In modern day racing, there isn't often a major swing in weights. But there is Saturday in the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. Astra carries 124 pounds in the Beverly Hills, spotting her eight rivals from eight to 12 pounds.
The 6-year-old Theatrical mare picks up one pounds from her May 27 head victory in the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I) over Starine. The Gamely is at nine furlongs, while the Beverly Hills is an eighth of a mile longer.
Prior to the Gamely, Astra won the Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. II) by two lengths. In her first start of the year, the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. II) in March, she finished third.
Bred by Allen Paulson and racing for the Allen Paulson Living Trust, Astra is trained by Laura de Seroux. She will be ridden again by Kent Desormeaux.
Starine is not in the Beverly Hills, nor is Voodoo Dancer, who finished behind Astra and Starine in the Gamely. Voodoo Dancer was a dominant winner of the Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs last weekend.
The field, with weights and jockeys, in post position order:
Canzone, 115, Goncalino Almeida
Smokin' Charlotte, 113, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
Peu a Peu, 116, Patrick Valenzuela
Racene, 113, Mike Smith
Crazy Ensign, 115 , Laffit Pincay, Jr.
Astra, 124, Kent J. Desormeaux
Snowflake, 114, Alex Solis
Karsavina, 112, Victor Espinoza
Blushing Bride, 113, Garrett K. Gomez