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Former Aust Mare Astronomia Wins US Stakes
In the US, former Darley shuttler King's Best (Kingmambo-Allegretta, by Lombard) added a black-type success when former Gai Waterhouse-trained Australian-bred 5YO racemare Astronomia (King's Best-Astralita, by Kenny's Best Pal) scored by a head in the US$77,000 Listed Valor Lady Stakes (6 furlongs on turf) for mares 4YO & up at Belmont Park in New York. Astronomia (ridden by Javier Castellano for Godolphin trainer Saeed bin Suroor) defeated Argentine-bred Stormy Kiss (Bernstein-Shy Besada, by Shy Tom) & Somethinaboutbetty (Forestry-Here Comes Betty, by Cox's Ridge). This was Astronomia's 3rd US start: she scored on debut over 5.5 furlongs on turf at Saratoga in August; & then finished unplaced in the Gr3 Noble Damsel Handicap (8 furlongs on turf) at Belmont on September 15. Astronomia (purchased by Darley for $280,000 at the 2004 Inglis Easter Yearling Sale in Sydney from the draft of Trelawney Stud) notched 2 wins & 6 placings (including runner-ups in the Gr2 Wakeful Stakes over 2000m at Flemington & Listed Reginald Allen Quality over 1400m at Randwick, plus 4th in the Gr1 AJC Oaks over 2400m) in 12 starts for $212,310 prize-money on Australian tracks. She subsequently finished unplaced in 3 runs in England last year (including 4th in a Listed event at Goodwood).