Ausus Earns First Graded Stakes Win in Modesty ‘Cap
Shadwell Stables' Ausus notched the first stakes victory of her career with a powerful move from mid-pack under jockey James Graham in Saturday's Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap on the Arlington International turf course.
Inside and always within range, Ausus tracked the pace set by post time favorite La Tia before shifting out at the top of the stretch and driving clear. Trained by Daniel Peitz, the 4-year-old Invasor filly stopped the timer in 1:53.94 for the 1 3/16-mile trip, crossing the wire 2 1/4 lengths clear of her competition. She paid $18.00, $8.20, and $4.80. The $116,400 winner's share boosted the filly's career bankroll to $258,983.
“Great trip. Good horse today.” Graham said “She finished really well. Everything went according to plan.”
Conditioner Peitz added, “We always thought she was a little better on the grass. We’re looking to run her further. We’d love to go 1 3/8 miles with her. We think she can run all day. (She had a) little bit of a rough start last time (in the Arlington Matron). She tried to break through the gate before that race. I don’t think she finished quite as well as we hoped she would that day, but she redeemed herself today. We finally won a stakes with her and now (it’s on to) the (Aug. 17) Beverly D.”
Artemus Kitten, trained by Michael Maker, was closest to the pace early and led in the stretch before being overtaken by the eventual winner, returning $8.60 to place and $4.20 to show. Rider Julien Leparoux said, “She tried very hard, she ran good.”
Maker had a similar post-race sentiment, “She ran a great race. No complaints other than running second.”
La Tia, sent postward as the 2-1 wagering choice, carved out fractions of 23.81, 48.38, 1:12.12, and 1:36.25 before just giving way while staying on for third, returning $3.00 to show for trainer Armando De la cerda and rider Constantino Roman.
Of his filly's trip Roman offered, “Too much pressure for the horse. We were going nice but there was a little too much pressure. She needed a little more space.”
The top three finishers in the Modesty all earned their way into the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. and will have their entry and starting fees waived should their connections elect to run back in that August 17 event.
Dame Marie finished fourth, followed by Embarr, Colonial Flag, Madam Nancy, and Strathnaver.