ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2015)–Last early in a field of nine older fillies and mares, Kitten’s Point took advantage of a fast pace and came rolling in the final furlong to take Sunday’s $75,000 Astra Stakes at Santa Anita, as jockey Flavien Prat guided the Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Kitten’s Joy to a length and a half win while covering 1 ½ miles on turf in 2:26.61.
Trained by Graham Motion, Kitten’s Point closed much ground when eighth, beaten six lengths in the one mile turf Kathryn Crosby Stakes at Del Mar on Nov. 7, and she obviously appreciated the added distance on Sunday as she ran down favored Lady Pimpernel to win going away.
“I worked her and she did very well,” said Prat, who was aboard for the first time in the afternoon. “She’s not really fast the first part of the race but it was a fast pace so I think she liked that. She was able to have that great finish.”
Off at 4-1, Kitten’s Point paid $10.60, $4.60 and $3.20. Owned by Augustin Stable, she improved her overall record to 12-4-3-1 and with the winner’s share of $47,700, increased her earnings to $328,665.
“Graham aimed Kitten’s Point for this race right after her last out at Del Mar,” said assistant trainer Alice Chapman. “We thought the mile and a half distance would be a perfect spot for her.”
Ridden by Victor Espinoza, English-bred Lady Pimpernel showed good early speed but was taken off the pace to fifth as the field passed the judges the first time around. She inched clear leaving the three eighths pole and out-gamed Lady of Gold late to finish second by a head. Off at 7-5, Lady Pimpernel paid $2.80 and $2.20.
Lady of Gold, who is also trained by Motion, was third-best under Kent Desormeaux and finished two lengths in front of Scooter Bird. Off at 7-2, Lady of Gold paid $2.60 to show.
There will be special Martin Luther King, Jr. Day racing at Santa Anita on Monday. First post time is at 12:30 p.m. and admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.