Astra (3), shown winning the 2001 Beverly Hills Handicap.

Astra (3), shown winning the 2001 Beverly Hills Handicap.

AP/ Benoit & Associates

Millionaire and BC Contender Astra Retired

Millionaire Astra, who figured to be one of the favorites in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT), has been retired because of a respiratory infection. The 6-year-old Theatrical mare, who ran second in the Aug. 17 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) at Arlington Park, will remain with trainer Laura de Seroux at San Luis Rey Downs in Southern California.

"It's in her best interest to retire her," said de Seroux, who succeeded Simon Bray as trainer in late summer a year ago. "She's done enough. Some of her efforts were the gutsiest I've ever seen."

Astra captured three consecutive stakes this year, taking the Santa Barbara (gr. IIT), Gamely Breeders' Cup (gr. IT), and Beverly Hills (gr. IT) Handicaps for the Allen E. Paulson Living Trust. She had won all three stakes in previous years.

Astra was bred by Paulson and raced for him up through his death in the summer of 2000. She retires with 11 wins from 16 starts and $1,378,424 in earnings. Paulson had bought Astra's dam, Savannah Slew (by Seattle Slew), for $470,000 at the 1983 Keeneland July yearling sale and watched her develop into a multiple graded stakes winner.