England's Legend Steals Beverly D.; Astra Last

England's Legend set moderate fractions while left alone on the front end, then drew away in the stretch to win Saturday's $700,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) by 7 3/4 lengths on a yielding turf course at Arlington Park. Under Corey Nakatani, the Christophe Clement-trained filly completed the 1 3/16 miles in 1:56.75.

"It was a special trip. She is a very special filly," Nakatani said. "There was plenty of competition. These are the best fillies and mares in the country."

Astra, the 7-10 favorite, raced in third early on before dropping back on the second turn and finished last in the nine-horse field.

The Seven Seas and Spook Express raced in next-to-last and last through the early going before closing to finish second and third, respectively. Only to You came home fourth, followed by Solvig, Di Moi Oui, Megans Bluff, Kalataria, and Astra.

Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend (Lure--Mystery Tune, by Commanche Run) earned $420,000 for the win, her fifth career victory from eight starts and her third in succession. Last out, 4-year-old England's Legend earned a 1 1/2-length win over Gaviola in the New York Handicap (gr. IIT) at Belmont Park. As a 3-year-old in France, she won the Prix de Bagatelle and finished ninth in the Prix Chloe (Fr-III), a race won by Beverly D. runner Di Moi Oui. S.C. Ecurie De Meautry bred England's Legend in France.

England's Legend returned $11, $6, and $4.60. The Seven Seas paid $8.60 and $6.40. Spook Express was worth $7 to show. The winning exacta combination returned $81.60. (Chart, Equibase)