Friday featured the first leg of the Virginia O’Brien Memorial Pacing Series for fillies and mares at Saratoga Casino Hotel. There were two divisions of the series’ first leg and each went for a purse of $10,000. Yonkers invader Speedo Miss (Roll With Joe) came to town with a record of four-for-four in 2018. The Mark Harder trainee has displayed versatility early on in her career and was impressive in local debut on Friday. Speedo Miss was the odds-on betting favorite in leg one of the series and wound up prevailing despite getting a difficult first-over journey with Frank Coppola Jr. in the sulky. Speedo Miss was first-over in a third quarter that went in 27.4 but fellow Yonkers invader Elegant Deo (Jimmy Devaux) couldn’t put her away. Speedo Miss stopped the timer in 1:56.1 to extend her win streak to five and to all but ensure her spot in the series Final to be contested in two weeks. Maggies Way (Shawn Gray) finished second while Elegant Deo held on for third. The series’ other division saw another first-over winner as Brett Crawford’s Awake My Soul (Real Desire) pulled off the upset. The four year old mare overcame her overland trip to spring the upset at odds of 17-1, stopping the timer in a career-best 1:57.2 for Crawford who trains and drives the mare. Leg two of the series will take place next Friday with the Final being contested in two weeks.
Live racing continues on Saturday night at Saratoga with a first post time set for 6:45pm.
Photo: Melissa Simser-Iovino