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Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Levy and Matchmaker Series After Two Weeks

I would like to thank Joe F. for providing material for my blog this week as I am dealing with 'things', as well as his frequent contributions through out the year.  Today Joe F. takes a look at the Levy and Matchmaker series after the first two legs.

Burke’s usual approach with Foiled is to win a few legs of the Levy, then sit one out prior to the final. It may not be that way this year as his stablemates Something For Doc and Annieswesterncard lead the field with 150 points each after two rounds. Foiled, who engaged in a Kamikazie style battle on the front end with Razzle Dazzle in Saturday’s prelim, is 42% short of their totals. Burke is only allowed two in the final, so If things continue this way Foiled will be in the consolation. He’s currently tied for eleventh; only eight make the final. He leaves from the two against a field he should crush this week. Annies drew outside of Versado and Rockincam. The latter made a strong showing in his first start of the season last week, finishing in a DH for first with Classic Rock N Roll. I don’t doubt that Foiled will earn enough points to make the final, and figure he’s more likely to pass Annies than he is Something For Doc.
Last year Krispy Apple qualified for the Matchmaker final, but Fraley also had Anndrovette and Chancey Lady in the final. The result was a win in the $75,000 consolation at 1/9 odds for Krispy Apple. So there may be a positive outcome to Burke’s dilemma.

Last year Foiled had seven wins and three of those came in legs of the Levy. His Dan Patch award notwithstanding, the CPD was his only Grade 1 win. They’re closing on him.
In 2012 Foiled and Atochia each won three rounds, and the latter took the final. Atochia has only amassed 55 points, five of those for performance, so this is a do or die week for him.

Sea Venture, who won two legs for Brennan last year but has no performance points in this series, is not entered this week. Clear Vision, who won his opening leg as well as finishing third three times last year, has a third and a blank this time. And Sapphire City, who is more talented than most in the series, has only a fourth to show for his efforts. He can’t catch a break: this week he drew outside Rockincam, Versado and Annies.
Sears discounted Razzle Dazzle’s first round win by wrestling with Foiled in the second round and finishing seventh. He won the consolation as the 1/2 favorite last year. The fact that he isn’t entered this week is not a good sign ….Rockincam had a strong win on Saturday, but he missed the first round so he’s short those 25 appearance points. He’s got plenty of competition in this week’s 5th division.

Second Wind N, who broke stride as the 2/5 favorite for Tetrick last week, has a shot at redemption. He drew the rail, while the horse that beat him, Electrofire, leaves from the seven in that division.
Maybe it’s because it’s staged early in the spring over a half, but whatever the reason, the Levy is a race for older horses. Only four of the 25 editions have been won by four-year-olds. The last one was Whiteland Trouble in 1992. Three of the horses among the current top 15 point-getters are four-year-olds: Forever Just, EZ Noah and Bet On The Law. None are in serious contention, and Forever Just is the only one who would qualify for the final after round two. Michaels Power, Heston Blue Chip, Pet Rock, Duer, TOL, Dapper Dude, Dynamic Youth, Panther Hanover and Hillbilly are all coming back to the races, as far as I know, but those types never sign up for the Levy. There are five $50,000 legs, many with only one or two contenders, and last year the final went for $455,000. The Meadowlands Maturity in mid-May will carry an estimated purse of $100,000 and they’ll probably all be there.

Aside from Razzle Dazzle and Sea Venture, other notable absences this week are Eighteen, OML and Click K. One More Laugh holds a privileged position on the “fall from grace” list.
Four-year-old Rocklamation won the Matchmaker last year and four-year-old Ginger And Fred won in 2010. Peelers won three legs in 2012, but faded as the 3/5 favorite in the final. She only started once after that.

Five of the top 15 point-getters in this year’s Matchmaker are four-year-olds, but Eighthundrddolarbill, who won over the weekend, is the only four-year-old in the top eight. Of the other 10, seven were not entered last year.
Camille and Krispy Apple, both two for two, share the lead. The former was very good last year, trailing only Rocklamation, Anndrovette, POAS and DTB in earnings, but she wasn’t quite up to beating those mares on the premium stakes circuit. Last week’s win over Rocklamation was her first over any of them. KA, on the other hand, was awful last year. She seemed to have lost the speed that made her Peeler’s nemesis in 2011. Both mares have been dominant in the Matchmaker prelims.

Saturday’s win for Anndrovette came off a soft half but it was only her second start of the year. She finished second behind Rocklamation in her debut. This week she drew the two against Camille, who leaves from the five. We’ll see who gets out there and controls the race, Gingras or Tetrick. The latter jumped to the top to the quarter last week.
In week one Royal Cee Cee couldn’t handle Krispy Apple, and in the second round she dead-heated with a very tough Warrawee Koine. This week she draws in against the much improved Eighthunrdolarbill and Feeling You. The latter gets the rail. Warrawee Koine is next to Rocklamation, who has the rail this week. The latter should crush that field but she’s looking dull.

Can horses like Something For Doc and Rockincam close on Foiled? Can Camille and Krispy Apple close the gap with Anndrovette and Rocklamation? This week’s legs of the Levy and Matchmaker should provide some answers

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