03/31/2016 1:48PM

Yonkers: Harris sends out power quartet in Levy

Mike Lizzi
Lucan Hanover has won both of his Levy Memorial starts in 2016.

Over the last few years, the George Morton Levy series has been a virtual playground for the powerful Ron Burke barn and that of owner Jeff Bamond and his son, trainer Jeff Bamond Jr. In 2016 the landscape has changed radically and on Saturday when four $50,000 divisions in the third round of the series go postward at Yonkers Raceway, trainer Andrew Harris will have a formidable quartet that includes two-leg winner Lucan Hanover.

“I’m thrilled with how well we’re doing. Four weeks ago I had no idea that I would be here with this many,” said Harris.

Leading the charge is Lucan Hanover, a 6-year-old son of Western Ideal that has really come to hand for Harris of late.

“He’s the best of the group right now,” said Harris. “He’s a true professional.”

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Lucan Hanover landed post seven in the ninth race and final of the four divisions on Saturday night. A winner in all four starts this year, he has dominated his rivals in both legs but faces some new challenges on Saturday.

“Brett Miller is going to drive him,” said Harris. “I knew coming into the series that
George (Brennan) was committed to driving for the Burkes and Take It Back Terry.”

This Levy division is power packed, with first round winner Mach It So (post 2) and two-time bridesmaid Texican N (post 3) adding considerable depth.

Imports have done quite well in the Levy this year and Harris is quite optimistic that Bettor Rock On N will continue to race at a high level.

“Even though he won in 1:52 and change in his first start over here, he was running out badly,” said Harris of Bettor Rock On N. “We put a headpole on him for his next start and then he was running in. We’ve made a few more adjustments and he’s been better each time.”

Bettor Rock On N drew post five and that puts him squarely in the middle of last year’s Levy champion Domethatagain (post 4) and last year’s Horse of the Year Wiggle It Jiggleit (post 7) in the eighth of 12 races on the Yonkers program.

“I’m hoping they can cut a quick pace, “said Harris, expecting the imported son of Bettor’s Delight to be a factor in the late stages. In two Levy legs Better Rock On N has two solid second-place finishes.

Phil Your Boots has been somewhat disappointing so far in the series but Harris is hopeful his luck will change having landed the pole position in race seven.

“The way they get out of the gate in this series it’s really hard to challenge when you draw outside,” said Harris, pointing to posts six and seven that led to Phil Your Boots’ two fourth-place series finishes.

“Coming into the series I thought he was my best horse,” said Harris.

It could be a make or break scenario for Phil Your Boots as he faces the iron tough P H Supercam (post 4) and two-leg winner Bit Of A Legend N (post 8).

“Bit Of A Legend (N) has been the best horse in the series thus far,” said Harris.

Brian Sears drives Phil Your Boots, a 14-time winner in 2015.

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Western Rockstar A has gotten checks in both legs thus far and that’s the primary reason he has been entered in leg three.

“I’m hoping to qualify two for the final and two for the consolation,” said Harris, with an eye on the consolation for this import.

“If not for the consolation I think I would be better off racing him in overnights,” said Harris.

Western Rockstar A drew post two in the sixth race and first division on the card and will meet last week’s upset winner Melmerby Beach (post 3) and Foiled Again (post 5) in the eight-horse field.

For Harris, having four horses in the Levy is an unbelievable achievement considering he’s training just 22 horses overall. His success with Australian imports has been a major part of the stable’s stats.

“I’m looking for horses that have a good number of starts,” said Harris of his strategy. “I like taking the ones from Australia because of that.”

Harris claims that he doesn’t like to go over the $60,000 price tag when bringing horses over and that gives him a cushion to race them in high-priced claimers if the upper class is too difficult.

First post on Saturday night at Yonkers is 7:10 p.m.