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Bit Of A Legend N Perfect In Levy

Published: April 24, 2016 12:03 am ET

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Odds-on favourite Bit Of A Legend N (Jordan Stratton, $2.60, part of entry) was the best Free-For-Aller entering and the best exiting Saturday night, winning the $609,000 final of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

The 29th Levy, again honouring the memory of the Harness Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway, served as both the richest race in the history of the event and richest race of the season to date.

Bit Of A Legend N, after winning all five of his series prelims (including a track record dead-heat [with Wiggle It Jiggleit] a week ago), drew post position No. 2 in the final. He was away third early, behind pole-sitting Take It Back Terry (George Brennan) and that one’s stablemate, All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley).

All Bets Off, from post No. 5, paid a 27-second price for the first lead. Stratton, wanting no part of a three-hole, quickly moved Bit Of A Legend N to the front, finding a :55.2 intermission.

“Terry” then took out of third, trying his luck down the backside the second time, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) happily accepting that one’s tow. However, Take It Back Terry never came that close to the “Legend,” who maintained an open lead in and out of a 1:23.1 three-quarters.

The advantage was a length and a half entering the lane, and Bit Of A Legend N was about to close the sale. All Bets Off ducked in, but never threatened as the people’s preference won by a length in a life-best 1:51. He also become the first Down Under winner of this event.

Texican N (Yannick Gingras), stable buddy of the winner, rallied quite nice for third, with P H Supercam and “Terry” earning the minor moolah. Texas Terror N (Brett Miller), Lucan Hanover (Brian Sears) and Mach It So (Tim Tetrick) rounded out the order.

The final time of 1:51 also matched Maltese Artist’s (Greg Grismore) stakes record set in 2007, when the series returned after an 11-year hiatus.

For Bit Of A Legend N, a seven-year-old son of Bettors Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, it was his eighth win in 10 seasonal starts. The exacta paid $4.60, with no triple wagering offered to the limited number (five) of wagering interests.

For Stratton, it was the biggest win of his career.

“He’s perfect for Yonkers, a small horse who gets around this track great.

“Anything can happen when you go for this money,” Stratton said. “I let everything settle and then went to the front. He’s been great through the series and I’m just fortunate to be able to drive him.

“He’s the best horse I’ve ever trained and Jordan’s taken good care of him,” his Aussie-born trainer said, before giving a shout out to the owner, “[Harry von Knoblauch] is 90 years old and he’s on a cruise with his daughter right now. He said, ‘I wish I could get off this boat and be there.’ I told him he’d feel a lot better when he got the cheque.”

What’s next?

“He gets some time off, and then, since he’s not staked to very much, we’re hoping for Invitationals at other half-miles (Western Fair, Harrington, and Northfield)."

The $304,500 winner’s share upped Bit Of A Legend N’s seasonal earnings to an industry-best $451,250.

A $100,000 series consolation was won by death-and-taxes Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague, $2.10) in 1:51.

Yagonnakissmeornot Wins Matchmaker Final

Always a bridesmaid, never a bride...until this time around.

Yagonnakissmeornot (Dan Dube, $8.30), second-best in this race a season ago, rolled from off the pace Saturday night, winning Yonkers Raceway’s $309,800 final of the Blue Chip Matchmaker for pacing mares.

Unhurried early from post position No. 4, “Yagonnakissme” watched Krispy Apple (Jason Bartlett) launched from behind the eight-ball. She was met by Sell A Bit N (Jordan Stratton), with the latter -- as the slight 5-2 favourite -- retaking before a :27.1 opening quarter-mile.

Sell A Bit N continued to lead at :55.3 half as Lady Shadow (Corey Callahan) took out of third. That one moved toward the leader while Yagonnakissmeornot had some ground to make up from second-over to play catch-up.

A :27.4 third quarter (1:23.2) did enough to make leader and challenger a bit susceptible, though Sell A Bit N had a length and a half in and out of the final turn. As that was happening, Yagonnakissmeot was getting the memo and roaring through the lane.

She picked off the pacesetter, whipping Sell A Bit N by a pair of going-away lengths in a life-best 1:51.4. Sell A Bit N held second, with a third-over Al Raza N (Dave Miller) third. Regil Elektra (Tim Tetrick) and last season’s winner, Venus Delight (Yannick Gingras), settled for the remainder, while Krispy Apple, Lady Shadow and Mach It A Par brought up the rear.

For Yagonakissmeornot, a third choice seven-year-old daughter of The Panderosa trained by Rene Allard and owned by Allard Racing, Yves Sarrazin and Kapildeo Singh, it was her fourth win in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $27.80, with the triple returning $143.

“I thought about leaving the gate, but when I saw the outside horse [Krispy Apple] leave hard, I decided against it,” Dube said. “She’s just a tough mare.”

Dube also won this race in 2011 with Tomorrowpan.

“She’s a favourite around the barn, goes about her work and stays at it,” Allard said.

A $75,000 series consolation was won by Carolsideal (Dube, $4) in 1:52.1 as a stablemate to the series winner.

This week's $40,000 Open Trot went to the Thomas Milici-trained Major Athens (Brian Sears, $7) by a neck over Meladys Monet in 1:54.1.

(With files from Yonkers Raceway)


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