04/23/2015 10:10PM

Giwner: Handicapping the Levy, Matchmaker finals

Mike Lizzi
P H Supercam will have to overcome post 8 to win the Levy Final.

Once again we find a dominant horse stuck with the worst post in a rich final. We’ve seen it time and again, a horse wins his elimination (or in this case sweeps through four preliminary legs) and is rewarded with bupkus, better known as the eight-hole at Yonkers Raceway.

Some will complain that P H Supercam deserves better after going a perfect 4-for-4 in the series, but I’m not one of them. Winning preliminary races punches your ticket for the final, it shouldn’t give you an advantage in winning the big bucks. Your reward is a seat at the table. If you are that good, do it again!

Saturday’s $529,000 George Morton Levy Final (race 8) shapes up as a very interesting race with seven horses seemingly capable of winning. The pace scenario is going to be interesting. Dan Dube is unlikely to give up the lead easily from the inside with Domethatagain and Lucan Hanover just to his outside is also fast off the gate. Where does that leave Take It Back Terry from post five? He hasn’t been worse than third during a mile since the beginning of March and when he was, he was ultimately an also-ran.

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What about the favored entry of Mach It So and P H Supercam? The former is probably going to have to close from last. The latter almost has to leave the gate. But how fast, and is he quick enough to clear the speed to his inside?

Disagree if you will, but I see no outcome which could result in P H Supercam winning from post eight. He is a great “trip” horse and can rough it on the lead as well. Winning this race is going to require a two move effort or the ability to fend off heavy pressure. I just don’t see him accomplishing that feat.

For me the two horses with the best opportunity to win are Domethatagain, who should be able to come away no worse than second from post one, and Beach Memories, the most likely second-over horse in the race. I’m going to take a stand and play those two over Lucan Hanover, Take It Back Terry and Polak A.

The $261,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker final is much less intriguing from a handicapping standpoint. Only four or five of the combatants have a chance on paper and most of them are coupled as betting entries.

With multi-leg winner Camille stuck in post eight, the race boils down to which entry you prefer. We have Venus Delight (post 1) and Krispy Apple (post 7) from the Jeffrey Bamond, Jr stable and Yagonnakissmeornot (post 2) and Carolsideal (post 4) from the Rene Allard barn.

While I expect Venus Delight to protect her inside position at all costs, you have to expect at least one of the Allard mares to give her a tussle early. I simply can’t get by the fact that Carolsideal has been the dominant mare all series and I certainly give Yagonnakissmeornot the edge over Krispy Apple as the second-fiddle rung of the entry.

The Matchmaker looks like a cold exacta play of the (2) entry over the (1) entry. You should double your money with a $4 return.

Good Luck.

Need more opinions?

DRF Harness is once again sponsoring the 2015 HANA Harness Grand Circuit Challenge which benefits standardbred rescues. You can follow along each week to see what the 18 handicappers select in the top stakes races. Here is the link: http://hanaharnesscontest.blogspot.com/p/handicapper-selections.html