Spring is in the works, so the five-week prelims for the 2019 George Morton Levy and Blue Chip Matchmaker series at Yonkers have come down to the finals and their consolations on April 20. Along with them, we continue to feature local series, especially the sophomore theaters for colts and fillies. There is a lot of action at a lot more tracks than deep winter allowed for picking and choosing betting opportunities.
TwinSpires’ exclusive harness horses-to-watch (H2W) list is all over the action, presenting contenders with potentially prime prices. Do your own handicapping and then consider our H2W selections. Consult the H2W for all of your harness action.
MIAMI GALS GO
The $40,000 James Hackett Memorial Final brings together nine soph-filly pacers that have earned their berths through legs of this event at Miami Valley on April 19. With some argument, is Queen Of The Pride is the horse to beat? She certainly has foes that appear threats.
Ron Burke’s barn has two in the field, topped by Brian Brown’s trio, and all five are in play. In fact, it is difficult to look beyond the quintet, as the morning line (ML) indicates after “Queen” gets the ML nod.
Of the five, a decent price could be the case for one of each in the Burke and Brown group. The former’s Avaline Hanover, the top money-earner in the field, would be a bargain at her 5-1 ML; the latter’s High Reward (9-2) is also okay at that price. Of course, both would have to race faster than they have ever won, as Queen is ticks better than all here and may get faster, especially if she is unchallenged.
The true outsider may be Rylee Roo, from Steve Carter. She could be overlooked and surpass her 7-2 prediction and be the main threat.
So, this is all about the decisions in price the majority makes, unless you feel, as we do, that Queen can pace away with this racing any style and may be worth the price considering the other possibilities.
Leg three of the Wiggle It Jiggleit Series (soph-colt pacers) at the Meadowlands is also an April 12 feature, sending two $15,000 divisions to the gate.
Four-wins-in-five-starts Dealer’s Table looks to rule the first division. Jeff Cullipher’s colt is cooking on his one-stop East Coast tour. Burke’s trio is tough to measure. The debut of Loutenant was not impressive; Acton Hanover is zip for three; and Twin B Watching is not looking like a fireball.
Respect Our Flag is campaigning for Jennifer Bongiorno and she has been sending out sound and fury at the Meadowlands. This one may be an easy winner, successfully challenging the obvious public choice.
In the second division, four Burke boys spread through the field of nine, with Sugartown the most productive and bound to be a crowd-pleaser at the windows. Again, Bongiorno sends the best threat and at possibly a good price to Ron’s entries—Rollwithpapajoe. This is only his third race and he has won one, just enough to be on him if he is even better this week.
Two Open Pace finals are on tap at Hoosier on Friday, April 19. The $20.000 Jammin Joshua is first with 10 aboard.
Cullifer stock is working in two jurisdictions (see Meadowlands feature); here he offers a fine chance of winning with Keystone Tenacious. This is a great spot in only his fifth start of the season with a win and two places putting early money in the bank. He offers two others with little going for them. His only threat, Mojoto Hanover, leaves from the second tier but may still be over-bet.
The $16,000 Roy Kautz Final also sends 10 to the gate. There’s a good path for Just N Ace to win for the first time in 2019. With two places in four races, this pacer is the best among four that have not won yet. Just N Ace may look better next time so this is a spot to back him for price and purpose.
A Matchmaker Series Consolation worth $75,000 goes before the final on April 20 on the Yonkers program. Eight pacing mares that did not get into the main event meet for this mile.
Top-notch Delightfulmemphisn leads the pack, having done best in the legs and the public will see it clearly. Burke’s duo is lead by Camera Lady, who was waking up late in the series and won’t be ignored on the board. If there were to be an upset here we would take Newborn Sassy. She came into the series looking good so far this season but was not able to find a good path in any division. This mile may be rife for “Sassy” to steal the show at a big price.
The $401,600 Matchmaker Final is no race for swinging at the fence since Shartin N has no excuse to lose it. Certainly anyone could make cases for each mare from post 1 through post 4 but under what circumstances? Only Feelin Red Hot was able to defeat Shartin in a division when Shartin left from post 8 and, even with a tough trip, was barely beaten. She is still a key horse in all exotics, which is not are not easy calls either considering those already mentioned.
G.M. LEVY LEAGUE
Two $50,000 Levy-eligible (LE) miles and a $100,000 consolation are the overtures for the big final on April 20. The first division hosts seven that worked the series in the past five weeks.
