Nancy Vanier's Illinois-bred Wade for Me surged to the front at the wire in the $100,000 Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT), winning by a nose over Candleinthedark at Arlington International Sunday. Wild Heart Dancing finished a neck farther back in third. Under Christopher Emigh, the winner stopped the timer in 1:57.06 after running 1 3/16 miles over soft turf.
"I actually thought I got beat that last jump," said Emigh. "She was digging in and with the turf soft, she had to fight really hard out there."
The starting highweight at 116 pounds, Wade for Me bided her time in mid-pack early on as Lines of Beauty ran a half-mile in :47.81. Coco Vive stalked that one in second, with Wild Heart Dancing just behind. Betting favorite Histoire Sainte moved to the front, opening a 1 1/2 length lead over a tiring Lines of Beauty after six furlongs in 1:12.08. Histoire Sainte continued to lead into the stretch before Wild Heart Dancing assumed the lead past the eighth pole, with Wade for Me and Candleinthedark closing. Those two hit the line together, just ahead of Wild Heart Dancing. Camargo was fourth, followed by Histoire Sainte, Justenuffheart, M and M Machine, Singsingasong, Coco Vive, and Lines of Beauty.
Wade for Me (Western Playboy--Waders, by Wind and Wuthering) earned $60,000 for the win, her 10th in 27 races and first in a graded stakes. The 5-year-old mare is trained by Harvey Vanier. Earlier this month, Wade for Me and Candleinthedark completed the exacta in a $54,000 handicap on turf at Arlington International.
Wade for Me returned $17, $8.60, and $5.20. The winning exacta combination paid $181.20.