At Yonkers, the fifth and last leg of the Matchmaker and “Levy” series offered three divisions each to settle the fields for next week’s finals on Saturday, April 21. We will cover both of those races in our April 19 preview, along with some other features and the horses-to-watch (H2W) list.

Here are the contributions from our week of contenders in chronological order.

Friday, April 13

This week’s Matchmaker series round offered the last three divisions. It was our worse showing in the series, especially since our sole choice in the first division, Mackenzie A, finished fifth as the favorite and did not make the final. Adding insult to injury, a mare we backed last week, Dudesalady, won at 12-1. We were hot on Mackenzie A to repeat her Matchmaker crown but apparently that fever burned out.

In the second division, won by the public’s third choice, we were third with Medusa ($2.40). Incorrect about the class of Gina Grace N (62-1), she lost the third division to the public’s second choice as the favorite broke and could not get back into the action once pacing again.


Saturday, April 14

Leg five of the Levy series also presented three divisions and only the second division was taken by a public choice, while two 7-1 shots took the other pair. The winning favorite was another horse we backed last week, Keystone Velocity, last year’s champ. We wound up with the public’s second choice, Evenin Of Pleasure (9-5), who finished fourth.

In the first division, Chumlee A (43-1) never stepped strongly enough to get himself out of last place in sixth.

In the last division, Luciano N (23-1) finished fifth, racing much worse than we expected, given his March 24 place finish and launching from the rail.



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H2W LIST RESULTS

The H2W results list across-the-board prices. Also, exactas listed are included when a H2W horse finishes second with a race favorite or the first two finishers making up the exacta are H2W horses (an asterisk appears when both horses were listed to complete a cold exacta). The note “ok” determines that prices published are correct even when a show price exceeds a place price or any or all of the prices are the same. This week, there were 52 active horses (a 12-percent win hit rate and a 39-percent ATB [across-the-board] hit rate).

Please note that some H2W results reflect win, place, show and exotic results occurring by press time but some horses race after the blog is posted (we list them the following week) It is up to you to follow horses that have not performed before this weekly review


Winners

Nice Aint My Color, $9.30, $7.10, $3.90, Fraser
Schwarzkopf, $6.70, $2.50, $2.30, Monticello
Regil Electra, $4.00, $2.90, $2.60, Yonkers
Top Notch, $3.60, $2.40, $2.10, Northville
SB Mikes Hot Beach, $3.40, $2.80, $2.40, Scarborough
Courageous Colors, $3.20, $2.20, $2.10, Hoosier


Seconds

Owosso Flash, $33.20, $19.00, Harrington
Kathys Kitchen, $19.60, $6.80 (Exacta $65.20), Northfield
Dirty Cowboyboots, $5.80, $3.40 (Exacta $8.00), Cal-Expo
Luigi, $5.60, $4.40, Scarborough
Joe Hill, $4.80, $3.20 (Exacta $22.20), Pocono
Pas Corn Squeezin, $3.60, $2.60 (Exacta $6.70), Cal-Expo
Uncle Reimis, $2.60, $2.40 (Exacta $8.20), Pompano
Te Kawau N, $2.20, $2.10, Pocono


Thirds

Mighty Touch, $7.20, Scarborough
Adios Amigos, $5.20, Meadows
Workin Them Angels, $2.60, Fraser
SB Mikes Hot Beach, $2.40, $2.20, Scarborough
Deny Deny Deny, $2.10, Freehold
RJP, $2.10, Meadows


News & Notes

The Hambletonian Society (HS), has raised purses for the freshman divisions of the Breeders Crown races from $500,000 to $600,000 each in its 2018 series. This makes for the richest freshman events for each gender and gait in the country. All 12 year-end championship miles will be held on Saturday, Oct. 27, at Pocono Downs. Given HS’s longstanding mission to support and promote the breeding of standardbreds and in a continued effort to address the issue of declining foal crops, an immediate boost to frosh purses benefits breeders, owners and yearling buyers. “This will be the fourth-straight year we’ve been able to bump the [freshman ‘Crown’] purses to $600,000,” said John Campbell, HS president. Eliminations for freshman races will be held Oct. 19, while soph-and-older elim go on Oct. 20.

On April 17, last year’s Hambletonian winner Perfect Spirit (who we touted live at the Meadowlands on Hambo day) will race for the first time in his new home, Sweden. Perfect Spirit, now trained by Daniel Redén, is entered in a race for older trotters at Solvalla. Perfect Spirit will debut racing from a standing start, as he will race 20 meters behind scratch in the 1 5/16th miles race. Another Hambo competitor from last year, Enterprise, who won an elimination and was third in the final, has \ raced twice in Sweden.
He has recorded one win, timed in a 1:58.1 mile race, also at 1 5/16th miles.

Plainridge Park will open its 2018 live racing season on April 16 with a 4 p.m. post. The 19th season of harness will see 110 programs that run through Nov. 29. Racing goes through Sept. 3, when the post moves to 2 p.m. The post time adjusts again on Nov. 1, this time to 1 p.m. where it will remain for the rest of the meet. Race days will be Monday, Tuesday and Thursday until May 1 when the track goes to four-days-a-week schedule, adding Fridays until the end of July. The schedule then reverts to three days (Monday, Tuesday and Thursday) in August and remains that way until the end of the meet. The track will be dark on July 27 and Nov. 22. Look for contenders in the H2W list beginning this Thursday.



Extraordinary Extras

Indulge in many standardbred topics at my Hoof Beats blog titled Vast Performances.

And check my monthly column, Alternative Actions, at Harness Racing Update