BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Tuesday, March 18, 2014—Yonkers Raceway’s six-week Free-For-All foray, better known as the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series Matchmaker, begins Saturday night.
Thirty-six (of the 47) series eligibles are in to go, resulting in five, $50,000, opening-round divisions. They go as races 2.4,5,9 and 11 on the 12-race card.
Ten of the entrants carry the hope and dreams of trainer Ron Burke, including the season-debuting Foiled Again. Twice a Levy champion and twice (including last season) a bridesmaid, the sport’s six-million-dollar ($6,030,968) ageless wonder makes his 199th career start.
The 10-year-old Dragon Again gelding, co-owned (as Burke Racing) by his trainer, along with Weaver Bruscemi and JJK Stables, landed post position No. 6 in the final event, with Yannick Gingras doing the honors.
He draws in with the red-hot Apprentice Hanover (Jody Jamieson, post 3), the scourge of Ontario who has won nine consecutive races (5-for-5 this season). Ben Wallace trains the 4-year-old son of Somebeachsomewhere for owner Brad Grant,
Ron Burke and P J Fraley (six entered in the opening round) each have coupled entries in the second division, where double-millionaire Sweet Lou (Gingras, post 5) makes his 5-year-old debut. “Lou” ended his 2013 season with a handy win in an Open Handicap here.
Doctor Butch, a statebred standout and last season’s Art Rooney Pace champ, commences his 4-year-old season in the fourth division. Tim etrick drives for owner Ken Jacobs and trainer Linda Toscano.
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.