Familiar Turf for Astra
There have been few hiccups for Astra, who in her career has won 10 of 14 races and nearly $1.1 million.
In one of her rare flops, the 2000 Beverly Hills Handicap, she finished fourth in a field of five at 6-5, six lengths behind winning Happyanunoit.
The 6-year-old Theatrical mare made amends by winning the Grade I last year and she will be a short price today to become the first repeat winner since Flawlessly in 1993.
Owned by the family of the late Allen Paulson and trained by Laura De Seroux, Astra will be seeking her sixth victory in seven starts on the Hollywood Park turf course.
Trainer Bobby Frankel, who won his only Beverly Hills with Happyanunoit, will send out Peu A Peu and Karsavina. The trainer just missed beating Astra with Starine in last month’s Gamely, but Starine is being pointed for the Ramona Handicap on July 27 at Del Mar.
A German-bred owned by Gary Tanaka, Peu A Peu won the Yerba Buena Breeders’ Cup Handicap, a Grade III, at Bay Meadows in her American debut on May 18. This is a step up in class, but she is getting eight pounds (124-116) from Astra.
Joe Allen’s Karsavina won as the 7-10 favorite in her U.S. debut at Hollywood Park on May 22 and she will be seeking her first graded stakes victory.
Race of the day: Echelon, Turkish Prize, Beautiful Balance and seven other turf specialists will get together in Hollywood Park’s fifth, the final leg of a Churchill Downs simulcast network pick four.
There is also an NTRA pick three that includes the Molly Pitcher Breeders’ Cup Handicap from Monmouth Park, the Arlington Classic from Arlington Park and the Mother Goose from Belmont Park.
Who’s hot: Tom Amoss.
The trainer has won with 18 of his 57 starters at Churchill Downs.
Who’s not: Lexi’s Habit.
After finishing seventh of eight at nearly 50-1 going 870 yards against quarter horses at Los Alamitos, the 3-year-old filly shows up in a $43,000 maiden turf race today at Hollywood Park. The over-under on how many lengths she will lose by is 25.
Exotically speaking: A pick four singling Babbler in the sixth, using Astra and Peu a Peu in the seventh, Irish Muldoon and Well Known Act in the eighth and Aim For The Moon, Kelli’s Ransom, Charm A Song, Wilshewed and Dream Day in the ninth.
Winners (through Thursday): Previous day/meet total: 0/123. Money: Previous day/meet total: $0/$711. Total money bet: $806.