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Yonkers, NY --- Typically calm and level-headed, harness racing driver Jordan Stratton isn't one to exaggerate or dramatize either a horse’s performance or his own. Instead, the 29-year-old reinsman is quick to deliver matter-of-fact outlooks on any situation. But ask about New Zealand import Bit Of A Legend, and he lights up. The winner of the 2016 George Morton Levy Series final, Bit Of A Legend made his first start of 2017 at Yonkers Raceway Feb. 18. Handicapped by post position eight, the son of Bettor's Delight trailed the field by 11 lengths after the quarter. Sticking to the pylons, Bit Of A Legend willingly advanced within 5-3/4 lengths of the lead at the three-quarters, but soon found himself jailed at the inside. A tug on the right line to navigate to clear-sailing with just a sixteenth to pace helped facilitate a :27 final panel. Bit Of A Legend, individually timed in 1:53.3, finished third, beaten 3-3/4 lengths. Man, he was awesome,” Stratton said, his voice possessing all of the excitement and satisfaction of a kid unwrapping his favorite gift on Christmas morning. “It's tough from Yonkers from the eight hole. I really never expected him to be third from there. He was way better than I expected.” Bit Of A Legend’s 2016 season, which saw him win 13 of 28 races and nearly double his career earnings to $1,389,536, concluded Nov. 11. To bridge the gap between seasons, trainer Peter Tritton prepped Bit Of A Legend for his seasonal debut with just one qualifier at Yonkers Feb. 11. “His qualifier was good, but Pete didn't really do much with him,” Stratton explained. “He's aiming for the Levy again. I thought he'd be a little short, but wow, the good horse just came out I guess.” Tritton expects Bit Of A Legend’s 2017 season to mirror last year’s campaign. The 8-year-old’s primary engagements will include the Levy Series and the Invitational Pace on International Trot Day while starts in Yonkers’ rich Open Handicaps will substitute other Grand Circuit events. “I haven't staked him again. I'm not a big fan of traveling everywhere. I'll race him here, probably race him very similarly to last year and he might go to stud at the end of the year,” Tritton explained. Last year Bit Of A Legend captured all five preliminary legs of the Levy Series, including a dead-heat victory with 2015 Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit in the fifth leg. Tritton is confident as the first leg of this year’s series, set for March 18, nears. “I don't think Bit Of A Legend has lost any step and I hear Wiggle It Jiggleit isn't coming up, so I think he's got a great chance of winning the Levy again,” Tritton reasoned. “He's got a lot of toughness about him and keeps racing good every week. I'm just hoping to have luck in the series and that he stays healthy.” Bit Of A Legend won't be Tritton and Stratton’s only chance in the Levy Series. Another New Zealand import, Provocativeprince, has blossomed since arriving in the U.S. last fall. The 7-year-old by Grinfromeartoear out of the Village Jasper mare Catherine Zeta is three-for-four for Tritton as he continues to climb the class ladder. This week, he’ll tackle the $39,000 Preferred Handicap Pace from post seven, his toughest assignment yet. “He's a pretty nice horse,” Tritton remarked of Provocativeprince. “He's not supposed to be this good. Bit Of A Legend had a lot more credentials when he came, but we can only go on what he's doing.” Provocativeprince won six of 44 races in New Zealand and banked $55,382. After a winless final season in the Southern Hemisphere, the gelding has found his best stride at Yonkers. Most recently, he thrived while first-over as the 4-5 favorite in a $30,000 overnight, cruising to an easy win in 1:52.3 after trailing by 3-3/4 lengths past a :57.1 half. Stratton describes Provocativeprince’s closing kick as, “the only one that's come close so far (to Bit Of A Legend).” “I'm hoping he can make a little money and possibly get through to the final. I'm sure he's a better horse than Texican and he ran third in the final last year, so I've got high hopes for him,” Tritton said. “It’s just a matter of whether he can keep it up through a grueling series, but he's definitely got the ability, no doubt about that.” Provocativeprince is a 5-1 morning line chance in Saturday's Preferred Handicap while Blood Brother is the 2-1 favorite. Bit Of A Legend will start from post six in the $50,000 Open Handicap Pace as a 6-1 morning line. Caviar Luca and Somewhere In L A will start to Bit Of A Legend’s outside at odds of 9-2 and 2-1, respectively. First Class Horse, Lucan Hanover, Make Some Luck, Sports Bettor, and Roland N Rock complete the field. Saturday's 11-race card also features a $50,000 Open Handicap Trot and a $39,000 Preferred Handicap Trot. First post time is 7:10 p.m. Brandon Valvo for the SOA of NY

