Favorites upended in Saratoga series action

Saratoga Springs, NY — Favorites did not thrive in the first leg of the Step Up to the Plate Claiming Series for $10,000 fillies and mares, contested in three divisions on Tuesday (March 21) at Saratoga Casino Hotel after the series was delayed due to last Tuesday’s program having been canceled due to a snowstorm.

Long shot Broadway Role picked up her first win of the season, rallying to prevail in 1:56.4 at 9-1. Chris Long drove the daughter of Roll With Joe for owner Leonard Sinisgalli and trainer Bob Leslie.

Broadway Role’s 9-1 upset made her the longest-priced winner in the first round of the Step Up to the Plate Claiming Series for distaff pacers at Saratoga. Jessica Hallett photo.

Ol Little Shift likewise rallied from off the pace, sweeping to a 1:57.4 win — her second in a row — while off at 4-1 odds. Leon Bailey drove the 4-year-old Western Vintage mare for trainer Jesse McAssey and owner Adam Friedland.

The fastest first-leg winner was Brett Pisarski’s Cenalta Call Girl, who completed a huge day for her connections. Conditioner Melissa Beckwith scored a training triple on the card and driver Brett Beckwith capped a grand slam when the 9-year-old daughter of Allamerican Merlin came from well off the pace to power past her rivals to win in 1:56.

The second of three preliminary legs of the series will take place next Tuesday (March 28); the final will go for a purse of more than $30,000

Live racing at Saratoga resumes on Saturday evening (March 25) with first post time set for 5 p.m.

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