Bedanken Headlines Modesty Handicap at 119

Pin Oak Stable's homebred Bedanken, recent winner of the Possibly Perfect Stakes here July 5, jumps back into graded stakes competition as the 119-pound starting highweight in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) on Saturday at Arlington Park.

The Modesty, the final local prep for the Beverly D. Handicap (gr. IT), which will be run here Aug. 14, is contested at the Beverly D. distance of 1 3/16ths miles. The Modesty Handicap is one of three six-figure stakes races on turf that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program that also includes the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) for older horses and the American Derby (gr. IIT), presented by Jack Daniel's, for 3-year-olds.

A daughter of Geri out of the Strawberry Road mare Danka, Bedanken snapped a two-race losing streak in the Possibly Perfect, which was run over a yielding course. Trainer Donnie Von Hemel said after the race that Bedanken didn't take to the firm going at Lone Star Park in her previous two outings--a third-place finish in the Irving Distaff Stakes and an eighth-place run in the III WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT). Prior to that, she captured the Furl Sail Handicap and the Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT), both at the Fair Grounds. Her regular rider, Don Pettinger, will be aboard.

In all, Bedanken has won 10 of 15 career starts and has earned $425,449. Eight of her wins have come in stakes. She has three graded stakes wins to her resume.

Andrena Van Doren's Shaconage, winner of the Locust Grove Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Churchill Downs last month, figures to be a strong contender. Earlier this year, the Mitch Shirota-trained daughter of El Prado captured the Argent Mortgage (gr. IIIT) at Churchill. Between those victories, the 4-year-old filly, who will carry 118 in the Modesty, ran fifth in the Mint Julep Handicap (gr. IIIT). Brice Blanc, who has ridden Shaconage in her last three starts, has a return call.

Willmott Stables' Aud is still looking for her first victory this year. The Tony Reinstedler-trained filly won the Pucker Up (gr. IIIT) and Double Delta Stakes over the Arlington course last year as a 3-year-old. The best run in three starts in 2004 for the daughter of Wild Again came in her first start of the season when she ran second in the Beaugay Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Aqueduct. Since then, she finished seventh in the Mint Julep and fourth in the Possibly Perfect. Eusebio Razo Jr. picks up the mount aboard Aud, who will carry 116.

Also in at 116 pounds are N J Samford Trust's Blue Sky Baby and Richard Otto Stable's Julie's Prize. The former, by Skywalker, won the Nicole Stakes at Hawthorne in May. The latter, an Illinois-foaled daughter of El Prado, won the Peach of It Handicap at Hawthorne and ran second in the Estrapade Handicap over this course. Frank Lovato Jr. will ride Blue Sky Trust while Larry Sterling Jr. will ride Julie's Prize.

Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT), $150,000, fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1 3/16 miles, turf, Saturday, July 24, approximate post time 4:54 p.m. CDT
PP, Horse, Jockey, Wgt.
1, Blue Sky Baby, Frank Lovato Jr., 116
2, Aud, Eusebio Razo Jr., 116
3, Ocean Silk, Rene Douglas, 114
4, Beret, Chris Emigh, 115
5, Delicatessa, Jesse Campbell, 114
6, Shaconage, Brice Blanc, 118
7, Bedanken, Don Pettinger, 119
8, Julie's Prize, Larry Sterling Jr., 116