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Plein Air takes Astra S. in U.S. Debut
Monday, January 15, 2018
Plein Air (IRE) gave both her trainer and owner quite a thrill on Jan. 14 when the 5-year-old mare scored a front-running victory in the 1 1/2-mile Astra S. on the Santa Anita turf course.

Plein Air is the first horse for her owners Larry and Sunny Brookshire, who purchased the filly privately from Italian interests a few months ago. Needless to say, winning a stake in your first-ever start as an owner was quite a thrill. 

“This is my first horse, my first race and now my first win. I knew that obviously Bob has a good team and this was just thrilling,” said Larry after the win.

Plein Air, who was  close fourth in a Group 1 in Italy in late 2016, had been in training with Baffert since late August. Keen at the start of the turf marathon, she went to the lead and was never headed, opening up as much as three lengths in the first six furlongs, then digging in to hold off Evo Campo (IRE) by three-quarters of a length.

“This horse came to me through John Adger, who I’ve known forever,” said Baffert of how he obtained Plein Air. “He said he found this nice filly in Italy and she goes a mile and a half and luckily, I don’t have any horses in that division.
“We’ve been working her and if you see it, she struggles on the dirt, works very ordinary. I knew I had to run her, I had to do something, so I put her in this race and here we are. I told Tyler (jockey Tyler Baze) to put her on the lead, that’s what you do. She ran around there and had turf form so I was very excited to watch her do that off a (seven-month) layoff.”
Plein Air has won 8 of 11 starts overall and is now likely on track to contest the more lucrative distaff turf marathon events at the Santa Anita meet, such as the March 18 Santa Ana (G2).

Baffert 2013