05/25/2006 12:00AM

Big Apple Daddy heads LeVine


Big Apple Daddy, freshened since finishing third in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap seven weeks ago, and locally based Pocomoonshine, a winner in three of his last four starts, head a solid group of older sprinters in Saturday's $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap at Philadelphia Park.

The seven-furlong LeVine is expected to lose 120-pound highweight and probable favorite Park Avenue Ball, a multiple graded stakes winner. Trainer James Ryerson said he intends to run Park Avenue Ball in the $65,000 Frisk Me Now at Monmouth Park on Saturday.

had primarily been competing against New York-breds until trainer Bruce Levine decided to give him a shot in the Carter in early April. Big Apple Daddy came from last in the field of six to finish within a length of the winner, Bishop Court Hill. A repeat of that performance might be good enough to win the LeVine.

returns two weeks after earning a career-best 100 Beyer for beating Pennsyslvania-breds in the seven-furlong Lyman Sprint Championship. In that race, Pocomoonshine was able to last despite setting a wicked half-mile fraction of 44.13 seconds.

Two other front-runners likely to challenge Pocomoonshine for the early lead are , both of whom have improved greatly since leaving the claiming ranks earlier this year.

P. Kerney, claimed for $25,000 by trainer Ben Feliciano Jr. in January, wired seven rivals winning the seven-furlong Northern Wolf at Laurel with a 102 Beyer in March and earned a 99 Beyer for his second-place finish in the six-furlong Hoover at Pimlico a month ago.

Favalora reeled off three consecutive wins before regressing in the Hoover.

Little Thunder ran a huge race to win the 7 1/2-furlong Artax Handicap at Gulfstream on April 1, then was no factor against Grade 3 company in the one-mile Westchester Handicap at Belmont a month later.