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Blue Boy Rolls, Burke's Troops Triple Up

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Published: April 11, 2009 10:50 pm ET

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Blue Boy completed a series sweep Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway's $70,600 final of the Sagamore Hill Pacing Series for three and four-year-olds - the Raceway's richest '09 race to date.

With Jason Bartlett driving for trainer Julie Miler, Blue Boy -three-for-three in prelim action - left from post position No. 6 as the 3-4 wagering favourite.

He wasted no time taking matters into his own hands, grabbing the lead just after a :27.1 opening quarter-mile. Cry For Cash (Brent Holland) protected the pocket, while Internationalstyle (Greg Grismore, four winners Saturday) left outside of the favourite, but was parked for his troubles.

Blue Boy reached the half in :56 and the three-quarters in 1:25, then opened up three lengths turning for home. He defeated Future Cruiser (Jeff Gregory) by that same margin in 1:54.1, with Cry For Cash, Ironstone Wiz (Stephane Bouchard) and Fischers Majorrisk (Jordan Stratton) completing the cashers.

"I had to use him pretty good to get the lead," Bartlett said. "No one left underneath (inside) me, which helped. I wanted to control the race, but if I had to take a hole, I would have.

"He's a big horse, but gets over the ground well enough. He proved he was the best in this series."

For Blue Boy, a four-year-old Real Artist gelding owned by Mack Racing Stable, he returned $3.50 for his seventh win in 11 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $10.20, with the triple returning $21.40.

Saturday night also featured four, $50,000 divisions on the third round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, the Raceway's premier Free-for-All event.

The first Levy grouping saw Atochia (Grismore) leave from post No. 2, sit a three-hole to 4-5 choice King Cat Anvil N (Stratton), then get that one in the passing lane. King Cat Anvil N led through fractions of :27.4, :57 and 1:25.2, but fell a head shy in 1:53.2. Mighty Young Joe (Stacy Chiodo) sat pocketed to the pace-setter, went out for the drive and was photoed for second.

For Atochia, a four-year-old Dragon Again gelding trained by Ron Burke for Burke Racing, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 Stable and JJK Stables, he returned $6.20 (second choice) for his first win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $14.20, with the triple returning $40.60

Saturday night's second Levy division had Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras) give the Burke brigade consecutive series wins with his own repeat performance.

The 2-5 people's choice, leaving from post No. 6, took an early seat fourth before stepping around J P Jackpot (Bouchard). Controlling through fractions of :27.3, :56.2 and 1:24.3, Foiled Again easily dealt with a second move from longshot Booze Cruzin (Ryan Anderson) and opened to a four-length win in 1:53. J P Jackpot was second, with Philos Hanover (Cat Manzi) third.

For Foiled Again, a five-year-old Dragon Again gelding co-owned by Burke, Racing JJK Stables and Weaver Bruscemi, he paid $2.90 for his third win in four seasonal starts. The exacta paid $14.20, with the triple returning $41.60.

The third event had the Burke battalion posing for a picture once again, this time with 6-5 favorite Lucky Bettor (Grismore). Leaving from post No. 4, he went right to the lead before yielding to Psilvuheartbreaker (Jim Meittinis). Those two ran away and hid from the other gang members through fractions of :27, :55.3 and 1:23.4.

Lucky Bettor, sitting a tight pocket, eased out and over "Heartbreaker" by a length-and-half in 1:52.1, fastest local mile of the season. Test Flight (Bouchard) was a best-of-the-rest third.

For Lucky Bettor, a five-year-old statebred Bettors Delight gelding co-owned by Burke Racing, JJK Stables and Weaver Bruscemi, he paid $4.50 for his fourth victory in 11 '09 tries. The exacta returned $9.10, with the triple paying $131.50.

Saturday night's final Levy get-together was a wire-to-wire effort by Real Nice (Bouchard). Leaving from post No. 3, he grabbed the throttle through intervals of :27, :56.1, 1:24. Blueridge Western (Bartlett), 2-5 going for a series three-peat, dropped in fourth before engaging the leader.

"Blueridge" ducked in for a breather with Palone Ranger (Manzi) gapped the pocket, but no matter. Real Nice was too tough, winning by 2 1/2 lengths in 1:52.3, matching his season's best. Albert Chief A (Pat Berry) was third.

For Real Nice, a four-year-old Real Artist gelding co-owned by Beverly and Gary Paganelli and trained by Matt Medeiros, he paid $15.80 (third choice) for his fifth win in a dozen seasonal starts. He led a $35 exacta and $596 triple.

A pair of Sagamore Hill series consolations, worth $25,000 and $12,500 respectively, were won by Blindsided (Grismore, $3.60) in 1:54.2 and Touch And Go (Berry, $4.60) in 1:55.3.

(Yonkers)


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