03/26/2016 10:32PM

Yonkers: Melmerby Beach betters Foiled Again in Levy Series action

Mike Lizzi
Melmerby Beach wore down Foiled Again in the lane to win one of the five Levy Series divisions on Saturday night at Yonkers

Melmerby Beach, winless in seven starts in 2016, pulled off a 12-1 surprise by pacing past $7.3 million winner Foiled Again to capture one of five $50,000 divisions of the George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night.

All eyes were on Foiled Again and driver Yannick Gingras as the 4-5 favorite was driven hard to secure the lead through a 28 1/5 opening half. Once in control Foiled Again was afforded the respect he’s earned throughout a brilliant career and freely paced to a 56 4/5 half-mile clocking. As the pace quickened on the backstretch Mark MacDonald moved Melmerby Beach to the outside from the three-hole and quickly advanced. The two pacers were on even terms through the final turn but once in the stretch the younger, spry 5-year-old wore down the famed warhorse to score in the 1:51 3/5 mile.  Foiled Again held for second with Texas Terror N third.

“I thought I had him on the last turn,” said MacDonald after the win. “The fractions were cheap for these horses and it turned into a sprint. They bought this horse for a lot of money.”

Indeed trainer Ettore Annunziata paid well for Melmerby Beach, a 1:47 3/5 winner at The Meadowlands last year but up until Saturday the son of Somebeachsomewhere had been camera shy.

First round winners were prominent in Levy leg action with trainer Peter Tritton’s Bit Of A Legend N proving just as potent on the front-end as he was from the pocket a week earlier. Driver Jordan Stratton left sharply with the imported son of Bettor's Delight and after briefly yielding to Evenin Of Pleasure regained control and dominated. A 1:53 mile was completed with a 27 1/5 final quarter as Stratton sat calmly in the bike. Evenin Of Pleasure held down the place spot with a determined Western Rockstar A finishing third.

Driver George Brennan again took two Levy divisions with the identical pair he guided in week one. Take It Back Terry didn’t go down the road despite drawing the coveted rail position. Brennan worked hard to send his horse to the front as a prohibitive betting choice, but Ideal Cowboy and Jason Bartlett were quicker to the front. Fractions of 27 2/5, 55 4/5 and 1:24 appeared to give the edge to the pace-setter, but the Ron Burke trained Take It Back Terry did indeed take back the lead and scored in 1:51 1/5 with Ideal Cowboy second and Dream Out Loud N third.

Brennan and Lucan Hanover cut soft fractions in their $50,000 division and won safely in 1:52 as a 3-5 favorite. Trained by Andrew Harris, Lucan Hanover is undefeated in four starts this year. He defeated Texican N and Te Kawau N in this division.

Driver Dan Dube didn’t seem to be influenced by the odds board as he was content to sit in third with even-money favorite and defending Levy champion Domethatagain. The strategy worked like a charm as Dube guided the Rene Allard trained veteran up the inside in the stretch for the victory. Bettor Rock On N completed the exacta for sire Bettor's Delight with Scott Rocks finishing third. Sunfire Blue Chip, sent off at 27-1, cut fractions of :27, :55 4/5 and 1:23 3/5, setting up the mile with Domethatagain earning the 1:51 4/5 seasonal mark.