YONKERS, N.Y. - Harness racing driver Jordan Stratton sat behind 5-year-old mare Mackenzie for the first time last Friday (Feb. 17) as she faced the starting gate for a qualifier at Yonkers Raceway. Starting from post position six, she paced evenly in the early stages before sprinting home late. She posted her final quarter in :27.1 and finished fourth. Although it was her first outing since finishing second in the Breeders Crown for 3-Year-Old fillies at Australia’s Tabcorp Park Melton August 28, the effort pleased Stratton. “I was happy with it. Pete just wanted to run her home a little bit. She did it pretty easily,” he said. “She seems like the real deal to me. It’s tough to tell off one qualifier, but she seems good.” The latest import to join to ranks of trainer Peter Tritton, Mackenzie is already an accomplished mare. She won eight of 19 starts Down Under, including the Group 2 Alabar NSW Breeders Challenge Blue Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, and placed in another seven races en route to A$121,861 in earnings. The November 18, 2012 foal by Rock N Roll Heaven out of Kept For Pleasure took her mark of 1:52.4 at Tabcorp Park Menagle last May. Now, her connections are eager to launch her North American campaign in Friday’s sixth race $50,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace at Yonkers. “She’s probably not 100 percent, but Jordan said to put her in,” Tritton said. “He was very excited about (the qualifier) and said she’s a real good mare. That was pleasing. I haven’t done a lot with her, but she does feel very impressive driving her.” Mackenzie first caught Tritton’s eye when he noticed her in a replay. Soon, he got a call from a friend tipping him off that she was for sale. Tritton purchased Mackenzie and shipped her to the United States just before Christmas. Two months later, she will make her stateside debut. “She looked like a nice horse and looked like she could go around Yonkers, which is the main criteria,” Tritton explained. “She’s a big mare, but she seems to get around the tracks good. She’s got plenty of class. She’s fairly young. It’s a shame she’s got to start up in the top class, but she’s won so much money that she has to start up there for a while.” Preparing a horse for her first races in such short order after crossing the Equator is challenging, but Tritton’s experience training in both Australia and the United States gives him an advantage. He understands horses must cope with drastic changes in seasons and differences in training methodologies. Above all, the process takes patience. “The seasons are exactly the opposite. When we get one in the middle of winter here like we did with her, it was completely in summer there, so it was pretty hard,” Tritton explained. “I just let the horse tell me. You just have to do the best with them that you can during that time and be prepared to back off of them and not work them too hard. “I’m a little bit fortunate because I know how they’re trained there and I know how they’re trained here, so I can sort of put them together a bit,” Tritton continued. “Whereas some guys who haven’t trained over there just train them the way they know here and it’s not really the same.” While Tritton says it takes a horse a full year to fully acclimatize after changing hemispheres, the experience they gain in their first few starts is pivotal to ensuring a smooth transition. In this way, patience in the sulky pays off as well. Stratton will employ a proven strategy in handling Australian horses for the first time: take them off the gate and let them finish strongly. As he puts it, “get the most money the easiest I can do it. “It’s all new to them. New country, new weather in the different hemisphere,” Stratton said. “One or two bad experiences in their first start and it kind of screws them for the rest of their career, but once you get past the first few starts, they’re usually ok.” Tritton is eager to see how Mackenzie fares in Friday’s Filly and Mare Open Handicap, where she’ll start from post position four as a 15-1 outsider on the morning line. A good effort could land her a chance in the upcoming Bluechip Matchmaker Series alongside stablemate Sell A Bit. “I think I’ll put her in the Bluechip,” he said. “I think she has the ability to go in it no problems at all, I just hope that I don’t tap her out the first season because she’s a young mare, but we’ll see how it goes.” While last week’s Filly and Make Open Handicap winner Bedroomconfessions is absent this week, Mackenzie will still face a full field in the distaff feature. Mach It A Par, the 3-1 morning line choice, will make her second start of the year after finishing third in last week’s feature. Last week’s preferred winner Tessa Seelster will start from post eight and is 7-2. Filly and Mare Open runner up last out, Empress Deo is 4-1 and starts from post five. Lispatty, For The Ladies, Regil Elektra, and Shesjustadelight complete the field. First post is 7:10 p.m. by Brandon Valvo for SOA of NY

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, February 11, 2017 - Bit of a Legend N, last season's winner of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, returned to the scene of his greatest harness racing triumph for a first 2017 sighting. The now-8-year-old was an even third in the fastest of four qualifiers Saturday night, pacing his mile in 1:55.4 (last quarter :27.2). "I was very pleased," regular driver Jordan Stratton said after his first appearance since last November. "I really didn't want to go that fast, but he seemed fine." Trainer Peter Tritton said he expected to have Bit of a Legend N in the parimutuel entry box next week "event though he's probably going to be assigned an outside post position." A season ago, the Down Under son of Bettor's Delight win 13 of his 28 starts with earnings of $723,850. The 2017 Levy Series begins here Saturday night, March 18th. