08/14/2014 2:36PM

Saratoga Harness: Dancin Yankee leads strong Gerrity Memorial field

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Derick Giwner
Dancin Yankee has won 14 of 22 starts this year.

It’s not every day the sport has a chance for a do-over. On Saturday night, the sixth annual Joseph Gerrity, Jr. Memorial at Saratoga Harness will be a reunion of sorts for the top five finishers in this year’s George Morton Levy final. The group returns roughly four months later for the $260,000 purse. The Gerrity will go as race nine on a stakes-packed program.

Back in April it was P H Supercam scoring a mild upset in the Levy. Since then his wins have come few and far between, as he’s placed residence at Yonkers and competed in Open Handicaps with regularity. On the other side of the ledger is Dancin Yankee, unlucky to have drawn outside in the April 26 Levy at Yonkers and get just fifth money, Dancin Yankee left town and found a winning groove that only came undone in last week’s Dan Patch at Hoosier Park.

“We were locked in the whole way,” said Tyler Buter, who drove Dancin Yankee last week and will again be in the bike from post three for the Gerrity.

[DRF HARNESS: Watch top older pacers in the $260K Gerrity Memorial on Saturday at Saratoga - LIVE on DRF!]

“It was unfortunate and I’m still thinking about it. We were out on the first turn and next thing you know this driver is three wide and just staying out there. I have no idea what he was thinking,” Buter said.

So Dancin Yankee was caught in a blind-switch with no place to go as Sweet Lou dominated once again. Buter thought his horse would be competitive and perhaps earn a big check in the Dan Patch, but he never expected the ride to be as rude as it turned out.

“The horse was fine. Once he got free in the stretch he had pace. He came out of the race in good shape," said Buter.

Trips are a major part of any race and Saturday’s blockbuster field at Saratoga will give all of the drivers fits trying to figure out what kind of trip they will get. At the top of the list in the Gerrity is Foiled Again, the 10-year-old $6.3 million winner has gone four months without winning a race, but continues to grind out a solid living. As a matter of fact, the last race he won was by a head over Dancin Yankee in a Levy leg at Yonkers on April 12.

Ken WeingartnerFoiled Again has earned $6.3 million.

Foiled Again landed post five and will go to post with entrymate Clear Vision (post eight) in his corner. For Foiled Again the summer tends to be long and not nearly as productive as the spring and fall. Yet despite the losses, there are no really bad lines on the program for Foiled Again and the change in scenery may be just what his doctor ordered.

Speed is always a factor over the half-mile track and it could come primarily from one horse on the inside of the field. Heston Blue Chip drew the coveted rail position for trainer Linda Toscano and that may be just the edge he needs to get over the hump in this tough division. The five-year-old has had an up and down campaign but recently put in a pair of solid performances. Heston won on Hambletonian Day in 1:48 1/5, a sparkling effort with him showing high speed at both ends of the mile. Last week he got worn out racing without cover in pursuit of Sweet Lou in the Dan Patch.

Clear Vision is the only horse in the field to go a sub-1:50 mile over a half-mile track. The eight-year-old from the Ron Burke stable went an awesome mile in the Battle of Lake Erie last month at Northfield, winning the $150,000 contest in 1:49 3/5 while racing on the outside. The outside draw in the Gerrity will certainly test the son of Western Hanover.

Apprentice Hanover (post two) may be another one of those horses suffering a summer malaise after a solid winter. The Levy runner-up drew post two but comes into the race having finished off the board in his last four starts. The four-year-old has shown a solid closing kick and appears to handle the half-mile track quite well.

Fat Mans Alley (post four) and Sapphire City (post seven) round out the field.

First post is 7:05 p.m. on Saturday for the 15-race program.

$260,000 Joe Gerrity, Jr. Memorial - Race 9

PN/POST HORSE DRIVER DRF HARNESS LINE
1 / 4 FAT MANS ALLEY B.DOBSON 5-1
1A / 6 P H SUPERCAM J.BARTLETT 5-1
2 / 5 FOILED AGAIN M.KAKALEY 3-1
2A / 8 CLEAR VISION B.MILLER 3-1
3 / 1 HESTON BLUE CHIP M.MILLER 7-2
4 / 2 APPRENTICE HANOVER J.MORRILL,JR 5-1
5 / 3 DANCIN YANKEE T.BUTER 8-5
6 / 7 SAPPHIRE CITY M.MACDONALD 20-1

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