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Arlington Park Stakes Advance: Modesty Handcap (GIII)

Contact: David Zenner


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 22, 2004) -- Pin Oak Stable LLC's Bedanken, recent heroine of the $41,875 Possibly Perfect Stakes here July 5, returns to graded stakes competition as the 119-pound starting highweight in the $150,000 Modesty Handicap on Saturday at Arlington Park.

The Grade III race, the final local prep for the Grade I Beverly D., which will be run here August 14, is contested at the Beverly D. distance of a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington's world renowned turf course. 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 Grade III $250,000 Arlington Handicap for older horses and the Grade II $250,000 American Derby, presented by Jack Daniel's, for 3-year-olds.

A daughter of Geri, Bedanken snapped a two-race losing streak in the Possibly Perfect, which was run over a yielding course. Trainer Donnie K. Von Hemel said after the Possibly Perfect that Bedanken didn't take the firm going at Lone Star Park in her previous two outings: a third-place finish in the $75,000 Irving Distaff Stakes and an eighth-place run in the Grade III WinStar Distaff Handicap. Prior to that, she captured the $60,000 Furl Sail Handicap and the Grade III Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap, both at the Fair Grounds. Her regular rider, Don Pettinger, comes in to ride Bedanken.

One horse sure to contend is Andrena Van Doren's Shaconage, winner of the Grade III Locust Grove Handicap at Churchill Downs last month. Earlier this year, the Mitch Shirota-trained daughter of El Prado captured the Grade III Argent Mortgage at Churchill. Between those victories, the 4-year-old filly, who will carry 118 pounds in the Modesty, ran fifth in the Grade III Mint Julep Handicap, also under the Twin Spires. Brice Blanc, who has ridden Shaconage in her last three starts, has a return call Saturday.

Willmott Stables Inc.'s Aud looks for her first victory this year. The Tony Reinstedler-trained filly won the $47,000 Double Delta and the Grade III $175,000 Pucker Up Stakes over this 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 Grade III Beaugay Handicap 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 pounds in the Modesty.

Also in at 116 pounds are N J Samford Trust's Blue Sky Baby and Richard Otto Stable Inc.'s Julie's Prize. The former, by Skywalker, won the $43,000 Nicole Stakes at Hawthorne in May. The latter, an Illinois-foaled daughter of El Prado, won the $100,000 Peach of It Handicap at Hawthorne and ran second in the $75,000 Estrapade Handicap over this course. Frank Lovato Jr. has the call aboard Blue Sky Trust while Larry Sterling Jr. will ride Julie's Prize.

Completing the Modesty lineup (with jockeys and weight assignment) are: Nancy A. Vanier & Lyda Williamson's Beret (Chris Emigh, 115 pounds); Barr H. Inman's Delicatessa (Jesse Campbell, 114); and Estate of Robert E. Sangster's Ocean Silk (Rene Douglas, 114).

Arlington Park -- the Chicago area's premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. -- will run a 96-day meet in 2004 from Friday, May 14 through Sunday, Sept. 19. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Longshots featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at

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