04/08/2012 10:07AM

Yonkers: Showdown between Foiled Again, Real Nice looms in Levy series


The George Morton Levy Series at Yonkers moves into its fourth of five preliminary legs this Saturday. With three legs complete it has become obvious that Foiled Again, who won for the 60th time in his career in the third leg this on Saturday, and defending champion Real Nice, will be gearing up for a return match in the final, if they don’t happen to meet again in the prelims.

For both Foiled Again and Real Nice, this past Saturday’s victories probably left them no worse for wear as minimal competition allowed both veteran pacers to circle the Yonkers Raceway oval like it was a training mile.

Foiled Again allowed rival Blatantly Good to secure the lead on the first turn then regained the front. Driver Yannick Gingras took advantage and managed to get Foiled Again,  last year’s Pacer of the Year in Canada, to the half in a manageable 57 4/5 seconds. From that point it was smooth sailing to the tune of a 1:52 4/5 victory as the 1-20 favorite.

Real Nice started from post 2 in his $50,000 Levy division and had the lead midway through the first turn. Guided by driver Jason Bartlett, Real Nice  set comfortable fractions en route to a 1:53 2/5 score by more than five lengths over runner-up Macraider N. With his third win in as many Levy legs, Real Nice returned $2.10 to win.

In other Levy action, Atochia (Gingras) showed his toughness in the most competitive division holding off leg winners Reibercrombie and Flipper J in the process. A stablemate of Foiled Again, Atochia has captured three legs of the series.

Art Z won for the second time in the series, coming from off the pace for driver Brett Miller to win in 1:52 4/5. Southern Allie the 9-10 favorite in this division,  had the pace he wanted but succumbed late to an arsenal of closers and faded to fifth. The winner returned $5.60.

Sea Venture ($2.60) converted on a pocket trip for driver George Brennan and trainer Lou Pena, capturing his second straight Levy leg. Fitz’s Z Tam ($10.60) and driver Brian Sears were able to come through an opening in the “passing lane” as the lone first-time leg winner on the evening.

On the filly and mare side of the ledger at Yonkers, the Blue Chip Matchmaker appears to be the series that could solidify the greatness of See You At Peelers. The top filly of 2010, See You At Peelers hit a speed bump at the tail end of 2011, losing her final three races and leaving her fans and foes wondering if that was the end. Trainer Jimmy Takter has brought See You At Peelers  back to the races at 4 and judging by her improved performance in each leg of the Matchmaker, you have to believe she’s as good, if not better than ever before.

Last Friday, See You At Peelers was straight as an arrow to the front and through the wire. Brian Sears was in the bike as the mare paced one of the easiest 1:52 4/5 miles you would ever want to see.

While See You At Peelers will be the standout 4-year-old in the Matchmaker series, seasoned vets Anndrovette (1:53 1/5) and Western Silk (1:52 4/5) again exhibited high speed and determination in winning two other $40,000 divisions on the Friday card. The 7-year-old Lightning Treasure (1:52 3/5) upset two-leg winner Chancey Lady. Ginger And Fred (1:53) posted her first series victory going wire-to-wire for the Burke stable and driver Yannick Gingras.

The Matchmaker’s fourth leg continues this Friday and the Levy’s fourth leg is Saturday. The finals for both series are slated for Saturday, April 28.