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Astra Preview: Ms Peintour Set for Title Defense
Miss Peintour after winning the 2020 Astra (Credit: Ernie Belmonte)

Astra Preview: Ms Peintour Set for Title Defense

ARCADIA, CA – Jay Em Ess Stable’s Ms Peintour is set for a title defense as she returns from a 5-month break in Sunday’s $100,000 Astra Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park.

The Astra is a 1 1/2- mile turf marathon restricted to fillies and mares ages 4 and up. This year’s edition is the seventh event on a 9-race card and has a local post time of 3:37 PM.

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Here’s a look at the full field for the Astra:

1. Avenue de France 6/1 – She finally broke through for her first North American victory last time out, splitting foes from next-to-last to defeat first-level allowance company going 1 1/8 miles locally. Like nearly every other entry, she must try this extended distance for the first time, but she improved noticeably in her 9-furlong debut last out.

2. Miss Addie Pray 15/1 – She broke her maiden at sixth asking in a local 1 1/4-mile event last October in what was her first time trying that distance. She finished seventh shortening up to 1 1/16 miles against Del Mar optional claimers but did no better placing-wise in the local 1 1/4-mile American Oaks (G1) last time out. At least Hall of Famer Mike Smith rides her back.

3. Altea 3/1 – After spending 3 seasons racing on the east coast, she makes her second start out west under new trainer Michael McCarthy, who debuted her in the Frankel Stakes (G3) going 1 1/8 furlongs here last month. She finished seventh but crossed less than 3 lengths behind the winner, a Grade 1 winner exiting the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1).

4. Aunt Lubie 8/1 – She’s still winless on turf and since breaking her maiden in August 2018 while going 1 mile on the Del Mar dirt, but Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella’s patience with her seems to finally be paying off. Her 3 best career efforts came going at least 1 1/8 miles on turf, including a narrow third behind Avenue de France last time out.

5. Hermaphrodite 6/1 – She could improve in her third start of the current form cycle after missing 15 months between her last appearance in her native France and her first American try. Though the John Sadler trainee didn’t finish better than fifth in 2 prior starts since coming west, but her 4-1-2-1 distance record overseas includes 3 narrow stakes defeats.

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6. Lucky Peridot 15/1 – She takes a major leap up to the stakes ranks after defeating $30k claimers going a mile over this course just 13 days ago, her first victory in 13 tries over the lawn. The meet’s leading rider Juan Hernandez retains the mount for the third straight time if she runs, though she was supplemented into Monday’s 1-mile Megahertz Stakes (G3).

7. Carpe Vinum 20/1 – She returns to the stakes ranks for the third time hoping for a much better result than fifth (in the Del Mar Oaks [G1]), ninth in the Dueling Grounds Oaks, and fourth in the China Doll. She broke her maiden over this course late in her 2-year-old season, but she’ll need to take a major step forward from a speed figure standpoint to contend here.

8. Quick 5/2 – Sadler’s second entry stretches out to the farthest distance of her career, which may be just to her liking: her best stakes finishes came going 1 3/8 miles at Del Mar in August’s CTT and TOC (second by a neck) and November’s Red Carpet Handicap (G3) (third by 1 1/2 lengths). Jockey Umberto Rispoli is always a threat to win, especially going long on turf.

9. Ms Peintour 4/1 – She upset last year’s running at 13/1 while closely attending the pace and holding on late, but she disappeared for 7 months and didn’t return all that well in the CTT and TOC, finishing last of 10. Unraced since, she gets a major jockey upgrade to Flavien Prat, perennially on or near the top of every major southern California meet’s leaderboard.

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