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I'M ALREADY SEXY ANYTHING BUT MODEST IN VICTORY
Anna Seitz's Hit the Board Stable's I'm Already Sexy once again revealed her Arlington International Racecourse prowess with a pleasing victory over 13 fillies and mares on Saturday afternoon in the Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap. After breaking mid-pack from the 13-hole, the daughter of Ready's Image tracked pacesetter I O Ireland before forging ahead at the top of the stretch and holding off an onslaught of challenges by a neck for 11-time champion trainer Wayne Catalano.
Ridden by Florent Geroux – who was winning his third consecutive graded stakes on the card – I'm Already Sexy has now won all four of her local starts, including three stakes races. The Kentucky-bred traveled the 1 3/16-miles distance in 1:57.56 over firm ground on Arlington's turf course after tracking earlier fractions of :24.40, :50.22, 1:15.52 and 1:39.88. Sent off at $4.40-1, I'm Already Sexy returned $10.80, $5.60 and $4.40, earning $109,200 to boost her career bankroll to $327,228. The Modesty was her first victory since annexing the Grade III Pucker Up Stakes last September over the Arlington course.
"I'm glad I got the opportunity from Mr. Catalano, Anna Seitz and (Hit the Board Stable)," Geroux said. "I've had a lot of success with I'm Already Sexy here. She's four-for-four on this turf course. She loves it and I hope she can keep on going and get a Grade I win. She ran great for me." As to winning three graded stakes, "It worked out great. When you have the horses it can be easy."
Catalano echoed Geroux's sentiments on I'm Already Sexy's performance. "I thought she had the controlling speed and would be wherever she wanted to be," he reflected. "The 13-hole didn't bother me; I thought she'd have enough speed to get over. She didn't break exactly perfect, but it was good enough."
The Modesty is a course and distance prep for the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes on Aug. 16 – Arlington Million Day. The first three finishers in the prep are awarded automatic entry and waived fees. Per a possible attempt, Catalano was optimistic. "We tried the big ones before and we did alright, so we'll see how it all plays out."
Glen Hill Farm's Gulsary finished a driving second under California-based apprentice Drayden Van Dyke for trainer Tom Proctor, returning $8.80 and $4.40. Anne T. Smith's Street of Gold, ridden by Edgar Prado for trainer Eric Reed, closed from the rear of the field, but came up a half-length short, crossing the wire third –and returning $10.20 to show.
"It was a perfect trip," Van Dyke said. "We saved a lot of ground and tipped out at the top of the stretch. I think we just got outran right at the wire. I really wanted that one."
Prado was equally as pleased with his charge's performance. "I had a beautiful trip all the way around and my filly ran huge."
Every Way, Embarr, I O Ireland, Kepi, Tabreed, Maid on a Mission, Alette, Frivolous, Dance Again, White Rose and Ana Luisa completed the order of finish.