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Communique Favored in Grade III Modesty Handicap
G. Watts Humphrey Jr.’s Communique, winner of Keeneland’s Grade III Bewitch Stakes in April, tops a field of 11 distaffers entered in Saturday’s Grade III $150,000 Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park.
The Modesty serves as the final local prep for the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D., which will be held August 9, and will be run at the Beverly D. distance of a mile and three-sixteenths over Arlington’s world famous turf course.
The race is one of three graded stakes that comprise the track’s Million Preview Day program. In addition to the Modesty, the 12-race card includes the Grade II $250,000 American Derby and the $200,000 Grade III Arlington Handicap.
Saturday’s card also includes a $100,000 guaranteed Late Pick 4 pool covering races nine through 12 and the guarantee is only valid should all carded turf races included in the Late Pick 4 sequence remain on the turf.
A 4-year-old Smart Strike filly, Communique rallied from far back to get up for a half-length victory in that 12-furlong event in Kentucky after previously winning a race over nine furlongs on Polytrack at the Lexington race course. In her last start, the “Rusty” Arnold trainee disappointed as part of 2-5 favored entry in a third-level allowance at Churchill Downs. Leading rider Rene Douglas picks up the mount Saturday.
Sean Mulryan’s Ballymore Lady, second to champion Dreaming of Anna in the Grade III Mint Julep Stakes at Churchill Downs last month, and James Gallagher’s Barbette, winner of the $53,000 Possibly Perfect Stakes here, also figure prominently in the Modesty.
A 5-year-old daughter of War Chant, Ballymore Lady closed well in the center of the course to get second money in the Mint Julep on June 14 but was never a threat to the winner in that mile and a sixteenth Kentucky turf test. Prior to that, the Eddie Kenneally trainee rallied wide to post a one-length victory in a third-level allowance over the Louisville lawn. James Graham has the call aboard Ballymore Lady.
Barbette comes into the Modesty off a two-length score after pressing the pace in the mile and an eighth Possibly Perfect Stakes, which served as the local prep to the Modesty. A five-time winner from 22 starts, the Steve Hobby-trained daughter of High Yield also owns a victory in the $50,000 Jersey Lily Stakes in Texas in April. Eusebio Razo Jr. will ride Barbette Saturday.
Other horses of note in the Modesty include Hurstland Farm LLCs Kiss With a Twist (Miguel Mena), third in the Mint Julep last out; and Ron Beegle’s Lemon Chiffon (Jon Court), a California invader who was fourth in a restricted stakes at Hollywood last time out.
Completing the field for the Modesty are: Jacquelyn Cochonour & Triple C Thoroughbreds’ Royal Leah (Jesse Campbell); J. R. Lewis’ On Safari (Chris Emigh); George E. Bates’ Labar (Junior Alvarado); Carolyn Warren’s Demisemiquaver (Florent Geroux); Sam & Joan Pieper’s Quiet Queen (Jose Velez Jr.); and Iron County Farms Inc.’s Ciao (Shaun Bridgmohan).