Sharper Owsley Faces Bien Nicole in Modestly

(from Arlington report)
Arthur B. Hancock III's Owsley, a multiple graded stakes winning mare, invades from New York as the 120-pound high weight for Saturday's $150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. III) at Arlington Park.

The final local prep for the Beverly D. (gr. I) which will be run at Arlington Aug. 16, is contested at the Beverly D. distance of 1 3/16 mile Arlington's the turf course. The Modesty Handicap is one of three six-figure stakes races that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program that also includes the $250,000 Arlington Handicap (gr. III) for older horses and the $100,000 Round Table Stakes for 3-year-olds.

A daughter of Harlan, Owsley ships to Chicago after finishing fourth in the New York Handicap at Belmont Park in her most recent start. The Randy Schulhofer-trained mare won that mile and a quarter turf race last year. Owsley also owns victories in the Glens Falls Handicap (gr. III) at Saratoga and the WinStar Galaxy Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland. She picks up the services of Arlington Park's leading jockey, Rene Douglas, who won this race last year with Baron Edouard de Rothschild's England's Legend.

Her main competition will likely come from John & Kris Richter's Bien Nicole, who captured the $50,000 Honeymoon Stakes at Louisiana Downs in her last trip to the post. She won Oaklawn Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. III) in Arkansas in March. The daughter of Bien Bien is familiar with the Arlington turf course having won the $100,000 Estrapade Handicap on Oct. 25. Don Pettinger has the mount.

Beret and Flager both come in off recent allowance victories. The former, trained by Harvey Vanier, picked up her third straight score when besting third-level allowance foes earlier this month. The latter, a Bobby Barnett-trained filly, was an impressive 10-length victress in a second-level allowance race at Churchill Downs that served as her North American debut after previously racing in her native Argentina.

$150,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT), fillies & mares 3 & up, 1 3/16 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Curious Conundrum, 113, Carlos H. Marquez, Jr.
2. Owsley (KY), 120, Rene R. Douglas
3. Moonlady (GER), 112, Ray Sibille
4. Bien Nicole (KY), 119, Donald R. Pettinger
5. Flager (ARG), 114, Robby Albarado
6. Eyes the Duchess (OH), 112, Scott Spieth
7. Beret (KY), 113, Christopher A. Emigh