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Palone Ranger Preps For Levy


Published: March 23, 2009 7:57 pm ET

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After overcoming foot problems at the beginning of the year, Palone Ranger seems to be putting his best foot forward as he prepares for the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway.

The six-year-old pacer, who has won $1.2 million in his career, is coming off consecutive victories at Yonkers after struggling in four January appearances at the Meadowlands.

The first of the Levy's five preliminary legs is Saturday. The final is May 2.

“He's doing very well; we gave him a little time off and then his feet were bothering him," trainer Greg Peck said. "He had a quarter crack; it's the time of the year that they seem to get them. Some horses are prone to them, but actually this is the first time he's done it. He ended up with two of them, one on the left front foot and one on the right hind. Joe Brandau patched them.

"I figured the fact that he could drop a couple notches in class (at Yonkers), it was a good way to go in to the Levy. (I wanted) to go in to the Levy off a win."

Palone Ranger, who is owned by Four Friends Racing Stable, has won 13 of 88 career races and finished second or third on 30 other occasions. Last year, he won a Levy leg and just missed by a nose (against Mr Feelgood) in the Presidential final. He was fourth in the Breeders Crown and William Haughton.

His biggest victory came as a three-year-old in 2006 when he won the $546,830 Messenger Stakes at Yonkers. The Messenger is one of the Pacing Triple Crown events. Lifetime, Palone Ranger has won five of 12 starts at Yonkers, but should not be characterized as a small-track specialist, according to Peck.

"A lot of people think that because of the Messenger, but I'd say he's equally effective on any track," Peck said.

Peck has not altered the training schedule for Palone Ranger, who he has trained since late in his three-year-old season.

"He trains about the same as he always has," Peck said. "He's pretty athletic, stays fit, so it's not hard to keep him in shape. He keeps himself in shape pretty well."

(Harness Racing Communications)

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