Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series for free for allers kicked off tonight with a quartet of $50,000 divisions over a ‘sloppy’ surface.
The opening event saw 3-2 choice Missile J (Tim Tetrick, $5) charge from sixth in the lane to win going away in 1:54.1. Unhurried from post position two, he rolled late, whipping a pocketed Blood Brother (Jason Bartlett) by a length and a half. Third went to a rallying Guantanamo Bay (Scott Zeron), with 78-1 Burning N (Ron Cushing) and a pace-setting Keystone Velocity (Dan Dube) settling for the remainder.
For Missile J, a four-year-old American Ideal gelding trained by Scott DiDomenico for Hoosierland co-owners John McGill and Brian Carsey, it was his fifth win in six seasonal starts.
Saturday night’s second Levy grouping saw Long Live Rock (Dube, $38.60) author a decisive, first-over upset. Moving from fourth (from post two), he dismissed 1-2 favourite McWicked (Zeron), then drew off to win by three lengths in 1:54.1. Season-debuting All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) couldn’t match the winner’s tow but finished second, with 62-1 shot Mattamerican (Mark MacDonald) third.
Santa Fe Beachboy (Jordan Stratton) and Melmerby Beach (Tetrick) grabbed the minors. McWicked, caught three-deep early, wound up a badly-beaten seventh.
For fifth choice Long Live Rock, an eight-year-old Rocknroll Hanover gelding owned and trained by Rene Allard, it was his first win in six seasonal starts.
The evening’s third series soiree has Provocativeprincen (Stratton, $5.70), from post two, prevail in a blanket finish. Away third, he engaged Bettors Edge (Brett Miller), then outgamed a pocketed, 8-5 fave Rockin Ron (Yannick Gingras) by a head in 1:54.2.
Mach It So (Tetrick) in his first seasonal start, was third, beaten a neck, with Bettors Edge and 77-1 Texas Terror N (MacDonald) earning the lesser loot.
For second choice Provocativeprincen, an eight-year-old Grinfromeartoear gelding owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, he’s now four for four to begin the season.
“He’s done nothing wrong since I’ve sat behind him,” Stratton said.
The first round’s final foray offered the fastest feet as Soto (Kakaley, $14) from the pocket was able to get ‘first run’ against defending series champion Bit Of A Legend N (Stratton). The former, from post three, whipped the latter by a half-length in 1:53.3.
Bit Of A Legend N, as the 2-5 choice, was second-up and may have waited a tad too long. Pacesetting Somewhere in L A (Bartlett), Wakizashi Hanover (Tetrick) and Always At My Place (Gingras) rounded out the payees.
For third choice Soto, a five-year-old son of Rock N Roll Heaven trained by Eric Ell for co-owners Kenneth Wood, William Dittmar Jr. and Stephen Iaquinta, it was his fifth win in nine ’17 starts.
“He’s just a versatile horse,” Kakaley said. “I would have been happy either cutting the mile or sitting second. It may have been different had Bit Of A Legend N been first-up, but my horse was very good.”
The Saturday night Pick 5, buoyed by a carryover in excess of $3,100, was taken down by one bettor. A winning combination of 2/3/8/7/3 returned $13,468.25 for that 50-cent wager.
Reminder that Sunday’s live all-trot ‘French’ card begins at 12:30 PM, the final Sunday card until the end of May.