Arthur B. Hancock III's Owsley made a three-wide move at the top of the stretch to take the lead and hold sway for a one-length victory in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) for fillies and mares Saturday at Arlington Park. The Randy Schulhofer-trained daughter of Harlan covered the 1 3/16-mile distance over a turf course rated as "firm" in a stakes record time of 1:55.06. Rene Douglas picked up his second straight Modesty victory after winning this race last year with Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend. Douglas kept Owsley off the pace while letting Bien Nicole and Flager slug it out through three-quarters of a mile in a quick 1:11.71 before easing the 5-year-old mare off the rail on the final turn to rally to the front for the victory. The Modesty was the first tally of the season for Owsley, who last won in the WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland at Saturday's distance in October. The $90,000 winner's share boosted her earnings to $865,705. Her record stands at eight wins, four seconds and a third from 22 starts. The Modesty Handicap, one of three stakes races that comprise the track's Million Preview Day, is the final local prep for the Beverly D. (gr. IT), which will be run Aug. 16, along with the Arlington Million (gr. IT) and the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes (gr. IT). Schulhofer said that Owsley remains under consideration for the Beverly D. Pacesetter Bien Nicole was a game second, four lengths clear of third-place finisher Beret. Flager, Curious Conundrum, Eyes the Duchess and Moonlady completed the order of finish. "My filly never really got a breather," said Don Pettinger, who rode Bien Nicole. "If you can get her to relax a little bit she runs better but I never got a chance to get her covered up today. She was pressed the whole way and she's so competitive she won't relax when that happens."
Owsley, the 13-10 favorite, paid $4.60, $2.40 and $2.10. Bien
Nicole returned $2.40 and $2.10. Beret paid $2.20. (Chart, Equibase)