November to remember

Everything below courtesy of the Thoroughbred Times and written by Mike Curry…..

Aruna1_M9H1272Photo by Reed Palmer photography

It has been a November to remember for Fair Hill, Maryland-based trainer Graham Motion, who won the $199,675 Mrs. Revere Stakes (G2) with Aruna on Saturday at Churchill Downs.  Aruna closed with a powerful bid in the stretch under Ramon Dominguez to win by 1 3⁄4 lengths for her third victory in as many starts in the U.S.  The Mr. Greeley filly was transferred from Jonathan Pease to Motion after she finished sixth in the Prix Saint-Alary (Fr-G1) at Longchamp in May. 

Motion said he thought Aruna was a little bit keen early after Gitchee Goomie flipped in the stall next to her and was scratched.  “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, but she started very on the muscle,” Motion said. “She’s been very relaxed in her races, and I just thought Ramon did a great job to keep her settled long enough so that when he did finally turn her loose, she had plenty left.”

Fifteen days ago, Motion saddled Shared Account for her career defining victory on the same Churchill turf course in the Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (G1) at 46-to-1 odds. Exactly a week later, Team Valor International decided to send its entire North American roster, including Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G2) winner Pluck, to Motion at his Fair Hill Training Center base. 

Aruna is a homebred of the Niarchos family’s Flaxman Holdings.  She entered the Mrs. Revere off a three-length win in the Pebbles Stakes on October 11 at Belmont Park and earned her first career group or graded stakes win on Saturday.  “She put herself in the race earlier than usual,” Dominguez said.  “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.”  Wild Mia held off a spirited late bid from Fugitive Angel by a neck for second.

Aruna is one of three winners from as many starters out of multiple graded stakes winner Surya, by Unbridled. She improved to four wins from eight starts and boosted her earnings to $256,842. Motion said she will get a well-deserved break after the Mrs. Revere.  “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,” the trainer said. “We’ll probably look for something, maybe even Keeneland [Race Course] in the spring. But I’m not going to be in a big hurry to run her early on in the year.”—Mike Curry {jcomments on}

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