The $200,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Arlington Park July 12 is pretty much a roll of the dice, as 14 fillies and mares (and one also-eligible) look to earn their way into the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes (gr. IT) Aug. 16.
The 1 3/16-mile turf event drew talented fillies from the barns of Todd Pletcher, Christophe Clement, Bill Mott, Tom Proctor, and Wayne Catalano.
One of the most intriguing is the Pletcher-trained Ana Luisa, a Brazilian-bred who was two-for-three in graded company in her native country before being sent to the U.S. by owner Stud Golconda. In three starts here, the daughter of Elusive Quality has a pair of fourths and a fifth. In her first U.S. graded stakes attempt on April 19, she finished a decent fourth in the Sixty Sails Handicap (gr. III) on the dirt at Hawthorne Race Course.
What makes her so intriguing is the return to the grass, over which she won a grade II and finished second in a grade I in Brazil and was a fast-closing fourth, beaten 1 1/2 lengths, in the South Beach Stakes at Gulfstream Park in her U.S. debut. She has been turning in sharper works at Saratoga Race Course and may be ready for a breakout performance if she can handle the distance. Channing Hill will ride for the first time and break from post 9.
Proctor could have the horse to beat in Irish-bred Gulsary, beaten a head in the Keertana Stakes at Churchill Downs in her previous start. The 5-year-old daughter of Galileo was a close third in the Megahertz Stakes at Santa Anita Park back in January and last year was third in the grade III Robert J. Frankel Stakes also at Santa Anita.
She will take action, not only because Proctor is always dangerous, especially at Arlington, but she gets Gary Stevens, who last rode her in the Frankel. She will break from post 4.
Clement has a good shot with the English-bred Tabreed, who hasn’t run this year, but concluded her 2013 campaign with a fast-closing second in the Long Island Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct. The 5-year-old daughter of Sakhee has been in the money in six of her seven starts in America, and was in the money in four of her five starts in France for John Hammond.
Although it is a tall task coming back in this spot off an eight-month layoff, Clement is as good as they come getting a horse ready off a layoff. Joe Bravo, who has a victory and third in stakes company on Tabreed, will be back aboard and will break from post 6.
Wayne Catalano has a classy, but inconsistent filly in I'm Already Sexy, who gets Lasix for the first time following her close second in the Mint Julep Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs June 7. The daughter of Ready's Image is undefeated in three starts over the Arlington turf course, including victories in last year’s Pucker Up Stakes (gr. IIIT) and listed Hatoof Stakes. However, she did not draw well in post 13.
The Mott-trained White Rose looks to be rounding back in form following her impressive 5 1/4-length romp in an allowance/optional claimer at Churchill Downs in her previous start. The daughter of Tapit had been a gem of consistency early last year and was a close second in the Glens Falls Stakes at Saratoga. But she finished out of the money in four of her next five starts before bouncing back with her allowance score. Julien Leparoux will ride for the first time and will have his hands full breaking from post 14.
Of the others, Maid on a Mission was third in the Mint Julep in her last start, Embarr was fourth in the Mint Julep and won the Dahlia Stakes at Pimlico Race Course earlier in the year, Every Way has two victories and three seconds in her past five starts, Kepi has won her last two at Arlington, including an Illinois-bred stakes last time out, Dance Again was third in the Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill and has excellent form in Canada, I O Ireland was second to Kepi last time out and captured the other division of the Hatoof last year, and Frivolous finished second in the Arlington Matron (gr. III) over Polytrack.
Arlington International Racecourse, Saturday, July 12, 2014, Race 10
PP Horse Jockey Weight Trainer 1 Embarr (VA) Emmanuel Esquivel 115 Susan S. Cooney 2 Street of Gold (KY) Edgar S. Prado 113 Eric R. Reed 3 Every Way (KY) James Graham 114 Michael Stidham 4 Gulsary (IRE) Drayden Van Dyke 115 Thomas F. Proctor 5 Kepi (IL) Edgar Perez 116 Brian Williamson 6 Tabreed (GB) Joe Bravo 116 Christophe Clement 7 Dance Again (ON) Alan Garcia 116 Malcolm Pierce 8 Frivolous (KY) Victor Espinoza 115 Victoria H. Oliver 9 Ana Luisa (BRZ) Channing Hill 115 Todd A. Pletcher 10 I O Ireland (IL) Carlos H. Marquez, Jr. 114 Chris M. Block 11 Maid On a Mission (KY) Sal Gonzalez, Jr. 114 Tommy Ray Mills 12 Alette (IL) Timothy Thornton 114 Chris M. Block 13 I'm Already Sexy (KY) Florent Geroux 117 Wayne M. Catalano 14 White Rose (KY) Julien R. Leparoux 114 William I. Mott 15 Wave of the Wand (IL) Santo Sanjur 109 John Haran