08/24/2011 5:22PM

Saratoga: Bigger is Bettor connects at 26-1 in Albany Stakes

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Barbara D. Livingston
Bigger is Bettor, under Abel Lezcano, rallies in deep stretch to upset the Albany Stakes.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. -   Trainer Gary Contessa’s personal quest to sweep all three legs of the Big Apple Triple for 3-year-old New York breds ended just a few strides from the finish line when the 26-1 Bigger is Bettor ran down his 3-5 Socialsaul to register a three-quarter- length victory in Wednesday’s $100,000 Albany Stakes at Saratoga.

Bigger is Bettor, a homebred son of Grand Reward owned by Chester and Mary Broman, entered the 1 1/8-mile Albany with just a single career victory on his resume, that win coming in a maiden special weight event switched from the turf to the main track on April 14. The Albany marked the first stakes appearance of Bigger or Bettor’s career.

Bigger is Bettor raced more than eight lengths off Bound by Humor’s rapid early pace,  saved ground while advancing around the second bend, and  then eased out and ran down Socialsaul in the shadow of the wire. Socialsaul, winner of the New York Derby, the middle leg of the Big Apple Triple, overtook the tiring leader into the stretch, drew off to a seemingly comfortable advantage near midstretch but could not last. Preachintothedevil, whose victory in the seven-furlong Mike Lee gave Contessa the opening leg of the Big Apple Triple, finished another three lengths farther back in third.

Bigger is Bettor completed the distance in 1:51.12 over a fast track under regular rider Abel Lezcano and paid $54.50.  The Albany gave trainer Rodrigo Ubillo his first win of the meet.

“I was surprised he won,” admitted Ubillo. “He’s always shown some talent in the morning and I was confident he’d run well but I didn’t know if he was going to be able to win.”

Broman echoed his trainer’s sentiments.

“It was unexpected but that was great,” said Broman.