Duvet Day and Kazushi Kimura win the $100K Astra in off-the-pace fashion (Ernie Belmonte/Past The Wire)
Santa Anita Press Release
ARCADIA, Calif.— A scintillating bay flash from off the pace, Irish-bred Duvet Day exploded through the lane to win Saturday’s $100,000 Astra Stakes at Santa Anita by 1 ¼ lengths as Japanese jockey Kazushi Kimura notched his second stakes win of the meet. Trained by Michael McCarthy and owned in-part by pop music legend Burt Bacharach and his wife Jane, Duvet Day got a mile and one half over a firm turf in 2:28.12.
Next to last in a field of nine older fillies and mares heading to the far turn, Duvet Day idled mid-way on the turn and then swung five-deep turning for home prior to unleashing a huge stretch rally wherein she overtook Queen ofthe Temple and Juan Hernandez inside the sixteenth pole.
“Today, it seemed like there was no speed in the race,” said Kimura, North America’s Eclipse Champion Apprentice Jockey in 2019. “I dropped my hands and (was) patient until the three eighths and then when I hit the three eighths, I just swung out and she just nailed it.”
Most recently a well beaten eighth in the Grade I American Oaks at a mile and one quarter on turf here Dec. 26, Duvet Day was off at 13-1 and paid $28.80, $11.20 and $4.60.
“Duvet Day, a mile and a half is right up her alley,” said McCarthy. Kazushi rode a great race, took his time. They kind of came back to us, and at the three eighths pole, he wheeled her out and she kind of kept grinding and grinding.”
When asked about his impressions of Kazushi, who was last year’s top jockey at Woodbine Racecourse in Toronto and who won his first race of the meet in last Sunday’s Grade III La Canada Stakes on dirt aboard the John Sadler-trained Kirstenbosch, McCarthy said, “Last year, he rode some races for us at Turfway Park and he did an exceptional job. He (handicaps) the race very well, comes prepared, always eager to work and has a smile on his face.”
Owned by the Bacharach’s along with Richard Schatz, Duvet Day, a 4-year-old filly, notched her first career stakes win in what was her 11th North American start for McCarthy. With the winner’s share of $60,000, she increased her earnings to $178,313 and improved her overall race record to 13-3-3-1.
Most recently third in the Grade III, 1 1/8 mile turf Red Carpet Stakes Nov. 24 at Del Mar, Queen ofthe Temple opened up turning for home but was clearly second best on the day. Off as the second choice at 5-2, she paid $4.20 and $2.80 while finishing 2 ¼ lengths in front of race favorite Australia Mia, who is also trained by McCarthy.
Ridden by Frankie Dettori, Australia Mia, a multiple Group II winner in Chile who was making her U.S. debut, sat second to pacesetter Lady Clementine to the top of the lane but did not threaten for the win. Off at 8-5, she paid $2.80 to show while finishing a neck in front of longshot Almost a Factor.
Fractions on the race were 24.36, 48.15, 1:13.10, 1:38.00 and 2:03.12.