The first LE is a tight one, presenting an uneven field with slim credentials from the series. Where the crowd settles in this field is tough to predict. Suffice it to say that Nick Surick’s unsuccessful series entry, Control Tower, managed to handle himself well across the board and could have the edge here, though the public is smart enough to see it and could bet it far too much. We would take a shot with Andy Harris’s Rock The Nite, who may be able to engine this field and hold them off all the way around.
The second LE also presents a field of seven, also tight in their present conditions. It is no stretch to go with Bellows Binge from the rail, except to say that the crowd my not agree and as a second or worse choice “Binge” could be the bet for price and purpose.
The $100,000 G.M. Levy Consolation, featuring the rest of the best, has eight at the gate. If you are looking for an outsider, he is being served from the 8 hole, guaranteeing a good price. That’s Imarocnrolllegend N, who would not surprise us winning from the top early with a big brush or off of a cover trip late.
This year’s George Morton Levy Final is worth $662,800 and the eight horses involved will be out for every penny of the best share. JJ Flynn gets a good spot in post 3, Western Fair will also launch well from post 4 but Ideal Jimmy, arguably the other best in the series, is bound to be in trip trouble leaving from post 8. Traffic appears eminent in this mile, with dueling and sloppy challenges for spots most of the cause.
We will go again with Bongiorno’s entry, Anythingforlove A. One of the easiest trips, if we are right about the scuffles, will be given Jennifer’s steed from post 1. We do not expect him to wire this field but we do expect him to take advantage of the busy pacing along the four turns and have a bit more left than the others—and at a price worthy of supporting.
Review our choices and follow the wagering at the prescribed track. These are possible contenders we have judged from reviewing races. The horses’ names are listed beneath the name of the track after the date they will be racing. The race in which they are entered (R and race number) follows. If a + is in front of a horse’s name it means it is appearing on the list for the second (and last) time because it failed to win the first time it appeared. An “ae” signals the horse is entered on the also-eligible list. If a horse is listed twice, refer to the entries on the night of the race since a horse may enter in more than one race. Types of wagering on any of the H2W listed horses are based on your judgment. If you have any questions, email us at TwinSpires.
4/19/19, +Tiki Taka R2
4/19/19, +Gran San R1; +Stylemaster R3; Missponderosajones R6
4/20/19, Yankee Time R2; +Lickcreek Speedway R4
4/18/19, Don’t Write Me Out R9
4/19/19, +Latoka R5
4/20/19, +Black Dan R4; +Fernleigh Rebel N R10
4/22/19, +Sweet Sun Daze R4
4/18/19, Normans Madeline R7; Madelines Craycray R9; Northern Salina R13
4/19/19, Uncle Si R8; +BC Octane R14
4/19/19, La Dofina R2; +Sheeza Grip N R4
4/20/19, +Hudsonandbernard R3
4/20/19, +Roll N Catch R8
4/19/19, +Total Sin R9
4/20/19, Stonehouse Adam R8; +Franzo R11; Too Hot To Stop R14
4/22/19, Velocity Gretchen R10; JD Jay Dee R13
4/18/19, Audacious Warrior R1; +HD Fortuna R3; +Ironbarbassy R4; Celtic Art R6; +Beach Jumper R7
4/20/19, Scoot-n-nya R2; Rockin Kasbah R5; +Godiva Seelster R7; Champagne Shower R9; +Beautiful Artist R11; Belle’s Delight R16
4/19/19, Stoneborough R2
4/20/19, Bourdain R6; Times Are Tough R8
4/18/19, +Chiplosive R6; +Latoka ae R7
4/18/19, Cams Candy Girl R6; +Cant Touch Him R7
4/19/19, Ugly Stick R1; +I Am A Summer R2; Sortie Hanover R9
4/20/19, +Logan Hanover R1; +Spanish Art R1; A And C Artist R7; +Rootin Tootin R11
4/18/19, Martha’s Star R5; Miracle Ace R6
4/20/19, +Real World Goal R2
4/20/19, +Quint Largo R4; Frost Free Hanover R5; Manhattan Express R8
4/21/19, +Three Day Forecast R9
4/19/19, +Pittstop Emerald R1; +This Baby Rocks R3; Brady Be Brave R3; Pier Ito Exotic R5
4/18/19, Mateo R3; +Dw’sblissfulthinkn R10
4/19/19, +Muscle Ave R6; Lakeisha Hall R7
4/20/19, +Don Domingo N R7