Fifth Avenue Looks to Glide in Astoria

Fifth Avenue will look to remain unbeaten when she takes the gate against nine rivals in Sunday's $100,000 Astoria Stakes, going 5 1/2 furlongs at Belmont Park.

G R and S Stable's Fifth Avenue, a daughter of Monarchos, won the June 9 Fashion Stakes by a length after breaking her maiden by three lengths May 18. Both races were at Belmont.

"She's really handled everything quite professionally," said trainer Mark Hennig. "She broke her maiden from the rail and won the stakes from the outside post."

Hennig said he was impressed with the race Fifth Avenue ran in the Fashion. "She ended up pressing the pace, but still had enough left to hold off the closed," he said. "With more experience, I feel that she could become more rateable."

Expected to challenge Fifth Avenue is Michael Tabor, Derrick Smith, and Susan Magnier's Adieu, who will be making her first start since she broke her maiden from the rail going 4 1/2 furlongs April 22 at Keeneland. The daughter of El Corredor was sent off as the 3-5 favorite in her debut and won by 4 1/2 lengths.

"She had a splint that we had to freeze-fire after her first race," said trainer Todd Pletcher. "She's trained very well since then."

Pletcher will also saddle Fantast, a filly who broke her maiden June 2 at Monmouth from slightly off the pace. A daughter of Luhuk, Fantast races for Alan Braun and Kenneth English.

The field for Sunday's $100,000 Astoria Stakes includes:
1-- Adieu (Rafael Bejarano, 116)
2-- Wonder Lady Anne (Javier Castellano, 116)
3-- Fifth Avenue (Pablo Fragoso, 120)
4-- Royalactgo (Richard Migliore, 114)
5-- Blissful Trip (Edgar Prado, 116)
6-- Fantast (Eibar Coa, 116)
7-- Red Liquor N' Lace (Mike Luzzi, 116)
8-- Folklore (Cornelio Velasquez, 116)
9--Pam d' Monia (Javier Castellano, 116)