Fresh off a heartbreaking nose defeat over the course, trainer Phil D'Amato's Tiny Tina heads a field of seven older fillies and mares going the marathon distance of a mile and one half on turf in Sunday's Grade 3 Astra Stakes at Santa Anita.
The Richard Baltas-trained Lostintranzlation, who set the early pace in the same race, will get the first time services of Joel Rosario and rates second billing.
Richard Mandella's long fused Siberian Iris, idle since fourth going a mile and one quarter on turf in the Grade I Rodeo Drive Stakes here Sept. 28, will be ridden back by Rafael Bejarano and she would benefit from a fast early pace on Sunday.
Owner: A. Venneri Racing, Inc. & Anthony Fanticola
Trainer: Phil D'Amato
A 5-year-old mare by Paddy O'Prado who was bred in-part in Kentucky by Alex Venneri, Tiny Tina took a stutter-step leaving the gate in the Grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes but was comfortably in hand while last at the rail heading into the Club House turn, rallied three-deep turning for home under Javier Castellano and made the lead well inside the sixteenth pole, but her stablemate Mirth re-rallied to her inside and denied “Tiny” the victory at 1 1/8 miles on turf. A respectable fifth two starts back in Del Mar's Grade III Red Carpet Handicap at 1 3/8 miles on turf, Tiny Tina, who like the rest of the field is trying a mile and one half for the first time, should be very tough if her closing kick is as effective at the Astra distance.
Owner: Aaron Hesz, Denis Hendrickson & Jerry McClanahan
Trainer: Richard Baltas
A 6-year-old California-bred mare by Lucky Pulpit, Lostintranzlation showed the way to mid-way on the far turn in the Red Carpet at Del Mar prior to tiring to finish seventh, beaten 10 ¼ lengths at odds of 3-1 over a turf rated as “good.” With her connections hoping for firm footing on Sunday, her front-running style could prove more effective with leading man Rosario taking over.
Owner: Calumet Farm
Trainer: Richard Mandella
Fourth, beaten 6 ¾ lengths by multiple graded stakes winning Mirth in the Grade I, 1 ¼ mile turf Rodeo Drive Stakes here on Sept. 28, Irish-bred Siberian Iris rallied from far back to win the CTT/TOC Stakes two starts back at 1 3/8 miles on turf Aug. 16 at Del Mar and would obviously benefit from a hot pace in the Astra. Although she's won only three of her 18 starts, Siberian Iris, a 6-year-old mare, is the leading money earner in the field with $234,727.
THE GRADE III ASTRA STAKES WITH JOCKEYS & WEIGHTS IN POST POSITION ORDER
Race 6 of 8 Approximate post time 3 p.m. PT
- Lostintranzlation—Joel Rosario–120
- Tiny Tina—Flavien Prat—120
- Blue Diva—Abel Cedillo—122
- Trust Fund Kitty—Assael Espinoza—120
- Siberian Iris—Rafael Bejarano—122
- Ms Peintour—Brice Blanc—120
- Heathers Grey—Aaron Gryder–120
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