Updated on 09/15/2011 12:41PM

Modesty tops Million Preview Day


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Its relatively modest purse of $150,000 notwithstanding, the Modesty Handicap is the best race at Arlington Park Saturday. Dubbed Million Preview Day, an 11-race card here features two other stakes, the $250,000 Arlington Handicap and the $150,000 Round Table for 3-year-olds on dirt. With a deep field of 11, the Modesty surpasses its counterparts in quality and bet-ability.

This is the first year the three stakes, all Grade 3s, will be run on the same day, and they are intended to tie into Arlington Million Day, Aug. 18, and its three Grade 1 races, the Million, the Beverly D., and the Secretariat.

Last year, only the Modesty among the three races produced Million Day starters: Modesty winner Wade for Me finished seventh in the Beverly D. while Wild Heart Dancing was 10th.

The Modesty is run at Beverly D. distance of 1 3/16-miles on turf, which will test the stamina of several top contenders, including the 118-pound highweight and likely favorite, Megans Bluff. Having made at least one start in each of the last 17 months, Megans Bluff qualifies as an iron horse in this age. Although she has never run this far, her steely constitution and success at nine furlongs suggest the distance alone will not beat Megans Bluff.

Megans Bluff, ridden by Craig Perret, has run well this year but has won only once. In her most recent race, she finished third, beaten two lengths in the Grade 3 Locust Grove Handicap. "She seems as good today as she's ever been," said John Hennig, who trains Megans Bluff for owner James Routsong.

Megans Bluff likes to race close to the early pace, and with an absence of speed in the Modesty she could wind up on the lead. The next flight will include Ioya Two, an Illinois-bred who rates a valid chance to win for trainer Chris Block and owner Team Block. Ioya Two beat state-breds in the Lincoln Heritage in her last start but has proven herself in open company before. She has been working strongly here this month, and Mark Guidry flies in to ride.

Solvig ran her best race since winning the Pucker Up here last June when she closed fast to finish second in the Locust Grove for trainer Carl Nafzger. The Grade 1-placed Polaire drops in class and ships in from Southern California for owner Gary Tanaka and trainer Don Burke.

Badouizm starts for the hot barn of Dick Lundy. She is coupled with Lady Angharad. Jig, Histoire Sainte, Abita, Sassy Sabrina, and Lady Tamworth complete the field.

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