Arlington Park Stakes Advance
Contact: Brian W. Spencer
MULTIPLE GRADED/GROUP WINNERS RIPOSTE, MANGO DIVA AND OVERHEARD TOP TOUGH MODESTY RENEWAL
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (July 8, 2015) – Ten talented and tough fillies and mares drew in for the 59th running of the Grade III $100,000 Modesty Handicap, the course and distance prep for the Grade I $700,000 Beverly D. on Aug. 15 – one of the marquee global events for female turf horses. At 1 3/16 miles on the turf, the Modesty allows for its top three finishers to earn automatic paid berths into the Beverly D.
Three 5-year-old mares with multiple graded or group victories top the 2015 edition, led by Juddmonte Farms’ Bill Mott-trained Riposte. A force with which to be reckoned in 2014, the bay daughter of Dansili won two Grade II races at Belmont Park before going to the sidelines. Since resurfacing in February, she has yet to reproduce her 2014 form, including a seventh last out in the Grade II $300,000 New York Stakes at Belmont Park – a race she won impressively a year prior. Jose Lezcano has the mount from post 10.
Pin Oak Stable’s Malcolm Pierce-trained Overheard – the 120-pound highweight – enters the Modesty off two losses to commence her season, but ran well in each, including a third-place finish by a length last out in the Grade II $200,000 Nassau Stakes at Woodbine. A keen winner of the Grade II $200,000 Dance Smartly Stakes around this time last year, the daughter of Macho Uno could be rounding into form at the right time for her connections. Robby Albarado has the mount from post seven.
Two fillies with overseas form, hailing from capable barns, making their second domestic starts and picking up French-born riders must be respected in the form of Augustin Stable’s Michael Matz-trained dual Group stakes winner Mango Diva and Haras Phillipson’s Neil Drysdale-trained Gaga A. Mango Diva was at her best in July of last year while in the yard of Sir Michael Stoute, winning the Group II Kilboy Estate Stakes at The Curragh in gritty fashion. Her lone American race came on May 16 in the Grade III $150,000 Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico in which the free-running filly was held much farther back that accustomed and failed to fire. Local rider Florent Geroux, who won the 2014 Modesty on Hit the Board Stable’s I’m Already Sexy, picks up the mount from post five.
Well-traveled 6-year-old Uruguayan-bred mare Gaga A, who was a Group III winner in France last year after spending her formative years in her native South America, took no time in making a mark on this continent when easily taking the $75,000 Possibly Perfect Handicap over twelve furlongs at Santa Anita on June 7 in her domestic debut. A flashy gray mare with a sizeable stride, she has excelled at trips similar to the Modesty’s 1 3/16 miles and could take well to the sweeping turns of Arlington’s turf course. Flavien Prat flies in from California to ride from post eight.
Two improving 4-year-old stakes-placed fillies worth watching are Highland Yard’s Christophe Clement-trained Walk Close and Lisa Lex’s Gerald Aschinger-trained Lots o’ Lex. Walk Close will be making only her 10th start and exits a third – beaten only a half-length after closing from nine back – in the $65,000 Keertana Stakes at Churchill Downs on May 16. Lots o’ Lex, making her 11th start, was graded stakes-placed earlier this year and exits a visually excellent 3¼-length allowance victory over the Arlington turf course on June 7 going a mile. James Graham will ride Walk Close from post four, while Rosemary Homeister, Jr., rides Lots o’ Lex from post six.
The remainder of the Modesty field is comprised of Twin Creeks Racing Stable’s minor stakes winner from the red-hot Mike Stidham barn Notte d’Oro (Jose Valdivia, post nine), G. Watts Humphrey, Jr.’s Vicky Oliver-trained recent Churchill allowance winner Honey Lake (Jon Court, post two), Three Diamonds Farm’s Mike Maker-trained improving allowance filly Rock Me Mama (Julien Leparoux, post three) and Steven Frum’s Doug Matthews-trained outsider Seeking Treasure (Jerome Lermyte, rail).
Arlington International Racecourse – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – will run a 77-day meet in 2015 from Friday, May 1 through Saturday, Sept. 26. Arlington International Racecourse, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates ten off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities in Arlington Heights, Aurora, Chicago, Waukegan, Villa Park, Rockford, South Elgin, Hodgkins, McHenry and Orland Hills. Arlington International Racecourse is a proud member of America’s Best Racing. Information on Arlington International Racecourse and Trackside OTB can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/arlingtonpark and www.facebook.com/tracksideotb, and on Twitter at @Arlington_Park for the latest happenings, @arlingtonracing for the latest racing news and @tracksideotb for all things pertaining to off-track wagering.