03/04/2007 1:00AM

Contessa longshot wins Broadway

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Gary Contessa didn't need his best New York-bred mare to win Sunday’s Broadway Handicap at Aqueduct. One of his bevy of understudies filled in quite admirably.

Opting to scratch morning-line favorite and defending Broadway winner Magnolia Jackson, Contessa went with 22-1 shot Waytotheleft, who received a rail-skimming, off-the-pace ride from Ramon Dominguez to win the $72,480 Broadway Handicap by 3 1/4 lengths. Great Lady K rallied to get second by three-quarters of a length over the pacesetting Slew Motion.

It was the second straight victory for Waytotheleft, a 5-year-old daughter of Abaginone, who had gone winless in her previous 14 starts dating back to Sept. 2005. Waytotheleft covered six furlongs in 1:10.88 and returned $46.60.

"In her last race, she just exploded and when I looked at this race on paper, I said. 'Man there is a damn hell of a lot of speed,' " Contessa said. "She trained well and it set up well for her today. I was certainly hoping she would run like that.

Contessa said he scratched Magnolia Jackson to await the Grade 2, $150,000 Distaff Breeders’ Cup Handicap here on March 24.