Aruna remained unbeaten in three starts in the United States, wearing down Wild Mia in the stretch to take the $199,675 Mrs. Revere (gr. IIT) (VIDEO) for 3-year-old fillies Nov. 20 on the Churchill Downs turf.
A Kentucky homebred on Flaxman Holdings, Aruna made the first five starts of her career in France with modest success but has been perfect since shipping to the U.S. barn of Graham Motion. After the 1 1/16-mile Mrs. Revere, the daughter of Mr. Greeley served notice that she could be among the top horses in her division next season.
With Ramon Dominguez aboard, the dark bay/brown filly raced mid-pack in a field of 10 sophomore fillies for six furlongs as Dade Babe set the pace through splits of :23.88, :49.49, and 1:15.33. Ice Mist pressed the leader, while Quiet by Seven and Wild Mia were also up close.
Wild Mia cut the far turn perfectly under Freddie Lenclud and took a narrow lead entering the lane while racing near the hedge. But Aruna, who came five-wide with her bid, was right on her heels and took a short lead approaching the eighth-pole. She determinedly held off the game Wild Mia throughout the stretch to win by 1 3/4 lengths.
The final time on the firm turf course was 1:46.02. Wild Mia held off late-closing Fugitive Angel by a neck for second.
“She has been doing everything right," Dominguez said. "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.”
Aruna, who is out of the Unbridled mare Surya, entered the Mrs. Revere off a three-length victory in the Pebbles Stakes Oct. 11 at Belmont. She won an allowance race at Saratoga in September in her U.S. debut, a little more than three months after making her last start in France.
The filly won one in five starts in France but finished off the board in both stakes efforts, including the group I Prix Saint-Alary in May when sixth.
With the win, Aruna increased her earnings to $256,842.
"I think every time she runs, she’s improved. She has done so well for this race," Motion said. “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."
Sent off as the favorite, the winner paid $5.40, $4, and $2.80. The exacta (5-2) returned $48.60 and the trifecta (5-2-6) was worth $141.20.