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Western Fame Fronts Levy Winners

Published: April 7, 2019 1:35 am ET

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Odds-on Western Fame restored some normal to the gathering with an as-expected romp in the final of four $50,000 divisions for the fourth preliminary of the George Morton Levy Series on the Saturday, April 6 card at Yonkers Raceway.

From post three, the series-points leader drilled his foes through fractions of :27.2, :56 and 1:23.4 in progress to a season-best 1:50.4 win by five-and-a-half lengths.

Gokudo Hanover was a very loosely-pocketed second, with Rock The Nite, Somewhere In L A and Ballerat Boomerang earning the minor moolah.

For Western Fame, a six-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski & Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, he’s now three-for-five this season (two-for-four in Levy). Dan Dube drove the $2.40 winner. The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5, the triple returned $45.80 and the superfecta paid $109.

Here’s the vivid re-enactment of the other divisions:

First division—There weren’t many style points for odds-on JJ Flynn, but he did last through splits of :26.4, :57 and 1:24.2 from post position four to win in 1:52.2. After looping Endeavor early, he held off a second-over Major Crocker A by a neck, with a first-up Pacing Major N third.

Imarocnrollegend N and Always At My Place settled for the remainder. Endeavor lost touch and finished sixth of seven.

For JJ Flynn, a six-year-old Western Ideal gelding co-owned by (trainer) Josh Green, Richard Lombardo and Charles Cochran III, it was his seventh win in 10 seasonal starts (two-for-four in Levy). Tim Tetrick drove the $3.80 winner. The exacta paid $17.60, the triple returned $54 and the superfecta paid $204.50.

“I had to use (JJ Flynn) more than I wanted,” Tetrick said. "Even last week, as soon as I made the lead, they came at me, but he raced well. They went in (1):50 and change (Lyons Steel’s 1:50.4), so I’ve been very happy with him.”

Second division—A week after some noticeable traffic issues, Bettors Fire N was left to his own devices, and promptly made ‘em play.

From post five, he went the distance through fractions of :27.4, :57.4 and 1:25.4, whipping pole-sitting, 2-1 choice Anythingforlove A by a three-quarter lengths in 1:53.2. More The Better N and Nocturnal Bluechip came away with the minors

For sixth choice Bettors Fire N, an 11-year-old Down Under Bettors Delight gelding co-owned by his driver Ron Cushing, Kevin Sywyk & Frank Ranaldi and trained by Heidi Gibbs, he’s now two-for-nine this season (one-for-four in Levy). He paid $19.40 to win. The exacta paid $67.50, the triple returned $508 and the superfecta paid $4,631.

Third division—The last time there were equally-insane early substations of :26.4 here?

Hard-pressed to remember one, so it was no surprise that after a :53.3 intermission, neither tepid 2-1 fave The Downtown Bus nor Lyons Steel were around to tell about it.

The former, after getting trapped in the pocket a week ago, was bent on taking no prisoners this time. The speed summarily surrendered around the 1:22 three-quarters, as Mar Nien A took his turn as a short-term leader.

When the stonedust settled, a from-last The Wall—from post five—snapped late-sweeping Ideal Jimmy, winning by three-quarter lengths in 1:51.2, a life-best-equaling effort. Somebaddude, Bettor Memories and Mar Nien A also made appearance fees.

For fifth choice The Wall, a five-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by J L Benson Stables and trained by Nick Surick, it was his second win in a 11 seasonal starts (two-for-four in Levy). Joe Bongiorno drove the $31.60 winner. The exacta paid $146.50, the triple returned $1,977 and the superfecta paid $2,602.

“I couldn’t believe how fast they were going,” Bongiorno said. “No way I could even keep up. The way the race developed, I thought I’d be second to Ideal Jimmy. I didn’t know how he’d do after competing in non-winners of $20,000, but he’s been solid the whole series.”

Saturday night’s $44,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by an odds-on In Secret in a season’s-best 1:54.4, matching the fastest local trot mile of 2019. George Brennan drove the $3.30 winner.

(with files from Yonkers Raceway)

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