A half-dozen 2-year-old fillies will face the starter for the $100,000 Astarita (gr. III) at Belmont Park Sunday. The 56th edition of the Astarita features several highly thought of juvenile starlets going 6 1/2 furlongs..
William Carl's Im a Dixie Girl is a two-time stakes winner, having taken the Colleen and Bassinet stakes before finishing fifth as the favorite in Turfway Park's Kentucky Cup Juvenile Fillies. New York-based Bruce Levine, having a strong Belmont meet with 12 winners as of Friday, will saddle her.
Five Star Fund went wire-to-wire while breaking her maiden over the strip in September. She can either make the pace or sit just off it, according to trainer Rick Violette.
Todd Pletcher will send out Summer Raven, who finished second to eventual grade I victor Sense of Style in a maiden heat in August. She is coming off a last-place finish in the grade I Matron, a race at a mile that Pletcher feels might have been a bit too far for her.
The field for the Astarita, in post position order with jockeys and weights:
1) Queens Plaza (Jerry Bailey, 120)
2) Toll Taker (Eibar Coa, 117)
3) Im a Dixie Girl (Richard Migliore, 120)
4) Summer Raven (John Velazquez, 117)
5) Roving Angel (Cornelio Velasquez, 117)
6) Five Star Fund (Shaun Bridgmohan, 117)