04/24/2013 3:17PM

Yonkers: Matt Kakaley has live drives in the Blue Chip Matchmaker and Levy Finals

Sean Hamrock
Matt Kakaley hopes to time Krispy Apple's move perfectly in the $285,000 Blue Chip Matchmaker Final.

Driver Matt Kakaley has emerged as one of the top drivers this winter at Yonkers Raceway. The 25-year-old did so driving many of the charges from the top stables of Ron Burke and P.J. Fraley. On Saturday night, Kakaley is in the enviable position of driving major contenders for those trainers in the finals of the Blue Chip Matchmaker and George Morton Levy series.

Kakaley drove Krispy Apple for Fraley, a double-leg winner in the Matchmaker, in all five legs leading up to Saturday’s $285,000 finale.

“She’s been awesome. She was really incredible in those first two legs,” Kakaley said about the five-year-old daughter of Western Ideal. “She’s really at her best making one run, but she’s just as comfortable going up without cover and grinding it out.”

Kakaley is splitting his time between Mohegan Sun at Pocono and Yonkers these days and he’s doing quite well at both. At Yonkers he’s been winning at an impressive 20 percent clip while ranking third just behind Brian Sears and George Brennan in the standings.

“I love driving with those guys. They’re all professional, all class,” Kakaley said.

Krispy Apple landed post six in the eight-horse field that goes as race seven on the Yonkers 12-race Saturday night program.

“I wish she had drawn better,” said Kakaley.

The driver was most impressed with how Krispy Apple finished the series last week, closing strongly in the stretch along the passing lane before breaking stride near the wire.

“I think she must have seen something near the wire,” Kalaley explained as a possible reason for the miscue. The break hardly chipped away at the driver’s confidence in the mare.

The Matchmaker final is filled with extreme talent and the draw has made the race a rather interesting wagering prospect. Rocklamation (George Brennan) and Anndrovette (Tim Tetrick), the one-two finishers in last year’s Matchmaker final, landed posts seven and eight, respectively, as the lone mares to qualify for both finals. Rocklamation will join entrymate Camille (Yannick Gingras, post 3) as the probable wagering favorites in the race.  Krispy Apple and her stablemate Anndrovette form the P.J. Fraley-trained entry.

Three-leg winner Feeling You drew the coveted pole position for driver Tyler Buter. The Cambest-sired mare captured two preliminary legs from the same spot while showing extraordinary gate speed and a solid closing kick. Her 1:52 3/5 winning effort last week stands as the fastest mile in the series to date.

The $450,000 George Morton Levy series goes as race ten on the program and it will reunite Kakaley with Annieswesterncard. The pair will start from post three with the driver excited about his prospects.

“He was really great the last time I drove him (March 9 at Yonkers). He came from third over and paced a last quarter in :26 4/5 against open company,” Kakaley said. “He’s a versatile horse that can snap off the wings.”

Kakaley drives Annieswesterncard as part of a Ron Burke trained entry. The driver has a long history for the Burkes’, first driving for Ron’s dad Mickey at Northfield Park in 2007 and working with the stable’s Ohio operation. The driver couldn’t say enough about how he has benefited from the Burkes’ support, most recently with live drives at Mohegan Sun at Pocono and Yonkers.

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Annieswesterncard drew the best post of the entry for the final with two-time Levy champion Foiled Again landing post seven for the Burke’s with Gingras aboard. Last year Foiled Again drew post eight in the final and finished a solid second to stablemate Atochia.

Razzle Dazzle and Foiled Again were embroiled in one of the most contentious prelim battles of all time in leg two (March 30). Both rebounded nicely from that mile with Foiled Again sweeping his final three legs and Razzle Dazzle winning his final two. Razzle Dazzle landed the rail for the final with Brian Sears in the bike. The son of Real Desire has always seemed more comfortable chasing down horses but that may not be an option in this rather deep field.

Something For Doc, an expensive purchase last Saturday by trainer Mark Ford’s connections, didn’t fare well in Tuesday’s draw, having landed post eight. George Brennan will get the driving assignment behind the winner of four preliminary legs.

With so much power on the outside of the gate for the Levy, opportunity could knock for any of the longshots. Versado (post two), Dancin Yankee (post four), Casimir Jitterbug (post five) and Second Wind N (post 6) have shined on certain occasions throughout the series and are all capable should the favorites do battle.

First post for the stakes-filled card at Yonkers, which also features the $75,000 Matchmaker and $100,000 Levy consolations, is 7:10 pm on Saturday.

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