03/27/2014 10:34AM

Yonkers: Brennan hoping for repeat success in Levy Memorial

Mike Lizzi
Easy Again rolled to a 3 3/4 lengths victory in round one of the Levy Memorial series at Yonkers Raceway.

It took six figures for Ron Burke to purchase Easy Again at last year’s Harrisburg Mixed Sale and for many that may have been a steep price for a four-year-old of middling talent. Yet following Easy Again’s impressive 1:51 3/5 performance in the opening leg of the Levy series, it appears again that Mr. Burke and company have landed another potential star.

Driver George Brennan couldn’t say enough about the son of Dragon Again. “Did he surprise me? Well I wasn’t surprised that he won,” said Brennan, “If I was surprised by anything, it was the (1:)51 and change mile.”

While many of his stablemates lacked in 2014 racing experience, Easy Again entered the Levy with seven starts on the season, with a majority of those coming at The Meadowlands.

“I drove him in January and he had the eight-hole. I didn’t leave but he did finish well,” said Brennan, reflecting on the high-level condition race.

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“He showed me a lot leaving the gate the other night. The four horse (Ron Pierce with Eddie Sweat) was leaving and cut off our angle,” said Brennan, “But he just went right around that horse.”

It’s the combination of quick speed and great hands that goes a long way towards success on the half-mile track and for that reason there’s a good chance that Easy Again and Brennan will go a long way in this series.

“I think he’s the kind of horse that if he draws well enough in the final, he can win it,” said Brennan.

As for now, round two of Levy action commences on Saturday night with four $50,000 preliminary legs and no shortage of Burke-trained talent. Brennan will sit behind four of the stable’s quality aged pacing stock.

“It’s going to be different this week,” said Brennan, referring to Easy Again and the type of field he’s up against. “You’ve got Apprentice Hanover and A J Corbelli inside of me,” Brennan said. “But this is the kind of horse you can take him off the pace and I think he’ll be fine.”

Certainly Apprentice Hanover will have to be more assertive in the second round if he’s to be considered a factor going forward in the series. The four-year-old had his winning streak snapped in the opening leg while finishing second. Jody Jamieson drives the four-year-old from the pole position.

Sweet Lou, second in the opening leg for the Burke team, drew post four with Yannick Gingras to drive. The five-year-old was outsprinted early and late in opening leg action but figures to improve off that mile.

Gingras will be back in action for the final Levy division with Foiled Again. This week he’ll likely be the heavy favorite along with stablemates Aracache Hanover (post one) and Hillbilly Hanover (post five). Brennan will guide Hillbilly Hanover.

“He was good for me last week finishing in the dead-heat for second,” said Brennan, “But this is a tall order.”

Brennan appeared hopeful he could work out a piece behind Foiled Again, much as he did in the opening leg with Hillbilly Hanover.

Foiled Again starts from post four, and looks for his second straight victory as a 10-year-old.

“I chose Clear Vision (over Bettors Edge),” said Brennan about his mount in the first division, race four on the Yonkers 12-race program.

“He hasn’t been on the front end in a long time and I think he raced well right to the wire. The horse on my back (Mach It So) was a fresh horse, but I was very happy with how we raced,” said Brennan.

Clear Vision, second in the opening leg, will be looking at a field that only includes one first leg winner, his entrymate Bettors Edge. The eight-year-old has captured legs of the series both in 2012 and 2013, and according to Brennan, has returned this year in great shape.

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“Ronnie put me down on Escape The News,” said Brennan of his mount the race five, second division of the Levy. In that race Burke sends out three of the eight in the field. Escape The News drew the pole position and figures to get a good trip with stablemates Itrustyou (post two) and Special Forces (post three) alongside.

The George Morton Levy Series offers five preliminary legs with the final slated for April 26.