04/01/2012 8:50AM

Yonkers: Foiled Again forced to work for Levy division victory

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Mike Lizzi
Trainer Jimmy Takter warms up See You At Peelers.

Two-time George Morton Levy champion Foiled Again was expected to have an easy time in Saturday’s second round of the series at Yonkers Raceway. After a stellar second-place finish to 2011 champion Real Nice in the opening leg, Foiled Again was labeled a deserving 1-10 favorite in the last of the evening’s six divisions.

To the surprise of many, when Foiled Again left from post 2, he did not get the lead. Driver Jordan Stratton, guiding Blatantly Good from the rail, wanted no part of a second spot in the early going and refused to let Foiled Again pass.

So what appeared on paper to be a walk over for Foiled Again turned into a real horse race with Blatantly Good setting a wicked opening fraction of 26 3/5 seconds before settling down to a sensible 55 half-mile clocking. The longshot was still calling the shots at the three-quarters in 1:23 2/5, but Foiled Again’s pilot Yannick Gingras pulled last year’s Dan Patch Award winner out and simply overpowered the pacesetter.

The 8-year-old by Dragon Again clocked the fastest mile of the series, pacing an astonishing 1:51 mile (1/5 of a second off the track record) for his first win of the season.

Real Nice upset Foiled Again in Round 1, but found himself without real competition this past Saturday, scoring his second sub-1:52 mile of the series for driver Jason Bartlett and trainer Rich Banca. Again the veteran son of Real Artist put forth a wire-to-wire performance, scoring in 1:51 3/5. Sent off as the 1-20 favorite, Real Nice paid $2.10 to win.

Sandwiched between the two overwhelming favorites on Saturday were a second straight Levy win for Atochia ($2.40) in a 1:52 1/5 mile, Flipper J scoring his first Levy win in 1:53 for driver Brian Sears ($5.60), Sea Venture ($8.40) in 1:53, and Nob Hill High using the passing lane to win in 1:52 2/5 and return $5.70.

New streak for See You At Peelers

See You At Peelers began the second winning streak of her career this past Friday night and most assuredly stamped herself the horse to beat in the Blue Chip Matchmaker at Yonkers. The 4-year-old by Bettors Delight, who won her first 22 career starts before tasting defeat, made it two straight Matchmaker victories with an easy 1:52 2/5 front-end victory for driver Brian Sears.

See You At Peelers, who dead-heated with Chancey Lady in opening round action, was two-lengths clear at the wire from runner-up Billmar Scooter and paid $3.10 as the odds-on favorite.

Chancey Lady was able to work out a sensible 56 2/5 opening half-mile fraction cutting the pace for driver Tim Tetrick in another Matchmaker division. Then George Brennan allowed first-round winner Rocklamation loose, and the two hooked up in a bitter struggle down the backstretch and through the homestretch, with Chancey Lady prevailing by a half-length in 1:52 2/5 as the second choice. She returned $6.30 to win.

Fox Valley Sage ($6.10) captured her first Matchmaker leg, scoring in 1:54 for Cat Manzi. Anndrovette ($3.80) outdueled first-round winner Western Silk (also 9-10) using the passing lane to overcome the pacesetter late in another division. Queen Of Royalty ($20.60) paced past 3-5 favorite Krispy Apple in the stretch to score the evening’s biggest surprise in a 1:53 mile. Tyler Buter steered the 8-year-old mare to the upset.

Third-round action of the Matchmaker (Friday) and Levy (Saturday) is up this week. Rounds four and five are slated for April 13-14 and 20-21, with the finals for each on April 28.