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, November 12, 2016 - Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $13.80) couldn't possibly have had an eight-hole trip than he did Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's harness racing $45,000 Open Handicap Pace. In play from behind the eight-ball, the Levy Series winner found a gaping three-hole for a brief respite, then marching toward the lead. He made it around pole-sitting, 9-5 choice Rock N' Roll World (George Brennan) before a pokey 28-second opening quarter-mile. Then came a plodding, 29-second next station (57-second half), effectively ending the suspense. First Class Horse (Jason Bartlett), gapping his rivals earlier, moved first-up from fourth, but never threatened. Bit of a Legend N found a 1:25 three-quarters, taking a length-and-a-half lead into the lane. He whipped Rock N' Roll World by that same margin in 1:52.3, with First Class Horse, a way-after-the-fact The Real One (Pat Lachance) and Santa Fe Beachboy (Brent Holland) rounding out the payees. For fourth choice Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his 13th win in 27 seasonal starts ($718,450). The exacta paid $42, the triple returned $197.50 and the superfecta paid $829. Stratton's four-win night moved him within nine of 3,000 career victories Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, October 8, 2016 -- Favorites Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $4) and Luminosity (George Brennan, $4.20) were the harness racing names above the moist Saturday night marquee, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 co-featured Open Handicaps. Both did so in down-the-road fashion. Bit of a Legend N, from post position No. 6 in the weekly pacing feature, held off Mach it So (Jason Bartlett) in a two-speed number (:27.2, :56.3, 1:25, 1:52.2). The margin was a neck, with Feel the Need A (Eric Goodell) was a best-of-the-rest third. Melmerby Beach (Dan Dube) and a North American-debuting Ricimer A (Steve Smith) rounded out the payees. For Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his 11th win in 23 seasonal starts. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $11, with the triple returning $32.60. The adult-table trot saw pole-sitting Luminosity go the distance (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25.4, 1:55.1), defeating a pocketed Cash Me Out (Tyler Buter) by a head. Crazy About Pat (Stratton) was a rallying third, with Dragin' The Wagon (Eric Abbatiello) and eight-ball-assigned Allerage Star (Dube) settling for the minors. For Luminosity, a 6-year-old Cash Hall gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke and Weaver Bruscemi, he's now 6-for-25 this season. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $7.30, with the triple returning $51. YONKERS’ MONDAY PICK 5 FEATURES $5,000 CARRYOVER A friendly reminder from Yonkers Raceway that Monday evening’s (Oct. 10) Pick 5 wager begins with a carryover  $5,023.18. The Pick 5 is a 50-cent base wager comprising races 7 through 11 during every racing program. It has no consolation payoff, meaning if no one selects all five winners (as was the case Saturday evening), the entire pool (minus takeout) moves to the next program. Frank Drucker

After either drawing or being assigned the outermost starting spot in each of his past four races, Bit Of A Legend looks to return to his winning ways when he leaves from post No. 1 in Saturday's harness racing $260,000 Joe Gerrity Jr. Memorial Pace at Saratoga Casino Hotel. The New Zealand-born Bit Of A Legend is a 7-year-old stallion who arrived in the U.S. in December. He won eight of 10 races to begin his career in the States, including the $609,000 George Morton Levy Pacing Series championship in April at Yonkers Raceway, but has visited the winner's circle only once in his past four starts. Bit Of A Legend, who will have the services of regular driver Jordan Stratton, is the 3-1 second choice on the Gerrity morning line behind 6-5 favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit, harness racing's 2015 Horse of the Year and the winner of 32 of 41 lifetime starts. Wiggle It Jiggleit and driver Montrell Teague will start from post five. "Wiggle It Jiggleit is going to be hard to beat," said Peter Tritton, who trains Bit Of A Legend for owner Harry von Knoblauch. "I thought he could beat the others with the right trip, but Wiggle It Jiggleit is going to be tough. I've got a good draw, so that might even it up a bit. "I just wish Wiggle It Jiggleit wasn't in it, but it is what it is," he added, laughing. "So we'll give it a shot." Bit Of A Legend and Wiggle It Jiggleit have met twice this year. The first encounter came in a preliminary round of the Levy Series at Yonkers and resulted in the horses finishing in a dead heat for win. The second meeting was in the Dorothy Mullin Invitational at Harrah's Philadelphia on May 29. Wiggle It Jiggleit won in 1:47.3, the fastest mile in the 11-year history of the racetrack, while Bit Of A Legend went off stride from post eight and finished last. "I changed his shoes for up there (at Philadelphia) and that didn't work out," Tritton said. Bit Of A Legend has raced only once since the Mullin, finishing sixth from post eight in the Open Handicap at Yonkers last Saturday. Bit Of A Legend paced his final quarter-mile :27, the fastest time in the field, and finished 2-1/2 lengths behind winner Doctor Butch. Tritton had hoped to get Bit Of A Legend a start prior to last weekend, but the horse was slowed by a soreness issue. "He went good the other night," Tritton said. "He may be one run short, but he won't be far away. I didn't completely give him off (since the Mullin). I just sort of took it easy for a while because he's not staked to anything this year." Prior to arriving in the U.S., Bit Of A Legend won 20 of 63 races and earned $659,686 while competing Down Under. Among his exploits, he was the first male pacer to win Australian Breeders Crown finals at ages 2 and 3. For his career, the son of Bettor's Delight-Soky's Legend has won 29 of 77 starts and earned $1.13 million. One of Tritton's goals during the remainder of the season is to determine