Walk Close Pounces in Modesty Victory
Photo: Four Footed Fotos
Walk Close rallies to win the Modesty Handicap.
Highland Yard's Walk Close bided her time off the pace in the $100,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) and then asserted herself in the stretch to win July 11 race for fillies and mares at Arlington International Racecourse. Watch Video
 
Walk Close won by half length after charging past brief leader Mango Diva, who outfinished 3-1 favorite Gaga A by 1 3/4 lengths for second.
 
A daughter of leading sire Tapit  , Walk Close was timed in 1:57.08 for 1 3/16 miles on good turf, taking her record to four wins and two thirds from 10 career starts.
 
Walk Close was coming off a third, beaten only a half-length after closing from nine back in the Keertana Stakes May 16 at Churchill Downs. Last year she ignited a three-race win streak in launching her career for trainer Christophe Clement, capped with a victory in her stakes debut in the Wild Applause Stakes at Belmont Park, her only previous stakes win
 
Walk Close relaxed in seventh as Seeking Treasure set the early tempo in the Modesty, clocking fractions of  :24.02, :49.22, and 1:13.71 for six furlongs before throwing in the towel entering the stretch. Walk Close drove between rivals in the stretch to make her bid before taking charge for her first graded stakes triumph. 
 
"She had a beautiful trip and followed the pace around there, picked up the speed to home and did it well," said winning rider James Graham. "The ground is a little soft but she did it the right way. She's a really nice filly."
 
Highland Yard went to $180,000 to buy Walk Close at the 2012 Keeneland September yearling sale from Brookdale Sales, an arm of Brookdale Farm, which bred her in partnership with Jack Swain and Sarah Kelly. The filly's dam is grade I-placed stakes winner Spring Awakening, by In Excess
 
Walk Close paid $11.60, $6.20, and $3.40, Mango Diva returned $5.60 and $3.80 and Gaga A returned $3.40.
 
Riposte was fourth, followed by Overheard, Seeking Treasure, Honey Lake, Lots o' Lex, and Rock Me Mama to complete the order of finish. Notte d'Oro was scratched.

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