Duvet Day winning the Astra Jan. 21. (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Mike Willman/Santa Anita Press Box
ARCADIA, Calif.—One-two finishers when last they met, Irish-bred Duvet Day and Queen Ofthe Temple head a field of nine older fillies and mares going a mile and one quarter on turf in the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ana Stakes this Sunday at Santa Anita.
Far back early going a mile and one half on turf in the ungraded Astra Stakes here on Jan. 21, Duvet Day, under patient handling from Kuzushi Kimura, swung wide turning for home and won going away by 1 ¼ lengths in a very impressive win at odds of 13-1.
Trained by Michael McCarthy and owned by the estate of Burt Bacharach, Jane Bacharach and Richard Schatz, Duvet Day earned a career-best 89 Beyer Speed Figure in winning the Astra and will hope to be as effective cutting back in distance a quarter of a mile on Sunday with the talented Kimura riding for the third consecutive time.
A 4-year-old filly, Duvet Day, who was second in her first two starts in Ireland prior to joining McCarthy’s stable in the fall of 2021, ran an event eighth, beaten seven lengths, two starts back in the Grade I American Oaks, which was her only try at a mile and one quarter on turf. With an overall mark of 13-3-3-1, she has earnings of $178,313.
Off at 5-2, Queen Ofthe Temple was attentive to the Astra pace, made the lead turning for home, but was no match for Duvet Day late, finishing second by 1 ¼ lengths under Juan Hernandez, who rides back on Sunday. Trained by Dan Blacker, Queen Ofthe Temple is a 5-year-old Kentucky-bred mare that has been very consistent in Southern California starts for owners Radley Equine, Inc., Roger Featherston, Rick Gold and Tony Maslowski.
Sixth, beaten only 2 ¾ lengths three races back going a mile and one quarter on turf here in the Grade I Rodeo Drive Oct. 8, she was third, beaten 4 ½ lengths two starts back in the Grade III Red Carpet Stakes at 1 3/8 miles on turf at Del Mar Nov. 24. With an overall mark of 11-1-5-3, she has earnings of $157,840.
In her what was her U.S. debut, Australia Mia was off as the 8-5 favorite in the Astra and was forwardly placed throughout but tired to finish third, beaten 3 ½ lengths with Frankie Dettori, who rides back in the Santa Ana. A two-time Group II winner in Chile, Kentucky-bred Australia Mia is trained by McCarthy and is certainly eligible to move up on Sunday with a recent race to her credit. A 5-year-old mare by Street Sense who is owned by her breeder, Don Alberto Corporation, Australia Mia is 20-9-2-4 overall with two wins from four tries at the Santa Ana distance.
First post time for a nine-race card on Sunday is at 12:30 p.m. with admission gates opening at 10:30 a.m.