04/01/2017 10:31PM

Yonkers: Missile J nets a Levy Series hat trick

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Mike Lizzi
Missile J's three starts in the Levy Series have all resulted in victories

Missile J looked to be in an impossible spot, yet made it look easy once again, capturing his third straight George Morton Levy Series leg and stamping himself as the one to beat in the lucrative series. The 4-year-old son of American Ideal appeared hopelessly out of the action, sitting third-over after a slow opening half, but he kicked into high gear for driver Tim Tetrick and rolled past the leaders in a 1:51 3/5 effort on Saturday night at Yonkers Raceway.

It was Great Vintage and Mark MacDonald regaining at the quarter in 27 2/5 and walking to the half in 56 4/5 with no flow developing. On the third turn Santa Fe Beachboy moved without cover, and Clear Vision followed him with the 1-5 favored Missile J third-over. A snappy 27 1/5 third quarter kept the outside tier at bay but on the final turn Missile J and Tetrick went wide and flashed a blistering closing kick to measure off the victory. Great Vintage held for second with Clear Vision third.

"He loves to pass horses," said Tetrick following the race. "He makes my job a lot easier."

Missile J has won seven of eight starts since joining the Scott DiDomenico stable in January.

Soto won for the second time in three Levy legs, coming out of the pocket to chase down front-pacing Somewhere In L A nearing the wire. Somewhere In L A, the 9-5 favorite, was used heavily to reach the front in 26 3/5 but set sensible middle-half fractions of 55 4/5 and 1:23 4/5 while under pressure from Rockin Ron through the final turn. In the homestretch Somewhere In L A held stubborn, but Matt Kakaley and Soto had the momentum and edged by late in a 1:51 4/5 mile. Somewhere In L A held for second, with Wakizashi Hanover closing late for third.

Sent off at 4-1, Soto has won six of his 11 starts this year for trainer Eric Ell.

Keystone Velocity made it back-to-back Levy leg victories after securing the pocket trip as the 1-2 favorite in the third $50,000 Levy division. Driver Dan Dube left alertly and settled behind Caviart Luca through a 27 second opening quarter. Our Sky Major N also left from the outside but was parked through a hot half of 55 1/5. As the field moved down the backstretch, P H Supercam made a sweeping move to engage the leader but was unable to clear. Provocativeprincen circled wide and looked to have momentum but once the passing lane opened Keystone Velocity filled it and cruised by. Provocativeprincen settled for second P H Supercam third.

Trained by Rene Allard, Keystone Velocity, a 9-year-old by Western Hanover, has won half of his four seasonal starts, with this victory in 1:51 3/5.

Bit Of A Legend N finally got on the board in 2017 after sweeping the Levy a year ago. The import left sharply for a three-hole in the early stages, then waited off a soft 57 3/5 half before pulling without cover. Driver Jordan Stratton and Bit Of A Legend N engaged pacemaker Guantanamo Bay on the final turn and were able to wear that one down with little encouragement. A 1:52 4/5 mile was the result, with McWicked closing late for second and Always At My Place closing inside for third.

Bit Of A Legend N was sent postward as the 7-5 choice and won for the first time in five starts this season for trainer Peter Tritton.