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Final Matchmaker and Levy series legs in Grand Circuit spotlight
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - by Paul Ramlow, publicity director, the Grand Circuit

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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 two $40,000 divisions on Friday (April 14) in the fifth and final round of the Blue Chip Matchmaker series for open pacing mares. The Saturday (April 15) card at Yonkers will see three $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: With points leader Missile J getting a week off, the Saturday (April 8) marquee was available for rental during round four of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series. Three $50,000 divisions -- down from four the first three weeks -- went at it.

Stablemates Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett, $6.10) and Somewhere In L A (Bartlett again, $7.80) won the second and third events in 1:52.1 and a season’s-best 1:51.3, respectively.

Blood Brother, from post position two after a pair of no-shot seven-holes the previous two tries, picked up pace-setting polester McArdle’s Lightning (Matt Kakaley) after that one laid down the law with fractions of :27.4, :56.3, and 1:24.1. It was 8-5 favorite Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) trying it first-up from fourth, pressing the leader to the lane.

Blood Brother ducked inside and prevailed by a half-length over McArdle’s Lightning, with Keystone Velocity hanging in for third. Te Kawau N (Tim Tetrick) and Provocativeprincen (Jordan Stratton) rounded out the payees.

For second choice Blood Brother, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Richard Banca for co-owners D’Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and P T Stable, it was his second win in 11 seasonal starts and he is one-for-four in this series.

Mike Lizzi photo
Somewhere In L A rallied in the lane to win his Levy split.

Somewhere In L A, from post three, did it first-up. He engaged pole-siting Mach It So (Tetrick) as that one led through intervals of :27, 56.1, and 1:23.3. Somewhere In L A won the stretch battle, picking off Mach It So by a head. Great Vintage (Mark MacDonald) tracked the winner and wound up third, with Soto (Dube) -- a fourth pocket trip in as many series starts -- and 7-5 choice Bit Of A Legend N (Stratton) settling for the minors.

For second choice Somewhere In L A, a 6-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding trained by Banca for co-owners D’Elegance Stable IX, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and The Gandolfo Stables, it was his fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts and his first in the series.

Saturday night’s first Levy grouping had a first-over Clear Vision (Brett Miller, $8.90), from post two, gut out a nose win over McWicked (Kakaley). The latter rolled through subsections of :27.2, :56.3 and 1:24, leading every step but the last one. Third went to a pocketed Guantanamo Bay (Stratton), with slight 2-1 choice Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) and Caviart Luca (George Brennan) grabbing the smaller envelopes.

For third choice Clear Vision, an 11-year-old Western Hanover gelding co-owned by Robert Santagata and Jennifer Lappe and trained by John Kokinos, it was his second win in nine 2017 starts and his first win from his second attempt in this series.

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

Grand Circuit Standings: In 2017, 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 2017 Grand Circuit awards.

Here are the leaders following the past weekend at Yonkers:

Drivers: 1. Jason Bartlett – 96; 2. Matt Kakaley – 71; 3. Jordan Stratton – 61; 4. Tim Tetrick – 42; 5. Daniel Dube - 39.

Trainers: 1. Peter Tritton – 57; 2. Richard Banca – 54; 3. Rene Allard – 39; 4. Scott DiDomenico -32; 5. Tony Alagna – 27.

Owners: 1. Harry von Knoblauch Stable – 48.5; 2. Fred Monteleone Stable – 22; 3. Rene Allard – 15.5; 4t. Brian Carsey – 15; 4t. Legacy Racing of DE – 15; 4t. John McGill - 15.

Looking ahead: Grand Circuit action will continue with the finals and consolations of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy on April 22.


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