04/17/2015 12:13AM

Yonkers: Beach Memories faces P H Supercam in Levy

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Mike Lizzi
Beach Memories is perfect through two legs of the Levy series.

New Rules!

Trainer Scott DiDomenico didn’t have a viable candidate for the George Morton Levy series at Yonkers Raceway when the six-week event got underway. Now as the fifth and last preliminary leg is in view this Saturday and the $500,000-plus final on April 25 is closer, DiDomenico not only has a horse for the final, but one that could be a favorite.

DiDomenico can thank those in power at Yonkers for modifying the rules of play for the Levy. Without question the track and its race office were looking for a more balanced betting product, and in restricting the event so that no trainer could have an entry in any leg, they forced the hand of North America’s leading trainer Ron Burke.

Beach Memories was the gift horse handed over to DiDomenico after he captured two consecutive legs of the series. The trainer has been elated about his new horse. “They could have given him to anyone, I’m just glad it was me,” said DiDomenico of the barn change.

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The new trainer didn’t change a thing and has raced the five-year-old by Somebeachsomewhere just once, but that second-place finish may have been the single most impressive mile in the four-weeks of preliminaries.

“He went a huge mile. He came from well back and just got outkicked late by a fresher horse,” said DiDomenico of the neck loss to Take It Back Terry in a division on April 4, a 1:51 2/5 mile with the winner tripping-out.

All systems are go coming into the final preliminary round.

“He had a really good week,” said DiDomenico, “I trained him this morning (Wednesday) and he is ready.”

Beach Memories has been on the board in all six of his starts this year and may prove to be the half-mile specialist that could capture the prestigious Levy series.

“Anyone that races at Yonkers knows that post position is the most important factor,” said DiDomenico, not wishing to count his chickens just yet with the final draw still looming.

On Saturday, Beach Memories finds himself in a spot where he need not win to reach the final, but at the same point a sharp effort could provide a glimpse of how he’ll do in the April 25 big dance. He landed post two in the $50,000 sixth race, second of three divisions, and will have Dan Dube in the bike. Beach Memories will face P H Supercam for the first time in the series and racing fans will get to see the defending champion try his luck on the outside (post five) in this week’s Levy leg. Both horses are returning to action after taking a week off.

While those two rivals have secured a spot in the final, Clear Vision (post one) has not. The veteran from the Burke stable looked to go down the road in last week’s leg and got caught up in a wicked speed duel that took the sting out of him. George Brennan is reunited with the nine-year-old that draws inside for the first time in Levy action.

Lucan Hanover (post three) was the victim of the Clear Vision park-out last week and he’ll need a top performance to reach the final. Tim Tetrick will guide the five-year-old.

The fifth race and first Levy division of the evening at Yonkers could be the most contentious, with a host of the seven horses needing some racing luck to qualify for the final. Four of the seven are leg winners but none are assured spots in the final. Mach It So, a horse with no preliminary leg victories, was tabbed as the 5-2 morning line favorite by the computer starting from post four.

The import Polak A had two solid wins in the series, but was a disappointing seventh in the third round and took a week off after that. Brian Sears may have no choice but to race him from off the pace with a ton of speed inside his post five.

Sapphire City, a finalist last year, hopes to get back to the big dance with an improved effort on Saturday. The Yonkers favorite drew post three and picks up the services of Jason Bartlett for the first time in series action.

Dancin Yankee, another of last year’s Levy finalists, will need a victory to make it to the final. Brett Miller has the driving assignment from post six.

Take It Back Terry (post three) is the likely favorite in the final Levy preliminary, race seven of a dozen on the program. The strongest contender from the Burke stable, Take It Back Terry looks for his third straight Levy leg triumph with George Brennan in the bike.

Michaels Power, one of the point leaders through four legs, did not enter for the fifth leg and could be pushed out of the top eight depending on how Saturday’s races unfold.

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