Chicago Barn to Wire


Arlington Park Stakes advance

Contact: David Zenner (847) 385-7535


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill (July 26, 2001) -- James C. Routsong's Megans Bluff seeks to keep her perfect Arlington record intact when she heads postward as the highweight and likely favorite in Saturday's $150,000 Modesty Handicap, part of the Million Preview Day troika of stakes races.

The Grade III Modesty Handicap is the final local prep for the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. and will be run at the Beverly D. distance of a mile and three-sixteenths on the turf. The Modesty will share the local spotlight with the Grade III $250,000 Arlington Handicap and the Grade III $125,000 Round Table Stakes.

Last year, Megans Bluff, a daughter of Pine Bluff, became the first filly to win both the Grade III Arlington Oaks (now known as the Singapore Plate) and the Grade III Arlington Matron, both main track races, in the same season. She also captured the Grade II Mrs. Revere Stakes on the turf at Churchill Downs during her sophomore campaign.

Now a 4-year-old, Megans Bluff has done most of her racing this season on the turf where she took top honors in the Grade III Early Times Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs May 19. In her most recent start, the John Hennig-trained filly ran third in the Grade III Locust Grove Handicap at the Louisville, Ky. oval June 23. She will carry top impost of 118 pounds in the Modesty and will be ridden by Craig Perret.

Slated to line-up against the highweight, in order of weight assignment, are: Gary A. Tanaka's Polaire, 116 pounds, Rene Douglas; Bentley Smith Revocable Trust's Solvig, 116, Calvin Borel; Epona Farm's Badouizm, 115, Frank Lovato Jr.; Team Block's Ioya Two, 115, Mark Guidry; John Stewart's Jig, 115, Garrett Gomez; Gary A. Tanaka's Histoire Sainte, 113, Donnie Meche; Arbaway Farm's Abita, 112, Jose Martinez Jr.; E. W. Jiles' Sassy Sabrina, 112, Tim Doocy; and Rick Olson's Lady Tamworth, 111, Chris Emigh.

Polaire invades from California where in her most recent start she finished fourth behind Beverly D. hopeful Astra in the Grade I Beverly Hills Handicap at Hollywood Park June 24. In that mile and a quarter turf race, the daughter of Polish Patriot battled the pace for three-quarters of a mile before fading. She is trained by Donald Burke II, who broke his maiden as a trainer when he saddled Falcon Flight to win the Grade III Stars and Stripes Breeders' Cup Turf here.

A 4-year-old daughter of Caerleon, Solvig is no stranger to the Arlington turf course having captured the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes here during her sophomore campaign. Though winless this year, the Carl Nafzger charge has hit the board in a trio of graded turf stakes, most recently finishing second, beaten only a half length, in the Locust Grove.

Badouizm ran second in the Grade II Dance Smartly Handicap at Woodbine last time out July 7. Previously, the daughter of Sheikh Albadou won a fourth-level allowance race over the turf at Hawthorne Race Course June 10.

Ioya Two, an Illinois-foaled daughter of Lord At War, beat state-bred rivals in the $75,000 Lincoln Heritage Handicap in her last start, but the Chris Block-trained 6-year-old has had success in open company in the past. Last season, she won the $50,000 Reluctant Guest Stakes over this course.

Jig invades from California off a fifth-place effort in the Beverly Hills in her last race. Prior to the Beverly Hills, the Beau Greely-trained daughter of Catrail wired her rivals in the restricted La Zanzara Stakes at Hollywood Park in May.

Histoire Sainte finished fourth in her last start, the Locust Grove, while Lady Angharad, a stakes winner overseas, ran fourth in a conditioned allowance race here.

Abita, winless in two starts this year, won a pair of allowance races on the turf last year; Sassy Sabrina, winner of the Pago Hop at the Fair Grounds in December, has yet to hit the board in three trips to the post this season; and Lady Tamworth comes into the Modesty off back-to-back second-place finished in state-bred stakes races at Iowa's Prairie Meadows.

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