how to stake Bit Of A Legend in 2017. He plans to race the horse at the Meadowlands to gauge his ability on a one-mile oval. So far, Bit Of A Legend has posted all nine of his victories at Yonkers, which is a half-mile track, and not competed on a track larger than five-eighths. "I don't think that's a concern with him," Tritton said. "It's just that he's so handy around the little tracks, where some of them aren't as handy as he is. He still might be able to go with them on the bigger tracks as well. We'll find that out before the end of the year, but he's a very good horse." Following is the field for the Gerrity: PP - Horse - Driver - Trainer - Morning Line 1 - Bit Of A Legend - Jordan Stratton - Peter Tritton - 3/1 2 - Doctor Butch - Tim Tetrick - Linda Toscano - 8/1 3 - All Bets Off - Matt Kakaley - Ron Burke - 6/1 4 - Artistic Major - Jim Morrill Jr. - Steve Elliott - 12/1 5 - Wiggle It Jiggleit - Montrell Teague - Clyde Francis - 6/5 6 - Sunfire Blue Chip - Mark MacDonald - Jimmy Takter - 10/1 7 - Cooperstown - Vincent Ginsburg - Daniel Renaud - 15/1 8 - P H Supercam - Jason Bartlett - Jeffrey Bamond Jr. - 20/1 P H Supercam is the race's defending champion. The stakes record is 1:48.4 was set in 2014 by Dancin Yankee. Ken Weingartner

Yonkers Raceway's Saturday night $45,000 co-featured harness racing Open Handicaps were brought to us by the letter B. Ladies First, with Bee a Magician (Brian Sears, $3.50), who took a overnight rest stop and toyed with her six marquee trot rivals. From post No. 6 (in one notch after the inside number was scratched-sick), Bee a Magician paid a :27.4 price to secure the lead. One she paid that toll, the rest of the road was essentially a freebie (:57.4; 1:26.4; 1:54.1). Major Athens (Tyler Buter) pulled pocket early against the Queen, and all that did was cost him second. That went to Allerage Star (Dan Dube), with Major Athens, Luminosity (George Brennan) and Crazy About Pat (Jordan Stratton) grabbing the minor awards. Buen Camino (Jason Bartlett) was outrun in a mile that ended up being a track record for aged mares. For $3.8 million ma'am Bee a Magician, a 6-year-old daughter of Kadabra trained by Nifty Norman for co-owners Mel Hartman, Herb Liverman and David McDuffee, it was his third win in as many seasonal starts (lifetime 44-for-68) The exacta paid $19.80, with the triple returning $64.50. Bee a Magician Then, there was Bit of a Legend N (Stratton, $3.50), who prevailed from an impossible locale in the weekly pacing feature. Last among the seven in a pokey race, he saw Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) seemingly dawdle (:27, :56.2, 1:24.4) with Outrageous Art (Bartlett) engaging first-up. Great Vintage owned a length lead into the lane, then began to get steppy and tire. In the interim, Bit of a Legend N was winding up front last and rallying down the middle of the oval. Sixth turning for home, he was a going-away winner, defeating Outrageous Art by a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.1. Take it Back Terry (Brennan), Great Vintage and Moonliteonthebeach (Brent Holland) earned the smaller portions. For Levy champ Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, he's now 9-for-12 this season. The exacta paid $26.80, with the triple returning $84. Saturday's card also included a $40,000 elimination for the Art Rooney Pace for 3-year-olds. Missile J (Sears, $2.10, part of entry) won the game of musical chairs--nine to eliminate one--in 1:53.2. The American Ideal gelding defeated Rodeo Rock (Dube) by a length-and-three-quarters, with the winner's entrymate, Artmagic (Brennan) third. Joining those three in next week's $300,000 final of the 26th Rooney are Manny, Yankee Artillery, No Shame Blue Chip, Tailgunner Hanover and Tap into Power. Autotune Hanover, last season's winner of the Lawrence B. Sheppard Pace here, was devoid of pace this night and finished ninth. Next Saturday's Rooney is accompanied by the $100,000 Lismore Pace, which attracted six 3-year-old fillies. Both open draws take place Tuesday morning. Frank Drucker

Sell a Bit N and harness racing driver Jordan Stratton was left without adult supervision Friday night, then made 'em, winning Yonkers Raceway's $45,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace. In play from assigned post position No. 5, Sell a Bit N was three-wide early before getting past pole-sitting Lookout Stokk Zone (Tyler Buter) and Know it All (Eric Abbatiello). The leader was able to put up pokey precincts of :28 and :57.1 as McCovey Cove N (George Brennan) tried it first-up from first. Al Raza N (Matt Kakaley), as the 13-10 favorite, was second-over, which did her no favors here. Sell a Bit N maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:25.4 three-quarters, taking a two-length lead into the lane. She then held off the closest pursuers, beating "Stokk Zone" by a neck in 1:53.3. Third went to Know it All (at nearly 64-1), with a crisp-late Mach it a Par (Brian Sears) and Al Raza N settling for the remainder. For second choice Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her third win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $154.50, with the triple returning $650. Preakness Day Saturday finds the Raceway in full Pimlico simulcast mode, with selected mutuel windows opening at 10 AM in advance of a 10:30 AM first post. The 12-race, 1ive program begins at the usual 7:10 PM . Frank Drucker

