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Tuscan Evening Puts Perfect 2010 Record on Line in Modesty
Grade I stakes winner William Deburgh's Tuscan Evening, five for five in 2010, will put her undefeated season on the line as she accepts highweight of 124 pounds in this Saturday's $150,000 Grade III 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 Aug. 21, 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 major stakes that comprise the track's Million Preview Day program. In addition to the Modesty, the 11-race card includes the Grade II $200,000 American Derby and the Grade III $150,000 Arlington Handicap. As an added bonus, the 1-2-3 finishers in the Modesty will have their entry and starting fees waived for the Beverly D. should they elect to run in that event next month.
An Irish-bred daughter of Oasis Dream, Tuscan Evening enjoyed a solid 2009 season with a six for 10 record but has proven to be unstoppable thus far in 2010. The California-based 5-year-old began her current campaign with a score in the Grade III Monrovia Handicap, a 6 ½ furlongs sprint down the hillside turf course at Santa Anita. She followed that with successive Santa Anita turf victories in the Grade II Buena Vista Handicap over a mile, the Grade II Santa Ana Handicap going a mile and an eighth and the Grade II Santa Barbara at a mile and a quarter. Last out, the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained mare won the Grade I Gamely at Hollywood Park. Regular rider Rafael Bejarano will have the mount Saturday.
Two other Grade/Group I winners are slated to go postward in the Modesty - Augustin Stable's Rainbow View and Nelson McMakin's Hot Cha Cha.
The former, a Dynaformer filly, finished third in the Grade III Nassau Stakes at Woodbine in her last outing June 5 but captured the Grade III Gallorette Handicap at Pimlico on the Preakness Day undercard in her previous start. The Jonathan Sheppard-trained 4-year-old was runner up last fall in her North American debut - the Grade I E. P. Taylor Stakes at Woodbine after winning the Group I Fusaichi Pegasus Matron Stakes at Ireland's Leopardstown in her final overseas start. Assigned second highweight of 122 pounds, she will be ridden by Julien Leparoux.
The latter, a 4-year-old daughter of Cactus Ridge, won the Grade III Mint Julep at Churchill Downs on June 5 to earn her first victory in three starts this year. The Philip Sims-trained filly is no stranger to the Arlington lawn having captured the Grade III Pucker Up over this course last year. She followed that score with a victory in the Grade I Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup at Keeneland last October. She will carry 121 pounds Saturday and partner again with her regular jockey James Graham.
Another California invader slated for Saturday's Modesty is Richard L. Duchossois' Éclair de Lune, fourth behind Tuscan Evening in the Santa Barbara in only her second United States start. The 4-year-old daughter of Marchand de Sable is trained by Hall-of-Fame conditioner Ron McAnally. Assigned 113 pounds, she will be ridden by Arlington's leading jockey Junior Alvarado.
Completing the field for the Modesty (with jockey and weight assignment) are: Team Block and Rich Ege's Askbut I Won'ttell (Eduardo Perez, 114 pounds), winner of the $100,000 Illinois Owners Stakes in May; and Lothenbach Stables' Single Solution (Michael Baze, 114), an allowance winner of this course earlier this month.