BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway
YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 22, 2017—Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube, $24.80) was hard-used early and hard-headed late Saturday night (Apr. 22nd), winning Yonkers Raceway’s $529,000 final of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.
The sport’s richest race of the season to date again honored the memory of the Hall of Fame founder of Roosevelt Raceway.
At the outset of the 30th Levy, pole-sitting McWicked (Matt Kakaley) was—not surprisingly—put into play. He was joined by Keystone Velocity, who from post position No. 4, forged to the lead just after a spiffy :26.1, opening quarter-mile.
Somewhere in L A (Jason Bartlett), leaving right outside of Keystone Velocity, was caught three-wide and forced to wrangle back to fourth.
McWicked, who had retaken the lead in the second turn, found a :54.4 intermission before longshot Blood Brother (Brian Sears) moved from third. He uncoupled stablemate Somewhere in L A latched from second-over, with even-money choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick) and last season’s champion, Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton), at the back of that train.
McWicked maintained his advantage through a 1:22.3 intermission three-quarters (:27.4 third station), taking a tenuous lead into the lane.
However, his night was about to come to a unsatisfying conclusion. McWicked was done early off final turn, but nor before taking Keystone Velocity to the promised land of the passing lane. It was Keystone Velocity fighting off the race’s other tough mile, beating Somewhere in L A by a head in 1:51.2.
Missile J settled for third, beaten a length, with a very-wide Bit of a Legend N fourth and 107-1 proposition Soto (Brett Miller) grabbing the final pay envelope. .
Blood Brother, Pcovocativeprincen (Yannick Gingras) and McWicked completed the order.
For Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old son of Western Hanover co-owned (as Allard Racing) by trainer Rene Allard, Kapildeo Singh, Earl Hill Jr and VIP Internet Stable, it was his third win (as the fifth choice) in seven seasonal starts. The exacta paid $135.50, the triple returned $593 and the superfecta paid $2,406.
"Rene (Allard) and I talked before the race and we decided we had to leave the gate,” Dube said. “I was just hoping Matt (Kakaley, with McWicked) could get me to the lane. My horse felt very strong, but I did see the other one (Somewhere in L A) coming.”
The driver/trainer combination was this race two seasons ago with Domethatagain, also with a two-hole trip.
A $100,000 series consolation was won by Clear Vision (Miller, $8.40) in 1:51.3.