Odds-on favorite Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.60, part of entry)  was the best Free-For-Aller entering and the best exiting Saturday night, winning the $609,000 harness racing final of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. The 29th Levy, again honoring the memory of the Harness Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, served as both the richest race in the history of the event and richest race of the season to date. Bit of a Legend N, after winning all five of his series prelims (including a track-record dead-heat [with Wiggle It Jiggleit] a week ago), drew post position No. 2 in the final. He was away third early, behind pole-sitting Take it Back Terry (George Brennan) and that one's stablemate, All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley). All Bets Off, from post No. 5, paid a 27-second price for the first lead. Stratton, wanting no part of a three-hole, quickly moved Bit of a Legend N to the front, finding a :55.2 intermission. "Terry" then took out of third, trying his luck down the backside the second time, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) happily accepted that one's tow. However, Take it Back Terry never came that close to the "Legend," who maintained an open lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters. The advantage was a length-and-a-half entering the lane, and Bit of Legend N was about to close the sale. All Bets Off ducked in but never threatened as the people's preference won by a length in a life-best 1:51. Hr also become the first Down Under winner of this event. Texican N (Yannick Gingras), stable buddy of the winner, rallied quite nice for third, with P H Supercam and "Terry" earning the minor moolah. Texas Terror N (Brett Miller), Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) and Mach it So (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the order. The final time of 1:51 also matched Maltese Artist's (Greg Grismore) stakes record set in 2007, when the series returned after an 11-year hiatus. For Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his eighth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $4.60, with no triple wagering offered to the limited number (five) of wagering interests. For Stratton, it was the biggest win of his career. "He's perfect for Yonkers, a small horse who gets around this track great. "Anything can happen when you go for this money," Stratton said. "I let everything settle and then went to the front. He's been great through the series and I'm just fortunate to be able to drive him. "He's the best horse I've ever trained and Jordan's taken good care of him," his Aussie-born trainer said, before giving a shout out to the owner "(Harry von Knoblauch) is 90-years-old and he's on a cruise with his daughter right now. He said, 'I wish I could get off this boat and be there.' I told him he'd feel a lot better when he got the check." What's next? "He gets some time off, and then, since he's not staked to very much, we're hoping for Invitationals at other half-miles (Western Fair, Harrington, and Northfield). The $304,500 winner's share upped Bit of a Legend N's seasonal earnings to an industry-best $451,250. A $100,000 series consolation was won by death-and-taxes Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague, $2.10) in 1:51. Frank Drucker

Bit Of A Legend was already a bit of a star before arriving in the U.S., but the New Zealand-born pacer has been adding to his legend this year with his performances in the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway. A 7-year-old stallion, Bit Of A Legend went 5-for-5 in the preliminary rounds of the six-week Levy Series, which concludes Saturday with a $609,000 final at Yonkers. Since February, when he began racing for New York-based trainer Peter Tritton and owner Harry von Knoblauch, Bit Of A Legend has won seven of nine starts and earned $146,750. He is the richest horse in North America this year. Prior to being sold to his new connections in December, Bit Of A Legend won 20 of 63 races and earned $659,686 (U.S.) while competing Down Under. Among his exploits, he was the first male pacer to win Australian Breeders Crown finals at ages 2 and 3. "He's the best horse I've had," said Tritton, a 65-year-old Australia native who over the years has teamed with von Knoblauch to campaign a number of successful imports from Down Under. "He's always been a good horse. He's always raced the best company and he's done a real good job. "Yonkers really suits him because he's so good gaited and you can drive him anyway --- leave, sit, come first over --- it doesn't matter. He just goes when you say go. He's just a great little racehorse." In the Levy's preliminary divisions, Bit Of A Legend won from off the pace in four of his five starts, including a rally from last place at the top of the stretch in the third week of the event. Last week, he finished in a dead heat for victory with Wiggle It Jiggleit, the 2015 Horse of the Year, after a duel neither horse wanted to lose. The time of 1:51.2 for the mile was a track record for a dead heat. "That stretch drive was really something," Tritton said. "Neither horse wanted to get beat. I thought Wiggle It Jiggleit had it halfway up the straight, but my little horse really fought hard." Tritton could have skipped last week's round of the Levy because Bit Of A Legend already had enough points to qualify for the final. But Tritton didn't want to disrupt the pacer's schedule. "He thrives on racing," Tritton said. "I thought if I didn't race him I might have to train him a couple of times hard and I wanted to stick to what I was doing." Bit Of A Legend, a son of stallion Bettor's Delight out of the Sokys Atom mare-Soky's Legend, came highly recommended to Tritton by Down Under horse agent Peter Larkin. Tritton also spoke with Bit Of A Legend's former trainer, Cran Dalgety, prior