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Levy Stakes Record For Western Fame

Published: April 20, 2019 8:18 pm ET

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Driver Dan Dube and trainer Rene Allard collected their third-consecutive title—their fourth in the last five years—in the George Morton Levy Series as 1-5 favourite Western Fame blew out his competition in the $663,260 final, winning in a stakes-record-equalling 1:50.4 on Saturday, April 20 at Yonkers Raceway.

Western Fame wasted no time when taking the front, pacing to the first quarter in :26.4 with Jj Flynn sitting the pocket. Ideal Jimmy, leaving from post eight, sat fourth before edging off the rail heading to a :55.3 half tracked by More The Better N.

Jj Flynn dropped out of contention through the backstretch, leaving room for Ideal Jimmy to duck to the pylons while Western Fame sped to three-quarters in 1:22.3. The six-year-old Western Ideal stallion widened his advantage around the final turn and through the lane to win by open lengths while Rodeo Rock rallied from off the pace to take the photo for second while More The Better N and Ideal Jimmy settled for third and fourth respectively.

“[Keystone Velocity and Western Fame] are about even right now—Keystone won twice in this race and [Western Fame] is something special too,” driver Dan Dube said after the race. “Those fractions look kind of fast, [but] for him he does it nice and easy. Turning for home he gave me another run—he’s so nice to drive; he just doesn’t get tired.”

Compiling $1.4 million in earnings, Western Fame races for owners Go Fast Stable, Stephen Klunowski, B And I Stables LLC and Gilbert Short. He won his fifth race from seven starts this season and his 21st from 74 overall. Rene Allard trains the $2.50 winner.

“I think we had the best horse this year going in[to the Levy],” Rene Allard said after the race. “It’s a bit of a stressful thing [to race them] every week. The one week where he got second he tied up, so the thing about it is you got to come back the week after and the week after. Now he’s definitely getting a week off, that’s for sure.”

Trainer Jim King Jr. took the top two spots in the $402,060 Blue Chip Matchmaker Final as Shartin N defended her title with a 1:52.1 victory over her stablemate Bettor Joy N.

Sent the even-money favourite, Shartin N floated into fourth around the first turn while Feelin Red Hot battled Apple Bottom Jeans for the lead. Apple Bottom Jeans soon circled to the top past a :27.2 quarter as Shartin N angled off the rail and brushed to the top before a :55.2 half.

Left unchallenged on the lead, Shartin N led loose pocket-sitter Apple Bottom Jeans to a 1:23.3 third quarter. Bettor Joy N, from third over, rushed three wide into the final turn and stormed through the stretch to take second from Apple Bottom Jeans as Shartin N strolled to the wire two lengths in front.

“I’ve put her in spots before where I didn’t think she would reach and she just digs down and finds something,” driver Tim Tetrick said after the race. “When I [saw] Corey had to go hard to get the lead, let George [Brennan on Feelin Red Hot] go and retake, I thought I’d take my chance and push the envelope and he let me go.

“She’s a great mare; she’s proven it time in and time out,” Tetrick also said. “She’s got big lungs and she’s a tough S.O.B., that’s for sure. For her to do what she’s done—make a million dollars last year—it speaks for itself.”

A six-year-old mare by Tintin In America, Shartin N, paying $4.00 to win, won her 30th race from 42 starts, accruing nearly $1.4 million in earnings. She races for owners Richard Poillucci, Jo Ann Looney King and Tim Tetrick LLC.

Richard Banca-trainee Somewhere In L A stalked a fast tempo on cover and overpowered late leader Pacing Major N to take the $100,000 George Morton Levy Consolation in 1:51.2.

Lyons Steel, the 7-5 favourite, led Bettors Fire N to a :26.4 opening quarter and kept the pace quick to a :55.1 half. Pacing Major N, sitting third, flushed first over into the clubhouse turn and supplied cover to Somewhere In L A moving to the backstretch.

