   More The Better N 50 8       50 108.0 8   The Wall 50 8       50 108.0 9   Anythingforlove A 50 5       50 105.0 10   Imarocnrollegend N 25 25       50 100.0 11   The Downtown Bus 0 50       50 100.0 12   Duplicated N 25 12       50 87.0 13   Gokudo Hanover 12 25       50 87.0 14   Beckhams Z Tam 8 25       50 83.0 15   Control Tower 0 25       50 75.0 16   Lockton Luck A 0 25       50 75.0 17   Mach Doro A 25 0       50 75.0 18   Mac's Jackpot 25 0       50 75.0 19   Somebaddude 25 0       50 75.0 20   Rodeo Romeo 12 12       50 74.0 21   Bellows Binge 8 12       50 70.0 22   Don Domingo N 5 12       50 67.0 23   Ballerat Boomerang 5 8       50 63.0 24   I'm Some Graduate 5 8       50 63.0 25   Lyons Steel 8 5       50 63.0 26   Bettors Fire N 12 0       50 62.0 27   Dr J Hanover 0 12       50 62.0 28   Luciano N 12 0       50 62.0 29   Mach It So 12 0       50 62.0 30   Micky Gee N 12 0       50 62.0 31   Rock The Nite 0 12       50 62.0 32   Always At My Place 0 8       50 58.0 33   Bettor Memories 0 5       50 55.0 34   Mar Nien A 0 5       50 55.0 35   Pacing Major N 5 0       50 55.0 36   Rockathon 5 0       50 55.0 37   Sams A Champ A 5 0       50 55.0 38   Whittaker N 0 5       50 55.0 39   Bit Of A Legend N 0 0       50 50.0 40   Nocturnal Bluechip   8       25 33.0 41   Rockin Ron 8         25 33.0 42   Major Crocker A   5       25 30.0 43   Christen Me N 0         25 25.0 44   Cruise Patrol 0         25 25.0 45   Military Master A 0         25 25.0 46   Weona Sizzler A 0         25 25.0 47   Windcong Leo 0         25 25.0 48   Funknwaffles           0 0.0     ADDED MONEY 1st Leg 2nd Leg 3rd Leg 4th Leg 5th Leg Nom. Fees Total          $45,000 $41,000 $0 $0 $0 $280,000 $366,000                   $200,000                 Total $566,000 Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 16, 2019 - Saturday night's (March 16th) opening round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series offered a fair amount of form and a fair amount of 'huh?' among the Free-For-Allers, A half-dozen, $50,000 groups were contested in succession. Here's the 'wrap' sheet... First division  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 (March 16th) opener of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. 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 No. 4 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 5¾ 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 and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967. The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horses of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million. :"He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile," Dube said. "I thought he'd race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn't worried about it. "I'm obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I'd have the success I've had." Second division Odds-on Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno, $2.70)-from post No. 3-who'd been doing his damage up front, sat pocketed to the returning Rockin' Ron (Kakaley). The latter led through intervals of :27.4, 57.2 and 1:25.1, with his stalker pulling early. Anythingforlove A finally dispatched the leader, then held off Somebaddude (Andy McCarthy) by three-quarters of a length in 1:53.4. Luciano A (Brennan) was third, with a tiring Rockin' Ron and Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) rounding out the payees. For Anythingforlove A, a 7-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Wish Me Luck Stables and trained by Jennifer Bongiorno, it was his fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $11.80, the triple returned $45 and the superfecta paid $228. "I was happy to sit behind Rockin' Ron," Joe Bongiorno said. "(Anythingforlove A) can't be on the lead every week against these horses, so if I could get him an easier trip, I did." Third division Pole-sitting Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland, $20) went the distance (:27.4, 57.2, 1:24.4; 1:52.4) while 3-10 favorite Beckham's Z Tam (Tim Tetrick) never seemed comfortable, winding up a non-factor fourth. 'Beckham' was away second, not wanting to take the lead while losing pocket contact down the backside. "Tim (Tetrick) said the horse just sort of fell asleep in the pocket and he probably should have put him on the front and let him pace," trainer Bruce Saunders said. "He seemed fine, but we're going to scope him anyway." Mac's Jackpot (Kakaley) closed for second, beaten a length at 38-1, with Micky Gee N (Scott Zeron), Beckham's Z Tam and Sam's a Champ A (Jim Marohn Jr.) earning the minors. For third choice Ideal Jimmy, a 6-year-old homebred Western Ideal gelding owned by D R Van Witzenberg and trained by Erv Miller, it was his fourth win in seven '19 tries. The exacta paid $373, the triple returned $2,388 and the superfecta paid $5,031. Fourth division "He's the reason I came here tonight." Such was the pre-race assessment of driver McCarthy, who launched Rodeo Rock ($4.40) from second-over to win handily. From post No. 4, Rodeo Rock watched 9-10 polester Duplicated N (Tetrick) take over from longshot Rodeo Romeo (Bartlett), then lead through soft (and flat) intervals of :28 and :57 before a 1:24.4 three-quarters. Rodeo Rock worked from behind I'm Some