04/09/2015 11:10PM

Yonkers: Bamond “B” squad seeks Levy success

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Mike Lizzi
Fat Mans Alley looks for his second Levy win of 2015.

In the past trainer Ron Burke had been holding all of the cards during the preliminary legs of the George Morton Levy series. In 2015 the tables have turned a bit on Burke and pointed in the direction of owner Jeff Bamond.

Bamond’s son, Jeff Jr., has been put in charge of the 35 head and has blazed a consistent trail in this year’s Levy. Their Levy contingent is led by defending champion P H Supercam, undefeated in three legs. With the series in its fourth of five preliminary legs this Saturday at Yonkers Raceway, P H Supercam will get a week off and Bamond’s other three will seek a second spot in the lucrative final slated for April 25.

“P H Supercam was going to get this week off no matter how many divisions they had,” said Bamond Sr. of the decision to rest the veteran pacer.

Three $50,000 divisions are on tap on Saturday night and Bamond would like to see Fat Mans Alley, a winner last week, increase his point total to join stablemate P H Supercam in the final. Like the defending champion, Bamond claimed Fat Mans Alley a few years ago and has seen the seven-year-old emerge as a force on the half-mile track at Yonkers.

“He can leave out of there and finish strongly,” said Bamond of Fat Mans Alley, a horse he plucked from a $25,000 claimer in November of 2012. Since that purchase the son of Rocknroll Hanover has earned over $500,000 while showing up with regularity.

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Bamond claimed P H Supercam as well. “After he won that claiming series they put him in for $30,000,” said Bamond, recalling the 2013 late closer at Yonkers in July. “He won the final of the series and I thought he had to be worth that much.”

In fewer than two years with Bamond P H Supercam has already earned over $700,000.

Such success doesn’t come easy and Bamond knows it.

“My son and I spend a lot of time researching these horses and looking at tape,” said Bamond. “It’s becoming a lot more difficult. With the shortage of horses there are less and less claiming races. People want to hold on to their stock.”

On Saturday, Fat Mans Alley faces a field of five others with the Burke-trained Take It Back Terry his main rival from post two. Jason Bartlett did an outstanding job carving out a perfect trip last week behind Foiled Again and rolling by in the stretch. This week he’ll start from post four.

Mach It So was a big player in this series as a four-year-old in 2014 but has not been first or second in three legs this season. “He qualified really well, but you know I’m not sure if he’s a great half-mile track horse. I think he’s better on the big track,” said Bamond. The five-year-old by Mach Three drew inside (post two) in the fifth race and first of the three Levy divisions with Tim Tetrick listed in the bike. Mach It So is inside Levy leg winners Bettor’s Edge (post four), Domethatagain (post five) and Warrawee Needy (post six).

Bartlett is in the bike behind Validus Deo, a five-year-old son of Lis Mara that has yet to fulfill expectations. “I think he fits with these, he just needs a trip,” said Bamond, hoping that this week may be the time Validus Deo starts living up to promise.

With Michael’s Power drawing the rail in this division (race seven) it could be a tall order. The six-year-old by Camluck has been sharp in all three legs with a victory and two seconds to his credit for trainer Mark Silva. Lucan Hanover (post four) woke up in a big way last week for trainer Andrew Harris giving P H Supercam all he could handle before settling for second. The Burke-trained Clear Vision could be ready to find the winner’s circle after three consecutive losses to start his 2015 season. The nine-year-old drew post five, his fourth consecutive outside position in the Levy, but Yannick Gingras could get him in play.

The 12-race Saturday evening card at Yonkers begins at 7:10 p.m.