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Comminque Rallies to Win Grade III Modesty Handicap
G Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Communique saved ground early, made a wide rally into the stretch and drew off to win the Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap by 3 ¾ lengths under jockey Rene Douglas. The daughter of Smart Strike covered the mile and three-sixteenths over soft turf in 1:58.89.
The win in the Modesty gave trainer George “Rusty” Arnold a graded stakes double on Arlington’s Million Preview Day card. Three races earlier the Kentucky-based trainer saddled Fab Oak Stable, Bobby Hurley & John Goldthorpe’s Stream Cat to win the Grade III Arlington Handicap.
The Modesty was the second graded stakes win this year for the 4-year-old filly who previously captured the Grade III Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland in April. Overall it was her fourth win in 15 starts and the winner’s share of $84,600 boosted the homebred’s bankroll to $352,134.
Communique sat well of the pace while saving ground for three-quarters of a mile before swinging out for the drive and sprinting to a clear victory.
“Rene saved ground on the first turn and did us a great job because he knows she wants to go a little farther,” Arnold said. “When he got her free, she made a great kick.”
“Once she got going today, I didn’t want to get her stuck,” said Douglas, who picked up his third victory in the Modesty Handicap. “I went on with her. She got going around the last turn she didn’t stop. She loves this track, and she loves this distance.”
Kiss With a Twist took a brief lead in the lane before being overtaken by the eventual winner. It was another three-quarters of a length back to Ciao, who ran third in the 11-horse field.
“Every time she runs, she gets a little bit better, and she gave me everything she had today,” said Miguel Mena, who rode the runner-up. “We didn’t get beat by a bad horse, you know, and every time she runs she’s showing a little more talent.”
Royal Leah, a 15-1 outsider, made the front end from the start and led through fractions of 24.34 seconds, 49.43 seconds, 1:13.86 and 1:39.37 before giving way in the lane.
Lemon Chiffon, Ballymore Lady, On Safari, Demisemiquaver, Barbette, Royal Leah, Quiet Queen and Labar completed the order of finish.