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Levy Final Set At Yonkers

Published: April 28, 2009 7:32 pm ET

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Blueridge Western, leader in preliminary-round points, drew post position No. 7 for Yonkers Raceway's $370,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

Post time for Saturday night's 11-race card is 7:10 PM, with the finale of the Levy Series--the sport's richest race of 2009 to date--going as the ninth race.

The Levy, Yonkers' premier Free-For-All event, honors the founder of Roosevelt Raceway and a 1996 inductee into the Harness Racing Hall of Fame. It is joined on the card by the $229,000 final of the inaugural Blue Chip Matchmaker.

The Matchmaker, an Open Mare event, is carded as the sixth race on the program.

Blueridge Western, a four-year-old Allamerican Ingot gelding, authored four wins and a second in his five prelim series starts. However, that resounding resume failed to impress the gods of the open draw, who give him a tough starting venue for the final.

Jason Bartlett retains the assignment for owner Francis Azur and trainer Kevin McDermott. For the season, "Blueridge" has won six of his 14 starts ($146,875). A win or a second in the final makes him a millionaire.

Trainer Ron Burke qualified three for the final. However, since race conditions limit a maximum of two per stable, Foiled Again (Yannick Gingras, post 3) and Lucky Bettor (Greg Grismore, post 5) have the honors. Both entities are co-owned by Burke Racing, JJK Stables and Weaver Bruscemi and shall race as a coupled entry.

Foiled Again, a six-year-old Dragon Again gelding, enters with three consecutive open-length series wins and four wins in five '09 tries (an even $100,000). Lucky Bettor, a five-year-old statebred Bettors Delight gelding, had a pair of wins and a pair of seconds among his five prelim performances. Driver Grismore won the '07 Levy with Maltese Artist when this series was reborn after an 11-year hiatus.

Psilvuheartbreaker (Jim Meittinis, post 1) and Mighty Young Joe (Stacy Chiodo, post 4) finished in a tie for eighth place after the prelims, and that would have meant a draw by lot to see who raced in the final. However, since Team Burke had three of the horses ahead of these two in the standings, one of Burke's--Atochia--was the odd horse out.

"Heartbreaker," a 6-year-old Nobleland Sam gelding trained by Bruce Saunders for owner Frank Bellino, is looking to become a seven-figure career performer. He would get there with a first or second here. "Joe," a six-year-old Blissfull Hall gelding trained by Chiodo for her mom, Pamela Jane Menosky, had the biggest preliminary-round surprise - a 15-1 win in Round 4.

Hard-hitters King Cat Anvil N (Jordan Stratton, post 2), Wholly Louy (Stephane Bouchard, post 6) and Real Nice (Bouchard also listed, post 8) complete the octet.

The all-age Yonkers Raceway track record--Silver Almahurst's 1:50.4--was set in this event 16 seasons ago.

Millionairess Chancey Lady outdrew her seven rivals for the final of the Matchmaker. Cat Manzi escorts the 4-year-old daughter of Camluck for owner Niele Jiwan and trainer Mark Kesmodel. Chancey Lady's 1:52.2 effort in the first round of this series was the fastest prelim Matchmaker mile.

For the season, she has won four of her 11 starts ($144,425).

Pancleefandarpels (Stratton, post 3) led the lasses in preliminary points, winning thrice. The five-year-old statebred daughter of Noble Ability, owned by Peter Pan Stables and trained by Erv Miller, is batting .500 (6-for-12) this season ($126,940).

Western Graduate (Jim Pantaleano, post 4) and Omen Hanover (Eric Abbatiello, post 5) are paired as an Abbatiello-trained, common-ownership (KDM Stables) entry. Each has a series win to her credit, as does Elusive Prey (Bouchard, post 2).

Double Dream N (Brent Holland, post 6), Hannah Isabel (Pat Lachine, post 7) and J K Pure Pearl (Bouchard also listed, post 8) round out the field for the finale.

As an extra perk, the Blue Chip Matchmaker offers three free breedings for the 2010 season--one each to American Ideal, Art Major and Bettors Delight--donated by Blue Chip Farms. The winner of the final has first choice of stallions, the second-place finisher has the choice of the two remaining stallions, with third-place getting a breeding to remaining stallion. Please note that any dead-heats with regards to the breedings shall be decided by lot, and Blue Chip Farms has the right of approval of the mares being bred.

A pair of series consolations, worth $100,000 (Levy) and $75,000 (Matchmaker), goes as Saturday night's fifth and eighth races, respectively.

(Yonkers)


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