Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend, defending champion of the Beverly D. Stakes (gr. I) here last year, made her return to the races off a 10-month layoff a romp in the grass, cruising to a front-stepping two-length victory in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. III) Saturday at Arlington Park.
The 5-year-old daughter of Lure, who covered the 1 3/16miles over yielding turf in 1:55.69, was ridden by Rene Douglas. Douglas, who earlier in the day captured the Arlington Handicap (gr. III) astride Falcon Flight, now has six graded stakes victories at Arlington Park this season.
"She's an unbelievable filly," said Douglas, Arlington Park's leading jockey. "I was able to get her to relax on the front end and she did everything from there."
The Modesty Handicap is the final local prep for the Beverly D., which will be run August 17 along with the Arlington Million (gr. 1) and $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. 1).
"(Trainer) Christophe (Clement) is getting her ready for a fall campaign now," said assistant trainer Nicholas Bachalard. "She likes this course and this was a good place to get her ready for the Beverly D. She'll go to Saratoga tomorrow morning but I know he wants to bring her back for the Beverly D. and the Breeders' Cup (Filly & Mare Turf Oct. 26)."
Unraced since finishing 11th in last year's Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, England's Legend was sent right to the front by Douglas who allowed his mount to set easy fractions of 24.45, 48.51, 1:12.07 and 1:36.65.
Quick Tip, tracking the leader from fourth, rallied for the place, a length and a half ahead of third-place Innit. Lady of Peace, Polaire, Esyoueffcee, True Ruby and defending champion Ioya Two completed the order of finish.
"I had a really good trip but the class prevailed," said Robby Albarado, who was aboard Quick Tip.
Sent off as the 3-5 choice of the public, England's Legend paid $3.40, $3.20 and $2.40. Quick Tip returned $5.60 and $3.80. Innit paid $3.00.