Astra, one of the top turf mares in the early part of this decade, was euthanized June 12 at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute near Lexington because of complications from colic.
Simon Bray, who recently retired as a Thoroughbred trainer, has joined TVG as a full time racing analyst, the network announced Thursday. Bray, a 35-year-old Englishman who trained grade I winners Startac and Astra, has been working for TVG on a part time basis the past eight months.
Millionaire Astra produced her first foal, a Giant's Causeway filly, Jan. 15 for Allen E. Paulson Living Trust and Liberty Road Stables.
Eight horses owned by Michael Paulson will be transferred from trainer Laura de Seroux and sent to the East Coast Friday to trainers Michael Matz and Bill Mott.
Trainer Laura de Seroux hopes to repeat the memorable Memorial Day weekend she experienced last year when Azeri won the Milady (gr. I) on Saturday and Astra captured the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on turf on the following Monday. With Astra retired, de Seroux will send out highly regarded Dublino in the $350,000-added Gamely.
Allen E. Paulson Living Trust's Horse of the Year candidate Azeri and multiple grade I winner Astra will be sold at public auction in 2003 as part of the remaining disperal of the trust's bloodstock. An out-of-court settlement to sell the trust's remaining bloodstock interests was reached Dec. 9 between co-trustees Michael Paulson and Dr. Nicholas Diaco.
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 Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf has a history of coming up strong and deep, and this year is no exception.
Astra, a disappointment when finishing last as the 7-10 favorite in the 2001 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. I), returns to Arlington Park Saturday to face defending champion England's Legend and four other female turf runners of international caliber in the $700,000 Beverly D.
Bettors believe that the winner of the three Breeders' Cup races that were offered in the second wagering pool of the NTRA Future Book Bet – the Turf, the Mile and the Filly & Mare Turf – is someone they don't know about yet.
Irish-bred High Chaparral (5-2) Rock of Gibraltar (9-5) are the favorites in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf and the Breeders' Cup Mile, respectively, after the second day of wagering in Pool Two of the Breeder' Cup Future Bet. Astra and Irish-bred Golden Apples are the 5-1 co-favorites in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.
Beat Hollow, Rock of Gibraltar and Astra are their division's respective early choices as a total of less than $8,000 was wagered on the opening day of Pool Two of the Breeders' Cup Future Bet.
The Charlie Whittingham School of Horse Training has brought to the sport a number of leading conditioners, including the well known and successful Joe Manzi, Dick Lundy, Rodney Rash and Hall of Famer Neil Drysdale. The newest Whittingham disciple to step forward in what is primarily a man's world is Laura de Seroux.
Astra takes her place in history with a repeat victory in the Beverly Hills Handicap.
In modern day racing, there isn't often a major swing in weights. But there is Saturday in the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park. Astra carries 124 pounds in the Beverly Hills, spotting her eight rivals from eight to 12 pounds.
Astra ran down Starine in the final strides to win the $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap by a head Monday, two years after the 6-year-old mare won the same race.Both Azeri and Astra win major holiday races for trainer Laura De Seroux and the Allen Paulson Living Trust.
Monday's $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park is shaping up to be a battle between the West Coast's top turf distaffers and two Eastern-based invaders, with Astra and Starine representing the West and grade I winner Voodoo Dancer and John C. Oxley's Snow Dance shipping in from the East.
Astra battles back, to win the Santa Barbara for the estate of the late Allen Paulson.
Gary Tanaka's Del Mar Oaks (gr. IT) winner Golden Apples put in an easy half-mile breeze Wednesday ahead of her start in Saturday's $250,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Golden Apples peels away from a class-laden Santa Ana field
Astra returns at Santa Anita Saturday from a seven-month layoff, but the Santa Ana Handicap (gr. I) is no easy spot as the starting gate will also be populated by grade I winners Janet, Tout Charmant, Golden Apples, and Starine.
Blue Moon finally found racing room in the final yards and ran down Queen of Wilshire for a neck victory Monday in the $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. II) for fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Astra returns Monday to make her first start since August in Santa Anita's $150,000 Buena Vista Handicap (gr. II). The two-time grade I winner will go to post as the 121-pound highweight in the one mile turf test for older fillies and mares.
Multiple grade I winner Astra, who has not started since developing a foot abscess shortly after her last-place finish in the Aug. 19 Beverly D Stakes (gr. I) at Arlington Park, is back in serious training and being prepared for a 2002 campaign.
The Simon Bray-trained Astra has been made the 8-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's $700,000 Beverly D. Handicap (gr. IT) on Arlington Million Day after drawing post 7 on Wednesday. A total of nine fillies and mares will go postward in the 1 3/16-mile race.
Bits and pieces from around the Thoroughrbed industry.
The Simon Bray-trained Astra wins the Beverly Hills Handicap over Happyanunoit
On Sunday, Astra avenged a defeat to Happyanunoit in last year's Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IT), pulling away in the stretch to a four-length triumph over last year's winner in the $200,000 Hollywood Park feature.
Jockey Kent Desormeaux will return from a 10-week stint in Japan to ride at Hollywood Park on Sunday. Included in Desormeaux's four mounts on the card is Astra, the Santa Barbara Handicap winner who will carry 121 pounds in the Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IT).
Millionaire mares Tranquility Lake and Happyanunoit offer the packed resumes for the $250,000-added Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IT) for fillies and mares on Saturday at Hollywood Park, but Kalypso Katie appears to be the interesting filly on the rise.
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.
Amerman Racing's Happyanunoit scored a three-length victory in the $250,000 Beverly Hills Handicap (gr. IT) Saturday at Hollywood Park.
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