Upperline, a two-time stakes winner this year, has been pegged as the 121-pound highweight for the $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) July 14 at Arlington Park. The Modesty is one of four graded stakes on the card, billed as “Million Preview Day.”
The Modesty, which has a post of 3:41 p.m. CDT, is a prep for the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) which will go on the undercard of the Aug. 18 Arlington Million (gr. IT).
The 5-year-old Upperline, a daughter of Maria's Mon, out of the group I-placed Caerleon mare Snowflake, won the 12-furlong Grey Goose Bewitch Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland and added the Arlington Matron (gr. III) on Polytrack May 26. She ran second, beaten a nose, as the 11-10 favorite in the Trillium Stakes at Woodbine on the Queen’s Plate undercard June 24.
Upperline races for Arthur Hancock’s Stone Farm, John Adger, Oak Crest Farm and trainer Mike Stidham. She’s earned $604,828, and will again be ridden by James Graham in the 1 3/16-mile race. But she won’t have it easy in the Modesty while facing a good field of seven other older fillies and mares.
Upperline will break from post 2 against tough foes in Snow Top Mountain (post 3), Bizzy Caroline (post 5), and Romacaca (post 7).
Barbara Hunter’s homebred Snow Top Mountain (Najran—Motokiks, by Storm Cat) also has a pair of stakes wins under her belt this year for trainer Tom Proctor. She rallied late to edge Hit it Rich in the Swannee River (gr. IIIT) going 1 1/8 miles at Gulfstream Park in February and came from more than 10 lengths off the lead early to land the Edward P. Evans All Along Stakes (gr. IIIT) last time out June 16 at Colonial Downs at nine furlongs. She makes her Arlington debut while being ridden for the first time by Julien Leparoux.
Bizzy Caroline, a mid-pack runner early, closed well to win the Early Times Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT) last time out at Churchill Downs. She won last year’s Mrs. Revere Stakes (gr. IIT) under the Twin Spires at nine furlongs last year, but has been off the board in a pair of races at that trip or longer since. Trained by Ken McPeek for breeder/owner Catesby Clay, Bizzy Caroline is a 4-year-old daughter of Afleet Alex out of the Saint Ballado mare Sacre Coeur.
Frank Calabrese’s Romacaca has not run over the Arlington turf since an allowance/optional claiming win that preceded a fourth-place finish in the Beverly D. in 2010. She did take the Matchmaker Stakes (gr. IIIT) last summer at Monmouth and comes to the Modesty off a fourth-place effort in the Violet (gr. IIIT) at Monmouth. The Florida-bred is a danger in the field as a front-running type.
$200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT, Race 6, approximate post 3:41 CDT), fillies and mares 3YO & Up, 1 3/16 miles, (turf)
PP, Horse, Jockey, Wgt., Trainer
1, She’s All In, L. Quinonez, 116, D. Von Hemel
2, Upperline, J. Graham, 121, M. Stidham
3, Snow Top Mountain, J. Leparoux, 119, T. Proctor
4, Trac N Jam, C. Lanerie, 114, A. Hansen
5, Bizzy Caroline, M. Cruz, 120, K. McPeek
6, Smart Sting, J. Rosario, 117, R. Attfield
7, Romacaca, F. Torres, 119, D. Miller
8, Pathway, S. Martinez, 115, C. Janks