Media Darling rolled to a scintillating 11 ¼-length victory in the $75,000 Howard B. Noonan S. on April 6 at Mahoning Valley in the stakes debut for the 3-year-old Sharp Azteca.
Thursday’s win was almost a carbon copy of his 11-length allowance win on Feb. 16 and upped the dark bay colt’s record to three wins from four starts. He has earned $84,974 for breeder/owner Nancy Lavrich.
Media Darling shot right to the lead in the six-furlong race, quickly opening up a two-length margin on the field. He maintained the spread until upper stretch, when he sprinted away with authority down the lane to win with ultimate ease in 1:10.73 on the fast track.
The winner is out of Dark Darling, who was twice stakes placed. Dark Darling is a full sister to the millionaire and 14-time stakes winner Rivers Run Deep.
Sharp Azteca, whose 2023 fee is $15,000 S&N, was the leading First-Crop Sire of 2022 by winners with 35 and by wins with 44. He has already accounted for 19 winners to date in 2023.