Last season’s defending series champ P H Supercam was this season’s only perfect preliminary round participant in Yonkers Raceway’s George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.
Thus, his score is 300, as in 50 points for each of his four series wins and 25 points for each of his four series appearances.
As a result of his late-frame heroics in the second of round five’s three $50,000 divisions on Saturday, P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) become harness racing’s newest millionaire.
Starting from post position No. 5 after getting last week off, P H Supercam settled fourth, in front of longshot National Debt (Eric Carlson). He saw Lucan Hanover (Tim Tetrick), who was rebuffed by Clear Vision at the half a week ago, get stung by that one here. It was Clear Vision (George Brennan) forcing “Lucan” into a brisk, :26.4 opening quarter-mile.
After a :56.3 intermission, 8-5 choice Beach Memories (Dan Dube) moved from third, while “Supercam” was content to sit and watch. Lucan Hanover maintained the advantage in and out of the 1:24.2 three-quarters, but Beach Memories was continuing to invade.
Meanwhile, P H Supercam, minding his business until now, decided to slip out. He went wide and snapped a stubborn Lucan Hanover late, winning by a head in 1:52.3. Third went to a pocketed Clear Vision, with National Debt fourth and Beach Memories fifth.
For P H Supercam, an eight-year-old Million Dollar Cam gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., the win was his sixth in nine seasonal starts (career 45-for-163 with earnings of $1,012,872). The exacta paid $25, with the triple returning $102.50.
“He’s as good now as he’s ever been,” Bartlett said. “Tonight, I saw the leaders getting tired and I thought I had a shot to go in the passing lane. In the end, I figured it was safer just to move him outside.
“Last season, he had to earn the respect. This season, he has it.”
Odds-on choice Take It Back Terry (George Brennan, $3.40) was both hard-used and solid in the final series prelim event.
Seemingly disinterested in leaving until he saw Windsong Song (Brian Sears) with the same idea, “Terry” then whistled around Westchester :26.4, :55.3, 1:23.4, 1:51.4). Domethatgain (Dube) was a second-choice second, beaten one and three-quarter lengths, with Texican N (Carlson) third.
The six-year-old Western Terror gelding is co-owned by trainer Ron Burke (as Burke Racing), Weaver Bruscemi, Larry Karr and Phil Collura. He’s now five-for-13 this season (three-for-four in series). The exacta paid $6.20, with the triple returning $72.50.
The evening’s opening series event was handily won by a first-up favourite, Mach It So (Tetrick, $5.20), in 1:52.4.
From post No. 4, Mach It So saw a retaking Heez Orl Black N (Shaun Vallee) lead through soft early intervals of :27.1 and :57.2. However, he couldn’t stave off Mach It So, who, moving from fourth, was up, over and gone (1:24.2, 1:52.4). The final margin was a length and a quarter over Dancin Yankee (Brett Miller), with Polak A (Sears) third.
For Mach It So, a five-year-old Mach Three gelding also trained by Bamond Jr. for owner Bamond Racing, the win was his first in five ’15 tries. The exacta paid $24.80, with the triple returning $113.50.
Series standings, through all five preliminary rounds, is listed below.
1-P H Supercam (300 points)
2-Take It Back Terry (275)
3-Beach Memories (230)
4-Mach It So (229)
5-Fat Mans Alley (220)
7t-Lucan Hanover, Polak A and Windsong Jack (212).
Note the three-way “dead-heat” for seventh, which has to be broken by lot. Also note that these are not necessarily the finalists. The determination of the field shall be made by the race office based upon series rules regarding multiple horses for owner and/or trainer (if applicable after review).
Finals for the Blue Chip Matchmaker (purse $261,000) and George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series ($529,000) are set for Saturday, Apr. 25 — the two richest North American races of the season to date — and are to be drawn Tuesday morning (Apr. 21).
Saturday night’s $42,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by 2013 Yonkers Trot champ Dewycolorintheline (Jordan Stratton, $20.20) in 1:57.
(Standardbred Canada With files from Yonkers Raceway)