Sharp Azteca gives Navarro second Derby Day win in Pat Day Mile
Pressing Imperial Hint through splits of :22.05 and :44.09, Sharp Azteca overtook that tiring rival passing the quarter pole, opened up a big lead in mid-stretch and comfortably held off a late rally from Forevamo to score by 2 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:34.37 over a fast track.
Owned by Gelfenstein Farm and ridden by Edgard Zayas, Sharp Azteca paid $28.20.
Earlier in the day, Navarro saddled Catalina Red to an upset score in the Churchill Downs (G2).
"I thought this horse was the bet of the day," Navarro said. "I think this horse is one of the best three-year-olds in the nation. The horse had some issues and we gave him some time off. We took a chance in here. He worked in :58 last week and the way he did it was just amazing. This horse will run all day."
Forevamo was two lengths clear of third-place finisher Star Hill. American Freedom, the 7-5 favorite off a sharp debut score at Santa Anita, came home sixth in the field of 14 three-year-olds.
This was the third win in five starts for Sharp Azteca, who dropped his first two starts prior to breaking his maiden by four lengths in a one-turn mile at Gulfstream. He followed up with a 7 1/2-length romp over the same course, and is now three-for-three at the distance.
A $220,000 yearling buy, Sharp Azteca is by Freud and out of the Saint Liam mare So Sharp.
(Jessie Holmes/EquiSport Photos)