Following Aruna’s half-length victory in the Oct. 9 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (gr. I) over the Polytrack at Keeneland, trainer Graham Motion knew he was going to have to make a tough decision. Would he return the gritty 4-year-old filly to the turf for the 11-furlong Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT) or would he opt to go in the 1 1/8-mile Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic (gr. I) on the dirt at Churchill Downs?
The way Aruna has performed throughout her career, either path was a good one. However, after she worked over Churchill’s main track Oct. 29, Motion decided to keep his star on the turf.
“Ultimately I felt more confident about her getting the distance on the turf than I did about how she was going to handle the dirt,” Motion said. “She had a perfectly good workout, but I’m not sure it told me anything.”
One thing Aruna has been telling her connections throughout her life is she is a filly of quality. Flaxman Holding’s homebred daughter of Mr. Greeley —Surya, by Unbridled, has impressed from the start.