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Tuesday, September 24
Astra retired




Astra, one of the nation's leading female turf runners for the past three seasons and a multiple Grade 1-race winner, has been retired, her trainer, Laura de Seroux, announced on Tuesday.

Astra most recently finished second in the Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park on Aug. 17. She had worked just once since then.

"She came back from Chicago with a respiratory infection," de Seroux said from San Luis Rey Downs training center in Southern California, where Astra resides. De Seroux said that once it was evident that Astra could not make either the Yellow Ribbon Invitational next month at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting, nor the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf at

Arlington, it was apparent that retirement was the best option.

"She has little more to prove," de Seroux said.

Astra had to be carefully handled throughout her career. Though she is age 6, she raced just 16 times, including a mere three starts last year, and five this year. But Astra won 11 of her races, and finished in the money 14 times, earning $1,378,424.

Astra was trained for the first 11 starts of her career by Simon Bray, for whom she won eight times. De Seroux took over as Astra's trainer one year ago. She won three times in five starts this year for de Seroux.

Her victories included the past two runnings of Hollywood Park's Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap, as well as the 2002 and 2000 versions of Hollywood's Grade 1 Gamely Handicap.

Astra, by Theatrical out of the Seattle Slew mare Savannah Slew, was bred by Allen Paulson and is now owned by his estate, headed by son Michael Paulson. No decision has yet been made on whom Astra will be bred to next spring, but "it will be somebody wonderful," de Seroux said.

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