11/05/2005 12:00AM

Olaya sharp in first American start

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
European shipper Olaya, ridden by Edgar Prado, overtakes Spotlight in the Grade 2 Long Island.

OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Olaya unleashed a powerful stretch kick under Edgar Prado and wore down Spotlight in the final yards to win Saturday's Grade 2, $150,000 by a neck at Aqueduct.

Spotlight, who took over from the pacesetting Little Buttercup turning for home, held second by one length over Kate Winslet. Latice, the 4-5 favorite, wound up fifth.

Olaya, a Kentucky-bred daughter of Theatrical, became the fourth European-based 3-year-old filly since 2000 to win the Long Island in her North American debut. She joins Moonlady (2000), Uriah (2002), and Eleusis (2004) in that regard.

Prado had Olaya in fifth position, just outside Latice, while Little Buttercup set fractions of 24.87 seconds, 50.86, 1:16.40, and 1:41.94 for the opening mile. Olaya launched her bid leaving the half-mile pole, was guided to the inside around the turn, and split horses in deep stretch to get the job done. Olaya, owned by Prince Faisal Salman and trained by Graham Motion, covered the 1 1/2 miles in 2:30.28 over firm turf and returned $9.40 to win.

"I thought it was very impressive, a very powerful last sixteenth of a mile," Motion said from Maryland, where he watched the race on television. "I was a little concerned only in that she had a tendency to be keen in her races in Europe. She settled very nicely today. When he asked her she just took off."

Prado said he kept Olaya outside of Latice because he thought she was the one to beat.

"When the front-runners got away, I asked my horse and she picked it up and got in gear again," Prado said.

Latice was running back just 13 days after she ran a strong second in the E.P. Taylor. Jockey Jose Santos said his filly had no real excuse.

"On the last bend she dropped back three or four lengths and she couldn't make up those lengths in the stretch," he said.

Motion was not sure when Olaya would run again, though the La Prevoyante Handicap at Calder on Dec. 17 is a possibility.