07/30/2005 11:00PM

Divine Proportions remains undefeated


Divine Proportions extended her undefeated record to nine on Sunday with a handy 2-length score in the $242,000 Group 1 Prix d'Astarte over Deauville's straight mile.

In winning at the highest level for the fifth time, the 3-year-old Kingmambo filly was facing older fillies for the first time as well as cutting back in distance from her victory in the 1 5/16-mile Prix de Diane, or French Oaks, on June 12. Unhurried back in ninth under Christophe Lemaire, she had to wait for a gap to appear before bursting through to lead at the eighth-pole to defeat German invader Shapira with Group 2 Prix de Sandringham winner Gorella third, a neck behind the runner-up. Sent off as the 1-10 choice with entrymate Yellow Ribbon, Divine Proportions covered the mile on soft ground in 1:39.90.

The Astarte appears to set her up perfectly for her long-intended midsummer assignment in the Group 1 Prix Jacques le Marois over the Astarte course and distance on August 14. The Marois will be the first time the Pascal Bary-trained filly will be meeting older colts, and she will have to be at her best that day if she is to remain unbeaten.

The $725,000 mile has attracted 24 nominees, among them 10 Group 1 winners who have collected 25 Group 1 victories. Along with Divine Proportions they are Rakti, Soviet Song, Valixir, defending champ Whipper, Ad Valorem, Dubawi, Proclamation, Turtle Bowl and Virginia Waters. In the meantime Divine Proportion's Astarte heroics have prompted British bookmakers Corals to lower her price for the Breeders' Cup Mile from 3-1 to 5-2, even though her owners, the Niarchos Family, are also considering her for the Filly & Mare Turf and the Turf at Belmont Park on Oct. 29.