The nominations for the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series have been released. Fifty-two horses have been nominated for the series which kicks off on March 27 at Yonkers Raceway (28 mares have been nominated for the companion Blue Chip Matchmaker Series). Among the nominees to the Levy are horses like Badlands Nitro, Blueridge Western, Corky Baran, Foiled Again, Mr Wiggles, Psiluvheartbreaker, and Southwind Lynx. A full list of nominees is available here.
The Levy is one of my favorite pacing series. For a period of six weeks some of the best horses currently racing will be competing in the Levy and why not? For five weeks, the horses will be competing for purses of $50,000 and the top eight horses will be racing for $460,000 in the final. If a horse were fortunate enough to sweep the series, he would earn his owners a tidy $355,000. Fans and gamblers are treated to strong Saturday night cards as the preliminaries tend to draw multiple divisions.
There will be those who will downplay the Levy series saying the race does not draw the best horses racing; no doubt sour grapes. If a top horse is not competing in the Levy, it is because the horse is unable to handle the half mile oval. Don't begrudge those able to handle the smaller oval.
We will discuss the Levy more once the series begins. In the meanwhile, put Yonkers Raceway on your wagering calendar for six Saturday nights starting March 27.
Down in New Zealand, Monkey King closed out his campaign with a victory in the $500,000 (NZ) Auckland Cup. Details of the race, including video may be found here. Monkey King finishes the season with eight victories and three second places finishes out of twelve starts in New Zealand and Australia.