08/22/2001 12:00AM

Startac, Astra taken from Bray


DEL MAR, Calif. - Grade 1 winners Astra and Startac were transferred from trainer Simon Bray to Laura de Seroux on Wednesday by the owners, the executors of the Allen Paulson Living Trust.

The move came four days after Startac won the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park and Astra, who won the Grade 1 Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 24, finished unplaced in the Beverly D. Stakes.

"I'm devastated," Bray said. "I felt like I was doing well for them. Coming off a $400,000, Grade 1 win, it's a little disheartening."

Michael Paulson, the son of the late owner-breeder Allen Paulson, confirmed the transfer on Wednesday. He did not give specific reasons for the decision, but a press release cited "the best interests of his father's trust and of their horse operations."

Bray said Astra, Startac, and two others horses were transferred from his stable at Del Mar to de Seroux's barn at nearby San Luis Rey Downs early Wednesday afternoon. He said five horses based at Santa Anita were scheduled to be transferred on Thursday. According to the press release, trainers other than De Seroux will also receive horses owned by the trust."

Go to Del Mar coverage.