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Azar rallies to beat Next Shares at Saratoga


SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (AP) Alto Racing’s Azar rallied to beat Next Shares by three-quarters of a length Wednesday in the Grade 2 $200,000 With Anticipation for 2-year-olds at Saratoga Race Course.

Ridden by Hall of Famer John Velazquez, Azar raced to his first victory in three career starts, saving ground running third on the inside before swinging outside in the stretch and passing Next Shares.

The Todd Pletcher-trained Azar ran 1 1/16 miles on the firm turf course in 1:41.68 and paid $24.40, $9.40 and $5.20. Next Shares returned $13.20 and $6.90, and Unbridled Daddy paid $2.80 to show.