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BY FRANK DRUCKER, Publicity Director, Empire City @ Yonkers Raceway

YONKERS, NY, Saturday, April 16, 2016-No bait and switch here. It was as advertised Saturday night, with Yonkers Raceway hosting the fifth and final preliminary round of the George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

The highly-anticipated first matchup between Wiggle It Jiggleit and Bit of a Legend N---two photogenic figures-was so stirring, neither one wanted to be left out of the picture.

Both were sent off at odds-on in the last of three, $50,000 divisions, and when the stone dust settled, the camera was unable to separate 3-4 favorite Wiggle It Jiggleit (Montrell Teague) and 9-10 second choice Bit of a Legend N (Jordan Stratton) in 1:51.2.

Neither was put in the play at the outset, with "Legend"-from post position No. 4-operating from second -over, directly in front of WIJI, who started from post No. 7.

As the battle unfolded in earnest, it appeared Stratton, with his place in next week's final (purse TBA) already secured, was in no hurry to advance, knowing exactly who was on his back. Wiggle It Jiggleit, meanwhile, had to win (and get plenty of help) if he was to have to any shot of making that same race.

Fourth and sixth, respectively, turning for home, Bit of a Legend N and WIJI unleashed a torrid stretch duel before hitting the line together as "Legend" completed a 5-for-5 series prelim resume. It was another 2 1/2 lengths to Limelight Beach (Yannick Gingras).

Bit of a Legend N, a 7-year-old Down Under son of Bettor's Delight owned by Harry von Knoblauch and trained by Peter Tritton, has won seven of his nine North American starts.

Wiggle It Jiggleit, a 4-year-old Mr. Wiggles gelding, is now 3-for-4 (2-for-3 in series) this season and 26-for-31 in his $2 million-plus career. George Teague Jr. and Teague Racing Partnership co-own WIJI, trained by Clyde Francis.

Both halves of the track-record heater returned the lowest-allowed-by-law $2.10. The exactas paid $2.80 (WIJI first) and $3.40 (Bit of a Legend N first), with the triples returning $6.20 (WIJI first) and $11.60 ("Legend" first).

"I thought (Wiggle It Jiggleit) may have had us late, but my horse came back," Stratton said. "It was a helluva race."

Saturday night's opening Levy division was won by 6-5 choice Lettucerockthem A (Brian Sears, $4.50). From post No. 2, he quarter-moved, then held second-choice P H Supercam (Jason Bartlett) at bay by a half--length in life-best 1:51.

All Bets Off (Matt Kakaley) was buried early, then picked off the rest for third.

Lettucerockthem A, a 6-year-old Down Under Art Major gelding co-owned (as Allard Racing) by (trainer) Rene Allard, Bob Hamather and Bruce Soulsby, is 2-for-7 this season (1-for-3 in series). The exacta paid $13.60, with the triple (three wagering choices in order) returning $22.40.

The second series get-together was won by a pocket-sitting fave Mach it So (Tim Tetrick, $3.90). From post No. 2, he tripped-out by a neck over a stubborn, first-up Texican N (Stratton) in 1:51.3. Te Kawau N (George Brennan) third.

Foiled Again (Gingras), in his 250th career start, cut the mile from the pylons, gave way grudgingly late and finished fourth.

Mach it So, a 6-year-old Mach Three gelding owned by Bamond Racing and trained by Jeffrey Bamond Jr., is now 3-for-5 this series/season. The exacta paid $24.20, with the triple returning $118.50.

(Note-final Levy standings were being fact-checked by the race office and thus unavailable as of this writing.)

Saturday night's $40,000 Open Handicap Trot was won by Melady's Monet (Bartlett, $2.40) in 1:54.4.

Frank Drucker
Director of Publicity
810 Yonkers Avenue
Yonkers, NY 10704
Phone: (914) 457-2432
E-mail: FDrucker@YonkersRaceway.com

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