Elisabeth Alexander’s Bridge Game overtook pacesetter Jennie R. inside the sixteenth pole to upset the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) (VIDEO) for fillies and mares by 1 1/2 lengths Saturday at Arlington Park.
Jeremy Rose rode the Graham Motion-trained daughter of Giant's Causeway --Baba Light (Majestic Light) who covered the 1 3/16-mile journey over “good” turf in 1:54.62. Bridge Game went off at odds of 7-1.
While the victory appeared to be easy for the 4-year-old filly, getting her to the gate proved to be a more difficult task. She flipped three times in the paddock before the race.
“She made it a little scary for us at times but as long as we keep her moving, she’s happy,” said Mary Jo Trotter, assistant to Motion. “She did it at Colonial (in her last start) but not as bad as today. She warmed up fine today and everything seemed to go our way after that.”
The Modesty is the first stakes victory for the 4-year-old filly who improved her overall record to five wins from 10 starts. She picked up $87,300 to elevate her earnings to $234,555. Margaret Nigrelle bred Bridge Game, a $32,000 Keeneland buy in January 2004, in Kentucky.
Locally based Jennie R. set the pace in the race through splits of :23.20, :47.68, 1:12.09 and 1:36.54 before being passed by the winner in deep stretch.
“She ran her eyeballs out,” said Larry Sterling Jr., who picked up the mount aboard Jennie R. “I let her bounce out of the gate a little bit and then let her settle into her own pace. She ran easy all the way. I thought I got a little jump on them turning for home but (Bridge Game) came flying.”
It was another three-quarters of a length back to Rich in Spirit (Julien Leparoux), who was third in the eight-horse field. She was followed by the faltering favorite Almonsoon (3-1), Mabadi, Brownie Points, Sohgol and Chic Dancer.
Bridge Game paid $17.40, $8 and $4.60. Jennie R. returned $6 and $5.40. Rich in Spirit paid $7.60.