'A Mile And A Half Is Right Up Her Alley': Duvet Day Wins Astra With Perfectly Timed Rally - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report

‘A Mile And A Half Is Right Up Her Alley’: Duvet Day Wins Astra With Perfectly Timed Rally

Irish-bred Duvet Day and jockey Kazushi Kimura winning the Astra Stakes

A scintillating bay flash from off the pace, Irish-bred Duvet Day exploded through the lane to win Saturday's $100,000 Astra Stakes for older fillies and mares 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 1 1/2 miles over a firm turf in 2:28.12.

Next to last in a field of nine heading to the far turn, Duvet Day idled midway 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 sixteenths pole.

“Today, it seemed like there was no speed in the race,” said Kimura, North America's Eclipse Award winner as outstanding apprentice jockey of 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 1 1/4 miles on turf  Dec. 26 at Santa Anita, Duvet Day was off at 13-1 and paid $28.80 for the win.

“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 in Toronto and who won his first race of the meet in last Sunday's La Canada Stakes (G3) 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 Bacharachs along with Richard Schatz, Duvet Day, a 4-year-old Starspangledbanner fillly out of the Montjeu mare Je T'Adore, 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 3-3-1 from 13 starts.

Most recently third in the 1 1/8 mile turf Red Carpet Stakes (G3) 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, she finished 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 2 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.

Fractions on the race were :24.36, :48.15, 1:13.10, 1:38. and 2:03.12.

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