Astra Returns Vs. Clement Shipper in Monday's Buena Vista 'Cap

Astra returns Monday to make her first start since August in Santa Anita's $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. II). The two-time grade I winner will go to post as the 121-pound highweight in the one mile turf test for older fillies and mares.

Astra last started at Arlington Park, finishing last of nine in the Beverly D Stakes on a yielding course. Prior to that, she won her first two starts of 2001 on firm turf courses in Southern California.

Astra, who drew post two, will be making her first start for trainer Laura De Seroux.

Trainer Christophe Clement ships in recent De La Rose Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Veil of Avalon for a start in Monday's race. Clement won with two of his four entrants at Southern California tracks last year and was two of three with his distaff starters, including Voodoo Dancer's Flawlessly Stakes win. He won with one of his two 2000 starters in Southern California, taking the Citation Handicap (gr. II) with Charge d'Affaires. Corey Nakatani will be in the irons Monday.

Verruma was entered and drew post seven, but is unlikely after finishing second in Sunday's Santa Maria Handicap.

The field for the Buena Vista, with jockey, weight, and morning-line odds:

1 -- Walts Wharf, Fernando Valenzuela, 110, 20-1
2 -- Astra, Kent Desormeaux, 121, 9-5
3 -- Brocky's Dream, Tyler Baze, 112, 30-1
4 -- Elegant Ridge, Victor Espinoza, 115, 15-1
5 -- Minor Details, Gary Stevens, 113, 20-1
6 -- Queen of Wilshire, David Flores, 116, 12-1
7 -- Verruma, Garrett Gomez, 116, 8-1
8 -- Blue Moon, Brice Blanc, 113, 8-1
9 -- Canzone, Goncalino Feijo Almeida, 117, 15-1
10 -- Veil of Avalon, Corey Nakatani, 117, 4-1
11 -- Old Money, Chris McCarron, 118, 9-2

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