Peeping Tom's Rally Wins LeVine Memorial

(from Philadelphia Park report)
Millionaire Peeping Tom put together a furious late rally to win the $100,000 Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap (gr. III) by a half-length over favored Highway Prospector Saturday at Philadelphia Park.

The six-furlong LeVine was the 14th career win for the 7-year-old gelded son of Eagle Eyed and pushed his bankroll to more than $1.38 million. The final time was 1:11 on a fast track.

With a speed duel developing up front almost immediately, winning jockey Ariel Smith quickly found that he really had few options. Kazoo, a solid allowance runner from New York, and multiple stakes winner Crossing Point zipped through opening fractions, into the wind, in :22 and 45 1/5.

"He broke well," remarked Smith, "but they quickly ran away from him. By the time we got to the three-eighths pole, he was starting to pick it up little by little."

Near the quarter pole, Crossing Point was the first to yield. Richierichierich, one of the top Philly Park allowance horses who making his first stakes appearance, pounced on Kazoo, softened from the taxing first half-mile. Richierichierich quickly got clear inside the final furlong, but the late runners had it high gear.

Highway Prospector, last year's LeVine winner who was the 2-1 choice Saturday, moved with Peeping Tom from the rear of the seven-horse field, and the two were closing on the far outside. Still about five lengths behind with only one furlong to go, Peeping Tom found his best stride late, roaring home to get up just before the wire.

"I was still pretty confident when we hit the eighth pole," Smith said. "The leading horses were starting to come back to me and when he saw that horse on the outside (Highway Prospector), he really took off. He wasn't going to let him get by. I've ridden him a number of times before and I knew he always gives you his best so I never gave up. He's an old-timer with a big heart. Then he just exploded as we neared the finish."

Peeping Tom races for Flatbird Stable and is trained by Patrick Reynolds.

Off as the third choice at 4-1, he returned $10.60, 3.80, and 3.20. Highway Prospector won a place photo by a neck and paid 3.60 and 2.60. Richierichierich, longest price at 11-1, was third behind his classy rivals and paid 3.20 to show. The winning exacta came back $38.20.

Spooky Mulder, Crossing Point, Secret Run and Kazoo completed the order. True Passion and Out of Fashion scratched.

(Chart, Equibase)