BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, March 22, 2014—That Foiled Again came out swinging in the opening round of Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series shouldn’t have come as a surprise…though some of the wagering public needed convincing.
The now-10-year-old began his season and a quest for a third Levy title, throwing down the gauntlet with a wire-to-wire win the last of five, $50,000 divisions.
In play early from post position No. 6, Foiled Again as (along with entrymate Hillbilly Hanover) the 13-10 second choice, career win No. 77 couldn’t have been less stressful. A Westchester waltz through fractions of :27.4, 57.1, 1:24.4 and 1:52.1 had him 2¾ lengths to the good at the wire.
Meanwhile, Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson), the bully of Woodbine who hit town with nine consecutive wins (5-for-5 this season), was sent off as the 2-5 favorite. However, he made no effort to leave from post No. 3, and was forced to play catch-up.
He moved from fourth and gained on Foiled Again, but lost any chance when he could not cleanly negotiate the last turn. Apprentice Hanover did recover to catch Hillbilly Hanover (George Brennan) in a dead-heat for second.
Start No. 199 for the Dragon Again gelding increased his lifetime loot to $6,055,968. Ron Burke trains and co-owns (as Burke Racing) with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables. He returned $4.70, with the exacta paying $6.70 and the triple returning $14.40.
“I was somewhat surprised to Jody (Jamieson) did not leave, but honestly, I don’t think it would have changed the outcome,” Gingras said. “Foiled Again qualified back great, and I came here to win tonight.
“(Foiled Again) has lost the opening round of the series the last couple of years, and that forced him to race in all legs to make the final. Our goal is race well enough the first few weeks of the (five) preliminaries, so he can steal a week off at some point before the (Apr.26) final.
The night’s fastest Levy event—and fastest local mile of the season—was turned by Easy Again (Brennan, $3.10), who popped pocket (from post No. 5) before the three-quarters, then strolled home by 3¾ lengths in 1:51.3 (early fractions of :26.3, :55.4 and 1:23.2).
Malak Uswaad N (Brian Sears) grabbed second, with P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) third.
For Easy Again, a 5-year-old Dragon Again ridgling co-owned (and trained) by Burke, Weaver Bruscemi, M1 and Panhellenic Stables, it was his third win in eight seasonal starts. The exacta paid $18, with the triple returning $112.
“At the five-eighths, I could see Ron (Pierce’s) horse (Eddie Sweat) was done, so I moved,” Brennan said. “He finished very well.”
The evening’s other trio of Levy events were won by…
--Mach it So,g,4 (by Mach Three); owner Bamond Racing/trainer P J Fraley/driver Tim Tetrick; 1:52.1/$19;
--Bettor’s Edge,g,5 (by Bettor’s Delight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,M1 Stb/driver Brennan; 1:52.4/$2.60 (POE);
--Itrustyou,g,6 (by Third Straight); co-owners (as Burke Racing, trainer) Burke,Weaver Bruscemi,RTC Stbs/driver Gingras; 1:52.4/$5.50 (POE).
The Raceway's five-night-per-week live schedule continues, with first post every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:10 PM. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available daily.