The Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Astra unleashed a furious stretch run to defeat Beautiful Noise and five other older fillies and mares in Saturday's $250,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita. Kent Desormeaux booted home the 5-year-old Theatrical mare after running the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.33 on a firm turf course.
Trainer Robert Frankel, who's won three of the last five runnings of the San Gorgonio Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita, saddled a strong one-two entry in this year's renewal on Monday's Martin Luther King Holiday card, with front-running Dancingonice the perfect complement to stretch closer Uncharted Haven. As it turned out, Dancingonice carved out the fractions and set things up perfectly for her 3 Plus U Stable barnmate, and Uncharted Haven took down the top prize in the nine-furlong turf race for fillies and mares.
It was a family affair at Churchill Downs when James C. Routsong's Megan's Bluff won her third graded stakes in her last four starts.
Stronach Stable and Elfreida Stronach's Collect the Cash tracked 4-5 favorite Gaviola through moderate fractions before taking the lead in mid-stretch to win the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup Stakes (gr. IT) by 3/4 lengths Sunday at Keeneland.
The connections of Gaviola have accepted an invitation to enter the $500,000 Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland on Oct. 8 and the filly is now considered a likely starter in the 1 1/8-mile turf race.
Augustin Stable's No Matter What split horses to surge to the lead and then held off Theoretically in deep stretch as horses making their North American racing debuts filled the top three finishing positions in the $250,000 Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Sunday at Del Mar.
Nine sophomore fillies, including Trudy McCaffery and John Toffan's Hollywood Oaks (gr. II) winner Kumari Continent, are entered to run in the Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) Sunday at Del Mar.
Uncharted Haven unleashed a powerful closing run in the stretch to win the $150,000 San Clemente Handicap (gr. IIT) Saturday at Del Mar.
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