Keeneland Wagering Picks: Aruna Seeks to Defend Her Title in Spinster

A dozen will line up in Sunday's Spinster (G1) at Keeneland © Cheryl Quigley |

Fallstars Weekend concludes at Keeneland on Sunday, with two more graded stakes on the card, with the Graham Motion trained Aruna seeking to defend her title in the $500,000 Spinster  (G1).

The co-feature on the card is the $150,000 Bourbon (G3) for two-year-olds on the turf, and both graded stakes are Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” races.

Aruna is the 7-2 morning line favorite in the field of twelve, looking to rebound off a troubled tenth place finish in the Beverly D. (G1) at Arlington Park on Aug. 18.

The five-year-old mare has only won one of five starts since winning the Spinster last year, taking the Sheepshead Bay (G2) at Belmont Park.

Her regular rider Ramon Dominguez makes the trip in from New York to ride the mare.

The race drew a deep and competitive field that includes Alabama (G1) runner up In Lingerie (9-2), Delaware Handicap (G2) runner up Tiz Miz Sue (5-1), and New York (G2) winner Mystical Star (6-1).

The Bourbon drew a full field, although Joha will scratch after taking the field gate to wire to win the Breeders’ Futurity (G1) on yesterday’s card.

The Chad Brown trained Balance the Books is the 4-1 morning line favorite and is coming off a victory in the With Anticipation (G2) at Saratoga, beating Joha by a head.

Trainer Todd Pletcher, who has been wining juvenile races in bunches sends out impressive maiden winner Siamarama (8-1), and the Tim Ice trained Brown Almighty (6-1) figures to take some action off a win in the Sunnys Halo and a tough neck loss in the Sunday Silence in his most recent start, both of the outings coming at Louisiana Downs.

Let’s head out to Keeneland for Sunday’s featured race of the day:

Keeneland Race 8 The Spinster G1 (4:49 ET)

3 Aruna   7-2

6 Tiz Me Sue   5-1            

5 In Lingerie   9-2             

7 Upperline   12-1

Analysis: Aruna returns to poly for the first time since winning this race last year, which was her first and only start on a  synthetic surface. She used the Spinster last year as a prep for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf (G1) where she checked in fifth, beaten a length. She has only won once since, taking the Sheepshead Bay (G2) at Belmont Park over ground labeled as good. She was the beaten favorite last out in the Beverly D. (G1) at Arlington Park. She stumbled coming out of the gate, bobbled when clipping heels leaving the quarter mile marker and failed to threaten late. The runner up in the Marketing Mix was Marketing Mix, an impressive winner of the Rodeo Drive (G1) in her next outing on Sept. 29 at Santa Anita. She figures to bounce back with a better effort here with a better trip and has worked smartly over the synthetic surface at Fair Hill since her last outing.

Tiz Me Sue has not been on poly since her first three career starts back in ’09. Last out she stalked the early pace and finished evenly in a fourth place finish in the Personal Ensign (G1) at the Spa, beaten two lengths. The winner Love and Pride came back to win the Zenyatta (G1) at Santa Anita and the runner up Royal Delta came back to win the Beldame (G1) by 9 1/2 lengths. Her last win came in the Azeri (G3) at Oaklawn Park back in March, but has been in the mix in her last four starts running into the best of the division. She is bred to like poly and she ran well over it to start off her career including a runner up finish in the Arlington Washington Lassie (G3) as a juvenile.


WIN: #3 to win at 5-2 or better.

EX: 3,6 / 3,5,6,7

TRI: 3,6 / 3,5,6,7 / 3,5,6,7,11

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