Favored Aruna Remains Unbeaten in U.S. With Victory in 20th Running of the Mrs. Revere

Nov 21, 2010 Gary Yunt

Flaxman Holdings, Ltd.’s Aruna surged to the front in upper stretch and pulled away from a ground-saving Wild Mia in the run to the wire to win the 20th running of the $199,675 Mrs. Revere (GII) for 3-year-old fillies by 1 ¾ lengths at Churchill Downs on Saturday afternoon.
 Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Aruna raced in mid pack and in the clear on the outside as Dade Bade and Ice Mist led the field through fractions of :23.88 and :49.49 in the 1 1/16-mile grass race. Wild Mia, ridden by Freddie Lenclud, raced along the inside rail in third.

 Leaving the backstretch, both Aruna and Wild Mia moved at the leaders and at the head of the stretch Wild Mia cut the corner to take a brief lead while Aruna moved four wide. Aruna immediately took command and began to draw clear past the eighth pole, completing the distance in 1:46.02 on a Matt Winn Turf Course listed as firm.

 Graham Motion, who earlier this meet saddled Shared Account to win the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (GI), trains Aruna, who is now three-for-three since coming to the United States from France.

The victory was worth $117,610 for the Kentucky-bred daughter of Mr. Greeley out of the Unbridled mare Surya and increased her earnings to $256,842 with a record of 8-4-1-1.

 Aruna returned $5.40, $4 and $2.80. Wild Mia returned $7.40 and $4.80 and finished a neck in front of Fugitive Angel, who paid $2.80 to show under Rosie Napravnik. It was another half-length back to Snow Top Mountain, who was followed in order by Stars to Shine, In the Slips, Dade Babe, Ice Mist, La Cloche and Quiet by Seven.

 The field was reduced to 10 when Gitchee Goomie flipped in the starting gate during the loading process and was scratched.

 Racing continues Sunday with a 10-race program that begins at 12:40 p.m. (ET). There’ll be a Super Hi-5 carryover in excess of $22,900 in the final race.


Ramon Dominguez (jockey, Aruna, winner): “She has been doing everything right. I was happy to see that she was sharp today. She put herself in the race earlier than usual. She was a little handy, but wasn’t too rank by any means. When it’s time to pick it up, she is always there for you. She’s pretty classy. I don’t know how good she can be. Everything she has faced and every scenario she has faced she has been great. And today she was closer and able to fire.”

Graham Motion (trainer, Aruna, winner, via telephone): “I was impressed with her today because she was just so much sharper earlier. I don’t know if it was the incident in the gate (that resulted in the veterinarian’s scratch of No. 4 Gitchee Goomie), but she started very on-the-muscle. She’s been very relaxed in her races and I just thought (jockey) Ramon (Dominguez) did a great job to keep her settled long enough so that when he did finally turn her loose, she had plenty left.”

Q: When he did let her go? Aruna made a really powerful move on the far turn. “It really was – again, considering how sharp she was early on. Usually, when they’re that keen early, they don’t finish up. I’m just glad Ramon stuck with her and I think it made a big difference today, because he really knows her and had a lot of confidence in her. I think every time she runs, she’s improved. She’s done so well for this race.”

Q: This was another step for her since she arrived in the U.S. and she now has her first graded stakes win.  What’s next? “I’ll speak with Alan Cooper, who manages Flaxman Holdings, and we’ll come up for a plan for next year. I definitely won’t run her again this year and I won’t be in a hurry to run her next year. We’ll probably look for something, maybe even Keeneland in the spring. But I’m not going to be in a big hurry to run her early on in the year.”

Heather Craig (assistant trainer, Aruna, winner): “She has been nothing but classy since we’ve had her. The first time I encountered her was at Saratoga and she was so well behaved and really classy training in the mornings. After what happened in the gate, (jockey) Ramon (Dominguez) said she got a little wound up but considering what happened with the horse next to her flipping over, she behaved very well and ran the way she always does. We are very pleased with everything she has done at this point. She will be going to Florida, but I don’t know what (trainer) Graham (Motion) and the owners have planned yet.”

Freddie Lenclud (jockey, Wild Mia, second): “She’s a filly that’s a little keen in the race. Today was good. There was plenty of pace in the race and she was good to lay behind. I had a perfect trip behind them. I thought I had a good shot. We just got beat by a good filly. She ran really good.”

Churchill Downs, the world’s most legendary racetrack, has conducted Thoroughbred racing and presented America’s greatest race, the Kentucky Derby, continuously since 1875.  Located in Louisville, the flagship racetrack of Churchill Downs Incorporated (NASDAQ Global Select Market: CHDN) also operates Trackside at Churchill Downs, which offers year-round simulcast wagering at the historic track. Churchill Downs will conduct the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby on May 7, 2011. The track’s 2010 Fall Meet is scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 28.  Churchill Downs has hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships a record seven times and the event will return to the track for its next renewal on Nov. 4-5, 2011. Information about Churchill Downs can be found on the Internet at www.churchilldowns.com.

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