Graduate (Kakaley), then went wide after his target. Duplicated N owned a length-and-a-half lead in and out of the final turn, but Rodeo Rock picked him off. The margin was three-quarters of a length in 1:52.4, with Rodeo Romeo, JJ Flyin' (Brennan) and I'm Some Graduate coming away with the smaller envelopes. For second choice Rodeo Rock, a 6-year-old Rock N Roll Heaven gelding owned by Royal Wire Products and trained by Robert Cleary, it was his second win in as many seasonal efforts. The exacta paid $7.80, the triple returned $82.50 and the superfecta paid $473. Rodeo Rock Fifth division Just-over-even-money favorite I'marocnrollegend N (Kakaley) literally and figuratively hit The Wall (Bongiorno, $41.60). Winning the draw and sitting a three-hole through fractions of :26.3; 56.3 and 1:24.2, The Wall waited for a first-up Always at My Place (Brennan) to retreat before hanging a sharp right turn for clearance. The Wall won a three-horse scrum by a head in a season's-best 1:53, with I'marocnrollegend N second and a pocketed Bettor's Fire N (Ron Cushing) third. Endeavor (Tetrick) and Rockathon (Stratton) also made coinage. For rank outsider (sixth choice) The Wall, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by J L Benson Stables and trained by Nick Surick, he's now 2-for-8 this season. The exacta paid $92.50, the triple returned $325.50 and the superfecta paid $2,230. "They were getting out of there quickly, so I had no choice but to be third," Bongiorno said. I wasn't going to come first-up and I was fortunate when (Always at My Place) tired to have room. This horse had had some bad draws and been in some bad spots, so it was good to save ground for once." Sixth division A gritty (though not Philadelphia Flyer Gritty) first-up effort by favored More the Better N (Zeron, $4.70). After pole-sitting Mar Nien A (Greg Merton) rebuffed quarter-move advances of Gokudo Hanover (Brennan), the former led through early substations of :27.1 and :56.4. From post No. 3, More the Better N hooked Mar Nien A through a :27.4 third quarter (1:24.3), eventually putting that one away early in the lane. More the Better N held off a crisply-rallying Mach Doro A (Cushing) by a neck in 1:53.2. Gokudo Hanover, Bellow's Binge (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Tetrick) fell into line for the remainder, while Mar Nien A backpedaled to last among the octet. For More the Better N, a 6-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Robert Cooper Stables and trained by Ross Croghan, it was his first win in a trio of '19 tries. The exacta paid $45.40, the triple returned $257.50 and the superfecta paid $862. Saturday night's $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by a down-the-road Eye Ofa Tiger AS (Bartlett, $7.60) in 1:56. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 16, 2019 -- Say this much for harness racing driver Dan Dube...he appreciates timing. Approaching his latest driving milestone for a while, Dube coordinated it just right, stylishly winning Saturday night's (March 16th) opener of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. His open-length romp with favored Western Ace ($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 No. 4 in the first of a half-dozen, $50,000 divisions, Western Ace 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 5¾ 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 avoid the happenstance to end us 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 and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $17.80, the triple returned $110 and the superfecta paid $967. Western Fame The Quebec-born Dube, turning 50 this June, was the main driver of Horse of the Year Gallo Blue Chip (2000) and Rock N Roll Heaven (2010). His career purse earnings exceed $119 million. :"He (Western Fame) was ready for this mile," Dube said. "I thought he'd race well. I heard something behind me (field scattering), but I was in front by a few lengths so I wasn't worried about it. "I'm obviously happy to get to this (9,000) number. When I came down from Canada, I never thought I'd have the success I've had." Frank Drucker

YONKERS, N.Y. – Late last summer, harness racing trainer Amanda Kelley skimmed through a sales listing in the hopes of finding a reasonably priced horse who could race in the claiming ranks at Saratoga Raceway. Such a horse would fit longtime owner Fred Scheigert’s stable, which is predominantly comprised of claimers and New York breds who fit at the Spa. Among the listings was Mar Nien, who came with a $12,500 price tag. Kelley began researching the horse and after looking at his lines, realized the listed price had to be a mistake. The Australian-bred pacer by Rock N Roll Heaven out of the Armbro Operative mare Champagnesheffield began his stateside career in August and showed promise. He won his debut at Harrah’s Philadelphia in 1:50.2 for Chris Scicluna before posting two runner-up efforts timed in 1:50.4 and 1:49.2. Kelley followed up on the listing and sure enough, the correct price was much higher. She was sure Scheigert wouldn’t want to make such a sizeable outlay on one horse, but she decided to present the opportunity anyway. “I asked the owners if they would be interested,” Kelley remembered. “I told them it could be a really good investment for the stable and shockingly they said, ‘OK, go look at him.’ So, we did, and it went from there. He checked out with a clean bill of health and came on the team.” Kelley grew up training American Saddlebreds before delving into the Standardbred world working on breeding farms. She spent time helping trainers at Saratoga and fell in love with racing. Pushed by her mentors, Kelley worked to earn her training license. She made her first start in 2015 and soon connected with Scheigert. Less than a year after getting her license, Kelley was training all his horses. “They knew me, they were comfortable with me, and asked if I would take all their horses. It was everything. It was terrifying,” she said. “They like to do things a certain way. They like mostly claiming. Mar Nien is actually one of the first purchases I’ve ever done for them, aside from claiming.”' Mar Nien made his presence known from the moment he entered Kelley’s stable. The gelding came with a personality that set him apart. “He has a little goofball attitude. I feel he’s talented, I really like him, and he’s fast, but his personality is playful,” Kelley explained. “He loves the other horses, he talks to everybody. He’s definitely a neat personality in the barn.  “His head is constantly going, it’s on a swivel. He has to look at everything,” she continued. “You could be jogging him along and his head is completely to the left or right. He’s very observant; he catches everything. He likes his mid-morning naps, don’t bother him then. But he loves attention, you can give him hugs, he’ll put his head on you. He’s cool to be around.” Mar Nien also proved to be a handful on the racetrack and keeping him calm in the morning became a priority.  “He can get a bit aggressive. He likes to work, he likes his job,” Kelley said. “We try to keep him quiet when he jogs because he likes to be a little more enthusiastic than you want. If someone else is training out there, hang on, because he thinks he should be doing it, too. He just has a really good work ethic. He covers the ground nice, he’s smooth, there’s just no wasted movement with him. He’s a little guy but has a big heart and big motor.” Mar Nien debuted for Kelley and Scheigert in a $10,170 overnight at Saratoga September 15. With Bruce Aldrich, Jr. in the sulky, the gelding capitalized on a pocket trip and posted a 1:51.1 victory with a :27.1 final quarter. The following week, Mar Nien circled the field to win the $15,000 Open Handicap in 1:52. “His first start, I said, ‘OK, now we’re going to see what kind of horse he is.’ It’s always nerve-wracking the first start,” Kelley said. “He still had the plugs in. We were like, ‘wow.’ Bruce shook Mr. Scheigert’s hand and he said, ‘you have a nice animal.’ That was really exciting to hear. The next week, it was just a repeat. It was very exciting.” Mar Nien earned three victories and two placings from five more starts to close his 2018 season before Kelley gave him a break for the winter. Although any plans were contingent on how Mar Nien trained back, Kelley kept the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series in the back of her mind. Mar Nien qualified back February 19 at Pompano Park, winning in 1:55.3 from post nine. A week later, the 7-year-old won another trial at the south-Florida oval, skipping over a sloppy track in 1:51. “We qualified him once and he went easy, took him back and just came the second half. I trained him a mile-and-a-half that week, then requalified him. This time, we asked him a little bit,” Kelley said. “When the time came up, we were like, ‘woah.’ I don’t know if we were quite expecting to go that much, but he just does it on his own. He came out of that really good and then we shipped up.” Mar Nien will make his seasonal debut in the ninth race Saturday (March 16) at Yonkers Raceway, the sixth and final division of the Levy Series first leg. It will be Kelley’s first time harnessing a horse in a Grand Circuit race. “It’s terrifying, it’s exciting,” she said. “A lot of people don’t even get this opportunity and I’m so thankful for it. I haven’t done racehorses my whole life, but people give you this opportunity and say, ‘we trust you with this.’ To give you a nice animal, it’s pretty awesome. “I’m really thankful for the people around me, the people in the barn and the people who helped make this happen,” Kelley continued. “The owners and everybody that’s been there for me. I’ve needed help along the way and these are great people.” Mar Nien drew post one and will start as the race’s 5-2 morning line favorite with Greg Merton in the sulky. He will face the likes of More The Better, who drew post three and is 3-1 off a runner-up finish from post eight in a local $23,000 overnight March 9. Gokudo Hanover will start from post two, an improvement from the outside posts that hampered his last two outings; the 7-year-old gelding is 7-2 for Brennan and DiDomenico.  Bellow’s Binge won a $29,000 overnight in his last start March 9 and is a 7-2 morning line for Bartlett and Banca. Mach Doro will make his second start for Cushing and Gibbs after winning on debut March 4, but will have to overcome post seven. Cruise Patrol, Lockton Luck, and Ballerat Boomerang complete the field.  “To me, every horse in there is a threat,” Kelley said. “It’s all the way the race works out. I would love to get away first or second. I’d like to see him get away like that and handle anything that comes at him. I just hope he finishes strong and he races strong. My job is just to make sure he shows up and races and finishes strong.” Saturday night’s card features six divisions of the Levy Series First Leg. Live harness racing is featured at Yonkers Raceway every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night. First post time is 6:50 p.m. For entries to the races, click here. By Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

