11/04/2017 1:51PM

Layoff no problem for Arles in Long Island Handicap

Joe Labozzetta/NYRA
Arles came off a nine-month layoff to wire Saturday's Grade 3 Long Island Handicap at Aqueduct.

Earlier in the week, trainer Graham Motion said he hoped he had put enough work into Arles to prepare her for her first race in more than nine months. On Saturday at Aqueduct, Arles had plenty of gas in the tank to go wire to wire in the Grade 3 Long Island, a $200,000 handicap for fillies and mares over 1 1/2 miles on turf.

Arles took a clear lead under jockey Nik Juarez soon after the start of the Long Island and cut out amazingly even fractions of 24.85, 49.85, and 1:14.86 while being tracked by Summersault.

Following a mile in a very reasonable 1:40.39, Summersault moved up inside the winner, but Arles would have none of it and quickly spurted off to a clear lead again. Arles drifted out during the stretch run, but scored comfortably by 1 3/4 lengths over Galileo's Song, who made a four-wide bid into the stretch but lacked the needed response in the final furlong and had to settle for second.

Arles completed the inner turf race in 2:28.65 while covering her final quarter-mile in 23.43 seconds. She paid $4 as the favorite in the six-horse field.

"I got her to settle back in my hands pretty easily," Juarez said. "When it came to the stretch, she was real game."

Texting, who rallied into the stretch just inside Galileo's Song, finished third, a length behind her Chad Brown-trained stablemate. Summersault was fourth, three-quarters of a length back.

Arles, a 5-year-old mare bred in France, began her career in Germany before being purchased by Team Valor International in the summer of 2016. She finished second in her first three United States starts against Grade 3 company – the Glens Falls at Saratoga and Red Carpet at Del Mar in 2016 and the La Prevoyante at Gulfstream Park last January.

Motion said Arles had a minor setback at Keeneland last spring. After recuperating, she had worked nine times at Fair Hill since Sept. 9.

Arles, who is now co-owned by Green Lantern Stables, came into the Long Island with 2 wins and 7 seconds in 12 starts, but proved she is not averse to winning with a promising performance.