Tuscan Evening puts her 2010 unbeaten record on the line in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) and Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) winner General Quarters tops an 11-horse field in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Million Preview program July 17.
In the 1 3/16-mile Modesty, the final local stakes prep for the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes on the turf Aug. 21, the Southern California star Tuscan Evening, a five-time graded stakes winner this year, faces five rivals. This will be her first race outside California since arriving in the U.S. for the 2009 season. The Modesty is the seventh race on the Arlington Park program with a probable post of 3:22 p.m. CDT.
The $150,000 Arlington Handicap, the ninth race on the program at about 4:24 p.m. CDT, serves as the final prep for the Arlington Million (gr. IT) on the same day as the Beverly D. The Arlington Handicap, like the Million, is contested at 10 furlongs on grass.
As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in both the Modesty and Arlington will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Beverly D. and Arlington Million, respectively, should they elect to run in those events next month.
In between those two preps is the $200,000 American Derby (gr. IIT), which brings together several of the top prospects for the Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT), also on the Million program.
Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer for owner William De Burgh, the million-dollar-earner Tuscan Evening is coming off a half-length triumph in the Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park May 29. During her current five-race streak, she has won from 6 1/2 furlongs on the Santa Anita hillside turf course to 1 1/4 miles. Rafael Bejarano rides the 5-year-old Irish-bred daughter of Oasis Dream who has won 11 of 15 races since shipping to the States. She'll carry top weight of 124 pounds.
Augustin Stable's homebred Rainbow View, also making her first appearance at Arlington for trainer Jonathan Sheppard, represents the biggest threat. The 4-year-old daughter of Dynaformer won the Matron Stakes (Ire-I) at Leopardstown last September when trained by John Gosden and also captured the Fillies Mile (Eng-I) as a 2-year-old at Ascot the preceding fall.
Rainbow View has won two of five North American starts, including a win in the Gallorette Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Pimlico May 15, but is coming off a disappointing third as the even-money choice in the Nassau Stakes (Can-IIT) over a good turf course at Woodbine June 5.
Julien Leparoux regains the mount on Rainbow View, who gets two pounds from the top choice. Rainbow View has a lifetime mark of 7-2-2 in 15 starts among Europe, Canada, and the United States and has earned $921,014.
The other main challenger in the field appears to be 4-year-old Hot Cha Cha, winner of the Queen Elizabeth II Cup (gr. IT) at Keeneland last fall. Hot Cha Cha, who carries 121, snapped a three-race losing streak since that victory when she took the 1 1/16-mile Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs in her most recent start June 5.
Phillip Sims trains the daughter of Cactus Ridge for owner/breeder Nelson McMakin. James Graham rides Hot Cha Cha, who has earned $726,717 in her career while compiling a 6-2-3 mark in 15 starts.
Another California invader slated for the Modesty is Richard L. Duchossois’ Éclair de Lune, fourth behind Tuscan Evening in the 10-furlong Santa Barbara in only her second U.S. start April 17. The 4-year-old daughter of Marchand de Sable is trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Ron McAnally. Assigned 113 pounds, she will be ridden by Arlington’s leading jockey Junior Alvarado.
Thomas McCarthy’s General Quarters, a son of Sky Mesa , won the Turf Classic, just his second start on grass, over a yielding Churchill Downs course by a neck over Court Vision May 1.
He comes into the Arlington Handicap off a third-place finish on dirt in the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) at Churchill last month. Earlier this year, the 4-year-old colt was second in three main track stakes races at Fair Grounds, including the New Orleans Handicap (gr. II).
As a 3-year-old last year, General Quarters won Tampa’s Sam F. Davis Stakes (gr. III) on dirt and Keeneland’s Toyota Blue Grass (gr. I) on Polytrack on the road to the 2009 Triple Crown. He was compromised by a rough trip in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and subsequently injured in the Preakness (gr. I).
General Quarters will carry co-highweight of 122 pounds including Rafael Bejarano, who rode General Quarters in the Turf Classic. General Quarters is a four-time winner in 19 starts with seven seconds and earnings of $1,138,880.
Also in at 122 pounds is Robert S. Evans’ 7-year-old Marsh Side , winner of the Northern Dancer Stakes (Can-IT) at Woodbine last year and the Canadian International (Can-I) over that same course the previous year.
The Gone West horse, trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Neil Drysdale, returns to the turf after disappointing runs on the synthetic Pro Ride surface at Santa Anita this season in the San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) and Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I). Robby Albarado has been named to ride.
Defending champion Just as Well has lost seven in a row since last year’s Arlington Handicap. The son of A. P. Indy followed his local score with a second-place finish to Gio Ponti in the Arlington Million and a runner-up placing behind Marsh Side in the Northern Dancer. His best effort this year was a second in the Dixie Stakes (gr. IIT) at Pimlico May 15. Assigned 119 pounds for the Arlington Handicap, Just as Well will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
Robert Courtney’s Rahystrada, winner of the River City Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill last fall, most recently was third in the Dixie. The son of Rahy is trained by Byron Hughes and will be ridden by Inez Karlsson.
$150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 7, 3:22 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 1 3/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Single Solution (KY), M C Baze, 114, C M Block
2. Tuscan Evening (IRE), R Bejarano, 124, J Hollendorfer
3. Hot Cha Cha (KY), J Graham, 121 P A Sims
4. Askbut I Won'ttell (FL), E E Perez, 114, C M Block
5. Eclair de Lune (GER), J Alvarado, 113, R L McAnally
6. Rainbow View (KY), J R Leparoux, 122, J E Sheppard
$150,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 9, 4:24 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/4 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Imponente Purse (BRZ), J Graham, 113, E Caramori
2. Just as Well (KY), J R Leparoux, 119, J E Sheppard
3. Rahystrada (KY), I Karlsson, 119, B G Hughes
4. Cross Village (KY), E T Baird, 112, I Mason
5. Giant Oak (IL), J Alvarado, 116, C M Block
6. Rumor Has It (KY), F Geroux, 110, D H Hinsley
7. Marsh Side (KY), R Albarado, 122, N D Drysdale
8. Free Fighter (IL), F C Torres, 116, C M Block
9. General Quarters (KY), R Bejarano, 122, T R McCarthy
10. Princeville Condo (IL), J L Castanon, 114, M Boyce
11. Tajaaweed (KY), M C Baze, 114, D C Peitz