Ken Jacobs bought Somebaddude in January for two purposes - to shake from the winter doldrums while waiting for the harness racing stakes season to arrive and to have a horse to race in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. Jacobs has never had a horse in the Levy, but the "Dude" will change that Saturday. Somebaddude, trained by Linda Toscano, was among 47 older male pacers entered in this weekend's opening round of the six-week-long Levy, with the group divided into six $50,000 divisions. Somebaddude, who is one of only four 4-year-olds in the first leg, will start from post two in the second division. The Levy fields also include past champion Bit Of A Legend N (third division) and fellow 2018 finalists Somewhere In LA, Mach It So, Dr J Hanover, Western Fame (all in the first division) and Rockin Ron (second division). Jacobs, a longtime leading owner in New York with scores of Grand Circuit and state-bred stakes wins to his credit, bought Somebaddude for $90,000 at the Tattersalls January Select Mixed Sale at the Meadowlands. The gelding has won one of five races this year and finished second twice, including a runner-up finish in a conditioned race at Yonkers last month. "In January I was getting claustrophobic with all the snow and I bought two horses," Jacobs said, laughing. "I also bought a trotter from Finland, Whether Or Not. I bought Dude to put in the Levy. I don't know if he can beat the Levy type, but I figured I could have some fun and I've never had one in the Levy. It was kind of my goal to get one in there. "I'm having fun with both horses, I really am. It's nice to have something going that you can be proud of racing in the winter. I wanted to have something racing in the winter because it's a long wait for (the 2-year-olds). This gives me something to get excited about." Whether Or Not, a 5-year-old gelding by Cantab Hall, has won four of five races this season, all at Yonkers. Somebaddude is a son of Somebeachsomewhere out of New Album and his full brother The Wall also is competing in the Levy. For his career, Somebaddude has won seven of 36 races and earned $119,505. He was a two-time runner-up in the Kindergarten Classic Series at age 2 and has found his best form in the past several months. His 1:53.2 win at Harrah's Philadelphia on Dec. 16 caught Jacobs' eye and the gelding followed it with a 1:50.4 victory at the Meadowlands on Dec. 29, his final start prior to the Tattersalls sale. "I thought I could get him fairly cheap because he hadn't done a heck of a lot," Jacobs said. "But I knew they had just (gelded) him and he did a turnaround. "When he raced at the Meadowlands in December I was hoping he would come in second; unfortunately he won," he continued, adding with a laugh, "That cost me probably around $20,000, but I bought him anyway." Ken Jacobs The Levy and companion Blue Chip Matchmaker Series, which begins Friday for older female pacers, both feature five preliminary rounds followed by added-money finals April 20. A horse receives 25 points each time she or 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. "He's a 4-year-old going against aged horses," Jacobs said about Somebaddude. "There are a lot of good horses in there. We're going to see if we can get a couple checks and see where we end up. He just tries all the time. He's a nice little horse." Ken Weingartner

YONKERS, NY, Monday, March 11, 2019 - The big girls and big boys come to play this weekend, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the opening round of both the harness racing Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Friday night (March 15th) finds four, $40,000 divisions of the Matchmaker for leading pacing mares, going consecutively as races five through nine. Defending series champ begins her 6-year-old season with post position No. 2 in the final event. Tim Tetrick takes his usual seat for co-owners himself, Richard Pollucci and Jo Ann Looney-King. Keeping it in the family, Jim King Jr. trains the lass, fresh off an 19-for-24, million-dollar season. Saturday evening (March 16th), the Levy does the Matchmaker one better, with six, $50,000 groupings (races 4 through 9) for the Free-For-All folks. Double-millionaire 10-year-old Bit of a Legend N, the 2016 Levy winner, begins this season's marathon from behind the eight-ball in the third division. Jordan Stratton again does the honors for owner Von Knoblauch Stables and trainer Peter Tritton. Each series offers five prelim rounds leading to the finales, both set for Saturday night, Apr. 20th . For The Matchmaker entries click on this link. Frank Drucker  

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