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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Levy Memorial - Week 4, Using Humor to Draw Interest

This Saturday is the fourth of five preliminary legs of the Levy Memorial Pacing Series at Yonkers Raceway.  With only two more weeks to qualify for the lucrative final, it is coming down to crunch time as it is important to earn enough points to be one of the eight horses eligible for the final. 

Were the final being held this week, the following horses would qualify:

1  Atochia                  200.0 points
2  Foiled Again          200.0 points
3  Poker Hat              187.0 points
4 Southwind Lynx      183.0 points
5 Tenant In Chief       183.0 points
6 Blueridge Western  158.0 points
7 Western Ace           158.0 points
8 Mr Wiggles             150.0 points

Lest you think the final field is set, there are plenty of horses still with a reasonable chance of qualifying for the final.  With points being awarded 50-25-12-8-5 for finishing first through fifth plus twenty five points awarded just for starting in a race, few horses have the luxury of taking it easy this week.  You also need to watch horses like Days of Courage N and Pangiorno.  Though they have raced credibly in the Levy series when they raced, by not starting in all three divisions thus far, it makes it virtually impossible for them to qualify for the final; so these next two weeks are their chances to add significant money to their race cards.

For those who may be interested in the entire Yonkers Raceway card, here are my handicapped selections for Saturday evening's card:

1st Pace - $16,000; Non-winners $12,000 in last six starts
3 - Fox Valley Tribal      9-5 Finds right level here.
2 - Box Care Billie         4-1 Steps up off nice win. Failed last time in this class.
6 - Blindsided                8-1 Raced well at Freehold against similar company.

2nd Pace - $16,000; Non-winners $12,000 in last six starts
1 - Allamerican Fargo   8-5 Slight edge over others.
6 - Feets of Magic        6-1 Share with best
2 - Tom's Wealth         5-1 Returned sharp. May be able to handle hike.

3rd Pace - $16,000; Non-winners of $13,050 in last six starts
5 - Table And Chair      5-1 Raced decently in Levy; dropping down.
6 - On the Brink          10-1 Toscano trainee can grab share.
3 - C A Marauder         9-5 Rare British Columbia invader ships in after victorious stop over at Pocono. Hard to gauge.

4th Pace - $50,000; Levy Memorial FFA, Leg 4
4 - Western Ace          9-5 Good closing kick to win.
1 - River Shark            7-5 Will attempt to go wire to wire. Will he hold on?
5 - Clear Vision         12-1 Not out of it with a fast pace.

5th Pace - $20,000; Non-winners $18,000 in last six starts
4 - Franco Natura N   4-1 Tepid choice to win.
5 - Artist Cafe           6-1 Gets needed class relief.
2 - Ideal Michael        5-1 Never better as he continues climb in class.
6 - Major Stone       10-1 Completes exotics.

6th Pace - $50,000; Levy Memorial FFA, Leg 4
2 - Go Go Solano      4-1 Overcame interference to finish third in last; possible upset victor.
3 - Foiled Again        7-5 Horse to beat.
6 - Special Report   15-1 Eligible to improve off of recent.

7th Pace - $25,000; 4yos Winners over $12,000 in last six starts Hdcp - pp 1-3 assigned, 4-8 drawn
4 - Redneck Outlaw     5-1 Expect much better in age restricted race.
6 - Falcon Stena         6-1 Steps up off win. Been racing weill.
5 - Lahaye                  4-1 Ships in from the Spa on a three race win streak.
8 - Best Route             --- SCRATCHED

8th Pace - $50,000; Levy Memorial FFA, Leg 4
4 - Mr Wiggles           9-5 Hitting best stride.
2 - Four Trumps A    15-1 Expect to wake up here.
3 - Mccedes               8-1 May edge out Real Nice for final spot.

9th Pace - $50,000; Levy Memorial FFA, Leg 4
1 - Pangiorno            9-5 Looks to repeat from rail.
3 - Badlands Nitro     3-1 Second best.
4 - Western Blood     5-1 Completes the triple.

10th Pace - $27,000; Preferred Handicap - pp 1-2 assigned, 3-8 drawn
3 - Tireman                 6-1 Steps up off wire to wire win; consider.
5 - Deuce Seelster      3-1 Looks to repeat.
4 - Giddy Up Lucky     5-1 May come flying off cover at end.
1 - Palmer's Z Tam     4-1 Will try once again to wire field.

11th Pace - $50,000; Levy Memorial FFA, Leg 4
4 - Corky Baran            5-1 Tepid pick.
6 - Blueridge Western  10-1 Can reverse position with top choice.
1 - Atochia                   8-5 Looking to continue win streak.

12th Pace - $23,000; Non-winners $25,000 in last six starts
5 - Rare Jewel               8-1 Spa shipper meeting slightly easier.
6 - Pacific Okey Dokey   5-1 No chance at Fhld. Lands share with trip.
4 - Pacific Renegade      6-1 Drops into easier company.
1 - Image of Dawn         3-1 Will try to wire again; stepping up

Sometimes, I think showing the race replays every night is good for the existing horseplayers, but doesn't do anything to attract new patrons.  What would be better is a weekly highlight show with some educational segments.  But even the best highlight show in the world on is not going to attract new patrons interested if it comes across too staid.  Sometimes, you need to do something special to get people intrigued enough to watch; using humor helps.

Well the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association has taken that approach with PA Harness Week.  Take a look at the promo being used to attract people to tune into the show.

The Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC) has launched a web page which will list recent drug violations for all horse racing breeds.  You can check to see which trainers have been cited for drug violations by clicking here.

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