03/08/2016 3:25PM

Yonkers: Wiggle It Jiggleit nominated to the Levy Memorial

Derick Giwner
Wiggle It Jiggleit is expected to qualify again during the week of March 14.

Wiggle It Jiggleit is one of 50 older pacers that have nominated to the George Morton Levy Memorial pacing series at Yonkers Raceway.

Owner George Teague Jr. confirmed that he paid the $5,000 nomination fee on March 1, but he stopped short of guaranteeing a start in the six-week series which starts on March 19.  Of course, the payment was made one day prior to what some have called a disappointing third-place finish in a qualifier on March 2 at Dover Downs.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, who was honored on Sunday as the United States Harness Writers Association's Horse of the Year, is expected to miss at least the first leg of the Levy so he can get another qualifier under his belt.

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“I don't get back in town until Thursday afternoon (March 10) and I'm just waiting for next week's qualifier when I'm around,” said Teague, who left the door open for change by adding that his plan “as of now” is to skip the opening leg of the series.

After a down year in 2015 when the Levy lured just 35 hopefuls, the numbers spiked 42% in 2016 and even eclipsed the 2014 total of 47.

[Editor's Note: There are conlicting reports on the number of Levy eligibles from 2015 ranging from 35 to 39. If the total was 39, the increase in 2016 would still be a healthy 28%.]

While the Levy will take place on Saturdays, the Blue Chip Matchmaker will be center stage at Yonkers each Friday beginning on March 18. A total of 27 pacing mares were nominated to the series, up slightly from the 23 entered in 2015.  

In addition to top older performers like Foiled Again and Anndrovette, both series’ are expected to draw the elite out-of-town drivers in the sport. Yannick Gingras has already confirmed he will be on hand for both nights throughout the stretch. Corey Callahan has committed to Fridays and Tim Tetrick seems almost certain to be in attendance as well.

The two events will culminate on April 23, with the Levy likely to offer a purse near $600,000 assuming a conservative estimate on the number of weekly entries (the series requires a weekly $1,000 starting fee). The Matchmaker purse is anticipated to fall in the $185,000 to $200,000 range.

Nominations closed for the Matchmaker and Levy on March 1.

A complete list of eligible horses will be released shortly.