Pacing Major N bore into Lyons Steel through the backside and eventually crossed to command past a 1:22.2 third quarter. Somewhere In L A advanced uncovered around the turn while Lyons Steel faded out of contention moving into the stretch. Pacing Major N clung to the lead all through the lane but got nosed in the final stride by Somewhere In L A. Endeavor, from third over, took third while Macs Jackpot finished fourth.

“Looking at the race, I thought we were in a great spot,” driver Jason Bartlett said after the race. “There were enough leavers inside of us—I knew three or four were going to go out of there—and I knew if he was good enough he could pick them off. I especially thought it was going to be a dogfight in the lane but my horse just never quits, that’s for sure.”

Owned by Delegance Stable lx, Carmen Iannacone, T L P Stable and The Gandolfo Stables, Somewhere In L A won his 41st race from 145 starts, surpassing $1.7 million in earnings. Richard Banca trains the eight-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding and paid $18.80 to win.

“When you get on him, it’s a pleasure,” Bartlett also said. “Every time you go behind the gate he gives you what he’s got each and every week, so he’s just been a great horse to drive.”

Driver Tim Tetrick took control with 3-5 favourite Newborn Sassy heading to the quarter and maintained the helm to take the $75,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Consolation in 1:54.

Launching from post eight, Twinkle cleared command early while Newborn Sassy waited until the backside to circle to the top. The Jim King Jr.-trained mare brushed to the front heading to a :27.4 opening quarter and slowed the pace towards a :57.1 half.

Caviart Cherie pulled first over on the second circuit with Camera Lady in tow. Newborn Sassy continued to race with a length-and-a-quarter lead through the backstretch while advancing to a 1:25.1 third quarter. Caviart Cherie retreated into the turn, leaving room for Twinkle to tip off the pylons. Medusa slid into the pocket through the stretch and chased Newborn Sassy to the wire, settling for second at the inside while Twinkle took third.

Winning her 33rd race from 92 starts, Newborn Sassy, paying $3.50 to win, competes for Tim Tetrick LLC and Jo Ann Looney-King. The victory pushes the six-year-old Western Ideal mare closer to $1.1 million in earnings. Tetrick later confirmed that Newborn Sassy would retire from racing following the win and be bred this season to Captaintreacherous.

A pair of $50,000 consolations for Levy eligibles began the Saturday night stakes. Luciano N lunged to a 53-1 win in the first split by sitting pocket to pacesetter Nocturnal Bluechip and first-over challenger Rock The Nite.

Driver Brent Holland angled the Paul Blumenfeld trainee off the rail into the final turn, fanned three wide and nosed Rock The Nite on the wire in 1:53.1. Weona Sizzler A came from third over for third while Nocturnal Bluechip, sent the 8-5 favourite, faded to fourth. Luciano N, an eight-year-old Bettors Delight gelding racing for Boss Racing Usa, returned $109.00 to win while collecting his 10th victory from 102 tries.

Dr J Hanover dashed to a wire-to-wire win in the second division, ending his six-race losing streak to start 2019. The six-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding grabbed the lead from rail-starter Bellows Binge and posted fractions of :27.4, :56.2 and 1:24.3 before uncorking through the stretch to win by two-and-a-half lengths in 1:52.1. Tony Alagna conditions the $5.20 winner, who collected his 20th victory from 72 starts, for owners Brad Grant, Robert LeBlanc, Steven Wienick and Isft. Tim Tetrick sat in the sulky.

Odds-on favourite Smalltownthrowdown secured the lead early and posted soft fractions to wire his competition in the $44,000 Open Trot while under pursuit late. Eye Ofa Tiger As slipped through a seam at the pylons to take second narrowly while New Heaven came from last for third. The Rene Allard-trained six-year-old Cash Hall gelding paid $3.70 to win while nabbing his 26th victory from 74 starts. Dan Dube sat in the sulky for owners Allard Racing Inc., Yves Sarrazin, VIP Internet Stable LLC and Bruce Soulsby.


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