08/11/2011 1:24PM

Saratoga: Opera Heroine wins Mrs. Ogden Phipps

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Tod Marks
Opera Heroine, with William Dowling aboard, wins the Mrs. Ogden Phipps.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Opera Heroine surged to the front during the final run on the backstretch and never was threatened thereafter,  recording a three-length victory on Thursday in the $70,000 Mrs. Ogden Phipps Stakes, the first steeplechase race ever run at Saratoga that was restricted to female horses.

Opera Heroine ($9.80), with William Dowling aboard, had defeated maidens in a jump race on July 17, during Saratoga's annual Open House day preceding the meet. Whereas she led from start to finish that day, on Thursday she waited patiently for more than half the race before taking command.

Well Fashioned finished second, 3 1/4 lengths in front of Lonesome Nun.

Opera Heroine was timed in 3:54.11 for 2 1/16 miles over national fences. That is nearly 18 seconds off the course record.

Beating the Odds fell the first time down the backstretch, but neither she nor rider Brian Crowley appeared seriously injured. Deputy Empress left the course during the race. Farah T Salute refused to leave with the field at the start, but was declared a starter for wagering purposes.

Jack Fisher trains Opera Heroine, 7, a daughter of Partner's Hero. She is owned by Arcadia Stables.