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Pure Clan Tops Grade III Modesty Handicap

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/08/2009 #

Lewis Lakin's Pure Clan has accepted highweight of 122 pounds for Saturday's Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap at Arlington Park and will head to post as the likely favorite in the field of six fillies and mares.

The Modesty serves as the final local prep for the Grade I $750,000 Beverly D., which will be held Aug. 8, 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 four major stakes that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program. In addition to the Modesty, the 12-race card includes the Grade II $300,000 American Derby, the Grade III $200,000 Arlington Handicap, the $200,000 Arlington Sprint and two overnight stakes races - the $50,000 Diamond Ring Stakes and the $50,000 Pink Ribbon Stakes.

Saturday's card 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 daughter of Pure Prize, Pure Clan comes into the race off a second-place finish in the Grade III Mint Julep Handicap at Churchill Downs in her most recent trip to the post June 6. In that mile and a sixteenth race, the Bob Holthus trainee was rallying late but unable to get to the victorious Acoma. Last year as a 3-year-old, Pure Prize captured the Grade I American Oaks Invitational at Hollywood Park and the Grade III Regret Stakes at Churchill. Julien Leparoux gets the call Saturday.

Her main competition could come from John Chandler's Dynaforce, who ran fifth in Grade III Gallorette Handicap in her 2009 debut in May. Last year, the daughter of Dynaformer won the Grade I Flower Bowl Invitational at Belmont Park before enduring a difficult trip when finishing seventh in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Santa Anita Park. Trained by Hall of Fame conditioner Bill Mott and assigned 120 pounds for Saturday, Dynaforce will be ridden by Robby Albarado.

Another to keep an eye on is Darley Stables' Tizaqueena, who finished third in the Mint Julep last out. Previously, the Mike Stidham-trained daughter of Tiznow won the Grade II Distaff Turf Mile at Churchill Downs on the Kentucky Derby undercard May 2. Arlington's leading jockey, E. T. Baird, has been named to ride Tizaqueena, who will carry 118 pounds Saturday.

Completing the field for the Modesty Handicap (with riders and weight assignments) are: Iron County Farm's Ciao (Inez Karlsson, 112 pounds); Highfield Stock Farm, Team Valor LLC and Gary Barber's Colina Verde (Richard Migliore, 115); and Jerry Jamgotchian's Lemonette (Miguel Mena, 112).