Leading First-Crop sire Sharp Azteca got his 14th winner on Friday at Saratoga when Aztec Nights split horses at the top of the lane on her way to victory in a $83,000 turf maiden special weight race for 2-year-old fillies.
The dark bay filly was making her first lifetime start for trainer Wayne Catalano in the 5 ½-furlong contest, shipping to upstate New York after registering a half-dozen workouts at Keeneland.
Aztec Nights was bumped rather soundly at the break, then recovered nicely to move into fourth along the inside down the backstretch. She held her spot around the turn, then when the leaders fanned out into the stretch, she came on quickly between horses to take the lead. Kept to the task by Johnny Velazquez, she won by 1 ¼-lengths in 1:02.71 on the firm turf.
Aztec Nights is owned by Jarry Caroom, who purchased her for $45,000 out of the 2022 OBS Spring 2-year-old sale. She was bred in Kentucky by Brenda and Philip Robertson.
Sharp Azteca also had a stakes winner in Russia on Friday, and will have several chances over the weekend to add to his impressive list of winners with five maidens entered around the country, as well as his second lifetime winner Realitos, who makes her first stakes start on Saturday.