04/08/2017 10:13PM

Yonkers: A trio of new winners in fourth round of Levy Series

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Mike Lizzi
Clear Vision's victory in his Levy Series section was the 35th of his career

The fourth round of the George Morton Levy Pacing Series produced all of first-time winners as the contenders put away the pretenders and set the stage for the final prelims in a week.

Clear Vision, an 11-year-old, started the ball rolling for Brett Miller in the first of a trio of $50,000 legs at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday night. The $2.6 million lifetime winner did it the hard way, racing without cover the final half and just wearing down pace-setter McWicked in the final strides.

McWicked assumed the front for Matt Kakaley and cut leisurely fractions of 27 2/5 and 56 3/5 before Miller pulled with Clear Vision on the third turn. The pace accelerated as the two hooked up and gained separation from the rest of the field through a 27 2/5 third quarter. It was a battle to the wire, and the veteran Clear Vision showed the determination when it counted to win in 1:52 1/5. McWicked was a game second, with Guantanamo Bay coming in third.

Now with a first and third in just two Levy appearances, Clear Vision, trained by John Kokinos, may be on the outside looking in in order to reach the final, but he drew high praise from Miller.

"He's one of my favorite horses of all-time," said Miller of the veteran. "He won first-over for me in the Battle Of Lake Erie. A lot of people don't like him because he's not known to past the last horse."

For Miller he did exactly that.

Blood Brother finally found a trip he liked and captured the second Levy stanza out of the pocket, moving past a stubborn McArdles Lightning near the wire, with Keystone Velocity settling for third after racing uncovered for the final half.

Again, fractions were moderate for McArdles Lightning, with Kakaley again putting down fractions of 27 4/5, 56 3/5, and 1:24 1/5. In the stretch Blood Brother attacked on his inside and Keystone Velocity matched strides on the outside, weakening in the final stages.

Jason Bartlett was in the bike for trainer Rich Banca behind Blood Brother, a 1:52 1/5 winner. A 2-1 second choice, Blood Brother was a winner for just the second time in 2017 in 11 starts.

Bartlett and Banca doubled up in the final split; this time doing it overland with Somewhere In L A in the fastest (1:51 3/5) of the three divisions.

Mach It So and Tim Tetrick assumed instant command, leaving briskly from the pole in a 27 second opening quarter. Somewhere In L A and Bartlett pulled at the 56 1/5 half and hit high gear quickly, engaging the leader through a 27 2/5 third quarter. The two locked horns as Great Vintage grabbed second-over cover and favored Bit Of A Legend N stalked from third-over. But the closers weren't getting to Somewhere In L A as the son of Somebeachsomewhere finished off the mile to defeat Mach It So and Great Vintage in a blanket photo.

"I didn't want to get tortured again with him," said Bartlett, referring to the tough front-end miles Somewhere In L A had to endure in the early legs. "I got him to relax for the first three eighths and he did the rest. There's no bottom to him."