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Yonkers, NY --- Take a gander at the leaderboard entering this Saturday's final preliminary round of Yonkers Raceway's George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series.

There's millionaire Real Nice, last season's series champ and this season's only 4-for-4 combatant. There's the off-this-week Foiled Again, thrice a millionaire and twice a series winner (2009 and 2010). There's Atochia, a seven-figure earner in his own right and a winner in each of his three Levy efforts.

There's Art Z, who....wait, huh?

That's right. Sitting third in the series standings is none other than Art Z, a statebred 4-year-old Artiscape gelding who's blended in with a fast crowd.

Art Z drew post position No. 3 in Saturday night's third of four $50,000 events (seventh race). He enters with a pair of wins (1:52 and 1:52.4), a second and a third in his four series starts, all but assuring himself a seat at the table for the $455,000 final of the Levy a week from Saturday night (April 28).

So, how did a "good" New York Sire Stakes horse enter into the den of the Free-For-Allers?

"The first thing I noticed about him is his gait is a lot smoother than it was as a 3-year-old," driver Brett Miller -- who has made the weekly pilgrimage to Westchester -- said. "I won with him at Batavia last summer (1:52.3). He was much the best in there, but he was a handful.

"Now, I can shut him down for a breather, then start him right back up. He's also finishing his miles much better.”

"He has a big heart. That's the best thing about him," trainer Jordan Rubin said. "At 3, he was green and very bumpy-gaited. He had more trouble getting around Yonkers than any other track, and he even won a sire stakes race here.

"I think the time off (his 3-year-old season ended Oct. 1, with a tiring sixth-place finish in the $175,000 final of the NYSS at Saratoga) did him good. When we brought him back, I made a few changes with his head pole, and I think it's helped. He began training like a gorilla, so we thought he'd be better, but I didn't know he'd be this good.

"He's turned into a professional racehorse.

"The (Levy) series wasn't something we had thought about," Rubin added. "Like I said, he hated racing here, but I had asked Dave Miller, who was driving him over the Meadowlands, and he thought it would be worth a shot."

Of course, after springing a 15-1 upset in the $78,400 final of the Four Leaf Clover across the river, the connections were playing with house money.

"The Levy is a tremendous value for the ($5,000 entry fee) money," Rubin said.

The above statement meets with the approval of Art Z's owner, Richard Lombardo, a transplanted New Yorker now living near Northfield Park in suburban Cleveland. He purchased Art Z from Bob McIntosh for $85,000 last June and has seen him earn $68,500 (of $264,404 career cash) in his four Levy starts alone.

"I prefer looking in Ontario for lightly-raced horses which I think have some upside," Lombardo said. "This horse was unraced at 2, and I've found the horsemen up there tend to baby their horses early, which I like.

"Did I think he'd turn out to be this good? Nope."

While giddy about Art Z's success, Lombardo is also a realist.

"We've been fortunate to catch the right divisions and avoid the big guns in a few starts," he said. "We came first-up against Foiled Again last week, and he dismissed us (Art Z finishing third), but that's alright.

"Even with the open draw for the final, I know it's going to be extremely difficult to beat those great horses.

"However, he's earned his way in, and I'm very happy."

Yonkers' five night per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday) live schedule continues. First post for all programs remains at 7:10 p.m. Evening simulcasting accompanies all live programs, with afternoon simulcasting available around the NYRA schedule.