to the sale. "He's one of the best trainers over there," Tritton said. "He wins a lot of races and knows a good horse from a bad horse. He really educates the horses and looks after them." Still, Tritton has been pleasantly surprised with Bit Of A Legend's fast start to his career in the States. Jordan Stratton has driven the horse in all of his races. "I didn't know he would go through the series undefeated," Tritton said. "You really wouldn't think he would be as good as he is, but he just relishes racing at Yonkers. And I think Jordan really suits him. He's always tried to look after him and leave something in the tank." The entry of Bit Of A Legend and New Zealand-born stablemate Texican is the 5-2 third choice in Saturday's Levy final. The Ron Burke-trained entry of Take It Back Terry and All Bets Off is the 8-5 favorite, followed by the Jeff Bamond Jr.-trained entry of P H Supercam and Mach It So at 9-5. Take It Back Terry, last year's Levy runner-up, and Mach It So had three wins in the preliminary rounds of this year's series. P H Supercam and All Bets Off both had one victory. Bit Of A Legend will start from post two and Texican from post six. Take It Back Terry leaves from post one and All Bets Off from post five. P H Supercam and Mach It So have posts three and seven, respectively. "I would have liked Texican to draw a bit closer, but I've got to be thankful for what I've got," Tritton said. "We've got a shot, there's no doubt about that. I think Jordan will stay up near the leaders and see if he can out-sprint them at the finish. If there's one thing (Bit Of A Legend) has got it's real good speed. At the top of the lane, he can make up a length or two real quick. It's a good spot where he can work it out." Tritton also will send out New Zealand import Sell A Bit in Saturday's $309,800 Blue Chip Matchmaker Series final for pacing mares. Sell A Bit is 5-1 on the morning line. Last year's Matchmaker champion Venus Delight, part of an entry with Krispy Apple, is the 2-1 favorite. "I think she can win, I really do," Tritton said about Sell A Bit. "You can do a bit of work with her early and she'll just keep going. She's a very good mare. I'm quietly confident with her. "(My horses) just need racing luck. I'm hoping to have a good night. Even if you get second or third, you still make a fair amount of money. Having said that, it would be lovely to win. For Jordan too; it would be great to see him do it. We'll keep our fingers crossed." by Ken Weingartner/Harness Racing Communications/USTA  

Elkton, MD --- Post Time with Mike and Mike has an action packed show lined up for Thursday night (April 14) starting at 7:00 PM.   Post Time would like to remind our listeners that there is still time to sign up for the Fifth week of the George Morton Levy contest via their website www.posttimewithmikeandmike.com. The grand prize is a set of Yannick Gingras' colors, courtesy of Friends of Maryland Standardbreds.   Trainers Pete Tritton and Eric Ell will be joining the program. Tritton is the conditioner of the red hot Bit Of A Legend N, who will throw down with Wiggle It Jiggleit in the final leg of the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers. Eric Ell's superstar trotter JL Cruze was impressive in victory in his seasonal debut at Dover.   Chris Gooden from The Meadows will join us to talk about using Facebook Live to broadcast from the paddock, giving racing fans a behind the scenes look before the races.   Long time contributor to the sport of harness racing Freddie Hudson will join the program to talk about his brand new website about Roosevelt Raceway and harness racing history.   Post Time with Mike and Mike's mission is to positively promote the sport of harness racing. Every hoof that hits a racetrack has a story to tell, whether a claimer or a stakes horse, and we plan on telling those stories. You can listen to the show via our website or at www.blogtalkradio.com/ptmikeandmike.   From the Mike & Mike Show

Fooling no one, Yonkers Raceway's Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night. Three compacted, $40,000 legions of harness racing lasses comprised a 'sloppy' third of five preliminary rounds...and if you're name isn't Jordan Stratton, there's really no reason to continue reading. The first event saw 1-2 favorite Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) caught wide early, paying a pretty (:26.4, :55.4) price for the lead. Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick) then moved from fourth, disposing of the leader after the 1:24.3 three-quarters. Regil Elektra owned a three-quarter-length lead into the lane and hung in there gamely, but was mowed down late by a from-last For the Ladies N (Stratton, $40.40) in 1:53.1. The longest shot on the board-from post position No. 5-won by a neck, with Jungle Genie N (Matt Kakaley) third, while Krispy Apple faded to lead among the half-dozen. For the Ladies N, a 7-year-old Down Under daughter of Jereme's Jet owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, is now 1-for-5 this season. The exacta paid $140.50, with the triple returning $884. Friday's second Matchmaker event had owner, trainer and driver double-up with Sell a Bit N ($7.10), who herself made it a series two-fer. Negating her outside six-hole, the second choice worked around Skippin' By (Yannick Gingras), then laid down the law (:27.4, :56.4, 1:25.2, 1:53). Venus Delight (Bartlett), as the 3-5 choice, moved to challenge from third, but never came close. Sell a Bit N won by a length-and-a-quarter, with Venus Delight second and Skippin' By third. Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar, is now 2-for-6 this season. The exacta paid $12.20, with the triple returning $55. The evening's final series soiree saw Stratton and just-over-even-money Al Raza N ($4.10) complete an evening/series hat trick, respectively. Watching early from post No, 4, series points leader Al Raza N was content to have Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube) retake from Request for Parole (Gingras), with early intervals of :27.4 and :57. Anndrovette moved from third down the backside, towing Al Raza N along for the ride in and out of a 1:25.1 three-quarters. Entering the lane, Yagonnakissmeornot was about to give up the ghost. Al Raza N moved widest and defeated the lass on her back, Mach it a Par (George Brennan), by a half-length in 1:53. Anndrovette held well for third. Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her fourth win in four five starts. The exacta paid $9, with the triple returned $41.60. “(For the Ladies N) was definitely helped by fast fractions and a short field, while the other two (Sell a Bit N and Al Raza N) always race well,” Stratton—now an honorary Kiwi—said. “I’ve been fortunate they haven’t drawn in against one another.” Yet. Friday night's Pick 5 wager, beginning with a carryover of $8,041.75, attracted $24,967 of new investments. After takeout, $26,767 was divvied up to those who had the correct sequence. The "phrase that pays" was 4/7/2/6/4, returning $545.25 for each winning half-a-buck wager. Saturday night's card brings the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Four, $50,000 divisions (races 6 through 9) comprise this go-round, with reining Harness Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit debuting in the third event. Frank Drucker

Yonkers Raceway’s Blue Chip Matchmaker continued Friday night. It was “second verse same as the first,” with three consecutive, $40,000 harness racing divisions comprising the encore round. The evening’s opening event saw Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $5.50) take full advantage of a rare good starting station. In play from post position No. 4, she held sway (:27.3, :56.3, 1:24.3, 1:52.1). Pylon-procuring Request for Parole (Yannick Gingras) chased around the oval, ducked inside and missed a neck, while Mach it a Par (George Brennan), last week’s 39-1 upsetter, was third after a hard challenge down the backside.     Venus Delight (Jason Bartlett), the wagering favorite by a mere $30, wound up a non-threatening fourth.   For slight second choice Sell a Bit N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her first win in five seasonal starts.  The exacta paid $26.40, with the triple returning $87. Friday’s second Matchmaker event had Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $5.70), as the second choice, do it from first-up. Away third from post No. 2, she saw season-debuting Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick) and 11-10 choice Skippin’ By (Gingras) take early turns (:27.2, :56.2). When “Yagonna” first moved off the cones nearing the 1:24.3 three-quarters, she didn’t appear all that interested. Skippin’ By owned a length-and-a-half into the lane before Yagonnakissmeornot read the memo. She surged past late, winning by a neck in 1:53.3. Anndrovette, probably a bit short, was a passing-land third, beaten a half-length,   For Yagonnakissmeornot, a 7-year-old daughter of The Panderosa co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Yves Sarazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her first win in three ’16 starts. The exacta paid $10, with the triple returning $38.60. The night’s final series event was won by an off-the-pace Al Raza N (Stratton, $8.60), who had some numbers to “run at” and did just that. As was the case a week ago, Al Raza N was content to spectate early. She watched as Krispy Apple (Bartlett) and 13-10 choice Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan) were both sent out (:26.4, :55.2).as the rest of the lasses gapped behind them. Secrets Out N (Brian Sears) did close ranks from third and move to challenge, but never came close. Delightful Dragon (Brent Holland) gapped that one badly in and out of the 1:23.2 three-quarters, which did no favors for the eventual winner. Al Raza N, sitting seventh and racing from third-over, launched her bid before the final turn. She was fifth entering the lane, but just powered by. The final margin was a length-and-a-quarter in 1:52.1, matching her life-best. It was Krispy Apple nosing a tiring Lady Shadow for second, with a from-last Regil Elektra (Tetrick) and Delightful Dragon settling for the remainder. For third choice Al Raza N, a 6-year-old Down Under daughter of Gotta Go Cullect owned by Durazzano Stable and trained by Agostino Abbatiello, it was her third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $32, the triple returned $89 and the superfecta paid $1,274. Saturday night’s card brings the second round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Five, $50,000 divisions (races 5 and 7 through 10) comprise this go-round.   Frank Drucker

