Yonkers hosts fourth round of Levy Series

Yonkers, NY – Fourth round, four divisions, go ‘fourth’.

Get the picture?

Yonkers Raceway Saturday night (April 6) hosted the next-to-last preliminary get-together of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

Four, $50,000 Free-For All events were carded, one fewer than a week ago.

Here’s the vivid re-enactment…

First division—There weren’t many styles point for odds-on JJ Flynn (Tim Tetrick, $3.80), but he did last (:26.4, :57, 1:24.2; 1:52.2) from post position four.

After looping Endeavor (Jason Bartlett) early, he held off a second-over Major Crocker A (Dan Dube) by a neck, with a first-up Pacing Major N (Jordan Stratton) was third.

I’marocnrollegend N (Scott Zeron) and Always at My Place (George Brennan) settled for the remainder. Endeavor lost touch and finished sixth of seven.

For JJ Flynn, a 6-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). 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, Bettor’s Fire N (Ron Cushing, $19.40) was left to his own devices, and promptly made ‘em play.

From post five, he went the distance (:27.4, :57.4, 1:25.4, 1:53.2), beating pole-sitting, 2-1 choice Anythingforlove A (Joe Bongiorno) by a three-quarters of a length.

More the Better N (Zeron) and Nocturnal Bluechip (Tetrick) came away with the minors

For sixth choice Bettor’s Fire N, an 11-year-old Down Under Bettor’s Delight gelding co-owned by his driver, Kevin Sywyk with Frank Ranaldi and Ron Cushing and trained by Heidi Gibbs, he’s now two-for-nine this season (one-for-four in Levy). 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?

The Wall took the third division of the Levy Series’ fourth leg Saturday at Yonkers. Mike Lizzi Photo.

Hard-pressed to remember one, so it was no surprise that after a :53.3 intermission, neither tepid 2-1 fave The Downtown Bus (Zeron) nor Lyons Steel (Stratton) 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 (Greg Merton) took his turn as a short-term leader.

When the stonedust settled, a from-last The Wall (Bongiorno, $31.60)—from post five–snapped Ideal Jimmy (Brent Holland), winning by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.2, matching a life-best effort. Somebaddude (Brennan), Bettor Memories (Bartlett) and Mar Nien A also made appearance fees.

For fifth choice The Wall, a 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding owned by J L Benson Stables and trained by Nick Surick, it was his third win in a 11 seasonal starts (two-for-four in Levy). 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.”

Western Fame won the fourth and final division of the Levy Saturday at Yonkers. Mike Lizzi Photo.

Fourth division—Odds-on Western Fame (Dube, $2.40) restored some normal to the gathering with an as-expected romp (:27.2, 56, 1:23.4, 1:50.4). From post three, the series points leader drilled his foes by 5-½ lengths, a personal ’19 best and matching Lyons Steel for the fastest Westchester mile of the Levy and season.

Gokudo Hanover (Brennan) was a very loosely-pocketed second, with Rock the Nite (Mark MacDonald), Somewhere in L A (Bartlett) and Ballerat Boomerang (Bongiorno) earning the minor moolah.

For Western Fame, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal owned by Go Fast and B&I Stables, Stephen Klunowski and Gilbert Short and trained by Rene Allard, he’s now three-for-five this season (three-for-four in Levy). The exacta (two wagering choices) paid $5, the triple returned $45.80 and the superfecta paid $109.

For the series standings, as dutifully compiled by Bob (OUTP) Miecuna, click here.

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

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