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George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series underway
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - by Frank Drucker, Publicity Director, Empire City at Yonkers Raceway

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Yonkers, NY --- Saturday night (March 17) offered a quintet of $50,000 divisions of Free-for-Allers in the opening round of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

First Division—From post position two, season-debuting Mach It So (Tim Tetrick, $4) threw down an early series gauntlet, retaking from Chumlee A (Larry Stalbaum) en route to a handy (:28.2, :57.3, 1:25.3, 1:53.3) win. Chumlee A chased, beaten 1-3/4 lengths, with pole-sitting Bettor Memories (Kyle Husted) a three-hole third.

Dr. J Hanover sails to victory in his division of the Levy at Yonkers Raceway.

For Mach It So, an 8-year-old Mach Tree gelding owned by Bamond Racing trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., it was a 41st career victory as he nears $2.5 million in career earnings. The exacta (two wagering favorites) paid $11, with triple returning $52.50.

Second Division—It was first-up from and first home for Always At My Place (George Brennan, $12.60). From post two, he engaged last season’s series winner, Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) after that one’s intervals of :27.2; :56.4 and 1:24.3.

Always at My Place forged by late, beating a pylon-skimming Mister Daytona N (Jordan Stratton) by a head in 1:54. Christen Me N (Tetrick), angling from the pocket as Keystone Velocity tired, was third, beaten a neck.

As for 3-2 choice Waikiki Beach A (Scott Zeron), his local debut was dreadful. Never involved, he finished seventh (last), beaten nearly 14 lengths.

For third choice Always at My Place, a 7-year-old Always a Virgin gelding co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Ron Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura, he, too, made a successful 2018 bow. The exacta paid $73.50, with the triple returning $185.50.

Third Division—Polester Dr. J Hanover (Brett Miller, $6.30) took one step forward and the rest of the field deferred. The result (:28.2, :58.1, 1:26.4, 1:55) was a nary more than a public workout. Dr. J Hanover won by 1-1/4 lengths, with Somewhere In L A (Jason Bartlett) a first-up second and 19-10 fave All Bets Off (catch-driver Yannick Gingras) a loose-pocket third.

For second choice Dr. J Hanover, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding co-owned by Brad Grant, Robert Leblanc, Steven Wienick & Irwin Samelman and trained by Tony Alagna, it was his first win in a pair of seasonal starts. The exacta paid $24.20, with the triple returning $50.50.

Fourth Division—Odds-on Rockin’ Ron (Gingras, $2.90)—from post four—rebounded from a poor effort in his final pre-series overnight event and went the distance (:27.1 :56.4, 1:24.3, 1:53). Evenin’ of Pleasure (Joe Bongiorno) chased the winner in a good try, beaten three-quarters of a length. Western Dynasty (Bartlett) sat a three-hole and picked off the rest.

Mike Lizzi photos
2016 champ Bit Of  A Legend N makes short work of his rivals on Saturday evening.

For Rockin’ Ron, a 6-year-old Real Desire co-owned (as Burke Racing) by (trainer) Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, RTC and J&T Silva Stables, it was his first win in three seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18.80, with the triple returning $56.50.

Fifth Division—Bit Of A Legend N (Stratton, $21.60) seemed to be minding his own affairs in his 2018 purse debut, when things worked out quite well for him. From post three, the 2016 Levy champ worked out a second-over trip behind 1-2 fave Missile J (Tetrick). He then rolled over his tow, winning by a neck in 1:53.3. Long Live Rock (Dube) rallied for third.

Great Vintage (Gingras), after fractions of :26.3; :56.4; 1:25, led to the lane before fading to fifth.

For fourth choice Bit Of A Legend N, a 9-year-old Down Under son of Bettor’s Delight owned by Von Knoblauch Stable and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his 42nd career win (earnings $1.93 million). The exacta paid $52, with the triple returning $279.50.

Sunday racing is back tomorrow (March 18), with first post at 11:45 a.m.

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