When Aussie native harness racing trainer Peter Tritton was told last year that a New Zealand-bred pacing mare named Sell A Bit might soon be for sale Down Under, he decided to take a look at several of the horse's races. He then wasted no time in responding. "I rang back my man over there and told him not to let me miss her; as soon as she comes up for sale I want her," Tritton said. "He said, 'I haven't mentioned a price.' I told him, I don't really care. I just liked her from the first day I saw her. "She just looked all class then. She's a big long-going great-gaited mare. And she showed a lot of toughness. That's what I liked about her. Even if she had a hard run she still kept digging at the finish. Those horses are hard to find, and usually when you find them they're not for sale." Tritton bought Sell A Bit for owner Harry Von Knoblauch in early July. After arriving in the U.S., she won seven of 12 races and earned $149,370. She concluded 2015 with a five-race win streak, all in the Fillies & Mares Open Handicap at Yonkers Raceway. The 6-year-old mare makes her 2016 debut in the same class on Friday night as she gets ready for the upcoming Blue Chip Matchmaker Series at Yonkers. "Oddly enough, I don't think Yonkers is really her track," Tritton said. "I think she would be better on a big track. But this is where we race and she's adapted to it." Tritton, who turned 65 on Monday, has enjoyed success bringing horses from Down Under to the U.S., with some of his recent imports being Malak Uswaad, Texican, For The Ladies, Mainland Key, and Second Wind. That group has earned $2.13 million in purses since arriving in the States. Last year, Tritton set a career-high with $1.22 million in purses and posted 54 wins, just two shy of his career best. Sell A Bit won nine times Down Under, where she was trained by Brent White. A daughter of stallion Julius Caesar (by In The Pocket) out of the mare Nomorenuki (by Live Or Die), her wins last year included the Southern Belle Speed Series for mares. She finished her career in New Zealand with a sixth-place effort in a Group 1 race. In August, she won her stateside debut in 1:51.2 at Harrah's Philadelphia, beating a field that included stakes-winners Charisma Hanover and Jerseylicious. Her most recent victories have all come in gate-to-wire fashion, but she is no one-trip pony in the eyes of her trainer. "She can leave the gate hard, or sit in and sprint home, or come first over," Tritton said. "I think she's better from behind, but when you're racing (at Yonkers) you're better off near the lead. She can really leave fast if you want to and it gets you out of trouble. She's just a good versatile mare that enjoys racing. She's got no downside to her at all." Sell A Bit raced from off the pace in her first several starts, but readily adjusted to using her early speed. "That's a big part of her game, which I never really knew she had until we left with her a couple times and she got the idea of it," Tritton said. "Even when you leave really hard, she'll come straight back to you straightaway. She's just a great mare. She's got a good head on her shoulders." If all continues to go well, Tritton will send Sell A Bit to the Matchmaker Series and hope for invites to the Van Rose Memorial and Betsy Ross. "I haven't put her in any early closers because the Matchmaker Series goes for six weeks," Tritton said. "If she gets through all them maybe we can look at a few of the early closers for the following year. "She's not fashionably bred, but she gets the job done," he added. "She looks like a stallion; she's big and strong with a big chest. She's the whole package. If she had been really well bred we might not have been able to buy her. It worked out good. She's pretty exciting. We're keeping our fingers crossed." Ken Weingartner Harness Racing Communications

YONKERS, NY, Friday, December 4, 2015 - They can't stop Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $11.80). They can't even hope to contain her. The leading lady continued her distaff derby dominance Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $32,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace for a fifth consecutive victory. Ordered outside her seven rivals, Sell a Bit N paid a :27.4, opening-quarter price to get the lead, looping Gallie Bythe Beach (Matt Kakaley). After a soft :57.1 intermission, "Gallie" moved from third, with Al Raza N (Eric Carlson) slightly gapping that one. Sell a Bit N maintained her advantage in and out of a 1:2.52 three-quarters, taking a length lead into the lane before winning by a length-and-a-half in 1:53.1. Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) chased the winner home from a loose picket, with Gallie Bythe Beach, Request for Parole (George Brennan) and Al Raza N rounding out the payees. Secret's Out N (Brian Sears) was a non-factor sixth as the slight 2-1 favorite. For fourth choice Sell a Bit N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her 10th win in 21 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $158, with the triple returning $903. Frank Drucker

YONKERS, NY, Friday, November 27, 2015 - Slight harness racing favorite Sell a Bit N (Jordan Stratton, $6.30) continued her distaff derby dominance Friday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $40,000 Filly and Mare Open Handicap Pace for a fourth consecutive victory. Ordered outside her seven rivals, Sell a Bit N paid a :27.4, opening-quarter price to get around Skippin' By (Brian Sears). That one wanted no part of an early seat behind Stormunn (Brent Holland). From there, no issues for the people's preference, as she completed her rounds (:57.1, 1:25.2, 1:53.2) for a comfy win. After a mild, first-up bid from Carolsideal (Dan Dube), Sell a Bit easily closed the sale. The final margin was a length-and-a-quarter over Request for Parole (George Brennan), with Skippin' By, Al Raza N (Eric Carlson) and Jonsie Jones (Tyler Buter) completing the cashers. For Sell a Bit N, a 5-year-old Down Under daughter of Julius Caesar owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was her ninth win in 20 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $26.80, with the triple returning $82 Frank Drucker

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