Aruna made a bold move to the lead at the three-eighths pole in Saturday’s Sheepshead Bay Stakes (G2) at Belmont Park and won the $200,000 turf event in impressive fashion.
Ridden by Ramon Dominguez, Aruna settled in fourth as Aqsaam opened a double-digit lead through fractions of 47.34 and 1:13.22. When the leader started to come back to the field, Dominguez gave Aruna her cue, and she blew past the weary pacesetter and was never seriously threatened in the stretch by Hit It Rich, who gave vain chase in second.
“There was a spot by the three-eighths pole where I had to make a decision; I was very happy with where I was on the rail and she was pretty handy, but realistically, the horse in front of me was starting to slow down, and there was the filly outside me,” said Dominguez. “I had to really take a shot and go through at that moment, which I did. I was a little concerned it would compromise my filly, but she kept on coming for me, so I was very happy with her.”
Aruna, the 2-1 favorite, paid $6.10 for a $2 win wager and completed 1 3/8 miles over “good” turf in 2:15.47.
NYRA Press contributed to this report.