07/10/2010 12:00AM

Tuscan Evening to use Modesty as a prep


ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Tuscan Evening, the current leader of the North American female turf division, worked seven furlongs in 1:27.40 on Wednesday at Hollywood Park and remains on track to make her next start July 17 at Arlington in the Modesty Handicap, trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said Thursday.

"She'll likely blow out a little bit on Tuesday, and she ships on Wednesday," Hollendorfer said.

Tuscan Evening has won all five of her starts this year, at distances as short as 6 1/2 furlongs and as long as 1 1/4 miles. Most recently, she beat champion Forever Together in the Grade 1 Gamely at Hollywood Park, a nine-furlong race.

So why is Tuscan Evening, an Irish expatriate, shipping out of California for the first time to run in a Grade 3, $150,000 race? Because the 1 3/16-mile Modesty is strictly a trial run for the $750,000 Beverly D. on Aug. 21.

"I wanted to see if she likes the course there, and the distance is the same for both races," Hollendorfer said. "We'll try her and see if she can do well, then come back home and, hopefully, prepare for the Beverly D."

Rafael Bejarano will be at Arlington to ride Tuscan Evening in the Modesty, Hollendorfer said.

The Modesty is shaping up as an unusually tough race. Also expected to start is Grade 1 winner Hot Cha Cha, who is based in Kentucky, and Rainbow View, who won the Grade 3 Gallorette at Pimlico earlier this year and was a Grade 1 overseas winner in 2009.

Pair of shippers from Sheppard

Rainbow View will be one of two horses shipping into Arlington from Presque Isle Downs next week for trainer Jonathan Sheppard. Riding along with her will be Just as Well, who will return to Chicago seeking a win in the Arlington Handicap for the second year in a row.

Sheppard had considered starting Just as Well in Saturday's Grade 1 Man o' War at Belmont but chose the Arlington Handicap because of course conditions in New York.

"The Man o' War, frankly, is not a very deep field of top horses, and it was quite tempting," he said. "But I just think we're having a terrible drought on the East Coast. It's hard and dry and dusty, and I think things are better at Arlington."

Sheppard said Just as Well probably will work Saturday morning at Presque Isle and have a blowout Thursday before shipping west. Rainbow View is slated to work Monday.

Cloudy's Knight may race in summer

Sheppard said late Friday morning that he was perched on a viewing stand next to the wood chip training track on his Pennsylvania farm.

"I'm watching a big chestnut gelding gallop around the track right now," he said.

That would be Cloudy's Knight, who has made great progress since injuring a tendon early this year. Cloudy's Knight is a 10-year-old who has had physical problems, and it was at first feared his injury might be career ending. But Cloudy's Knight had shock-wave therapy performed on the affected area, and with rest and light exercise, the tendon problem subsided enough for him to return to regular training.

"It was quite enlarged when it first happened, but it subsided about 50 percent overnight, and then it went down about another 50 percent," Sheppard said. "Now, unless you were really looking for something, you wouldn't know it was there."

Cloudy's Knight won 4 of 5 starts last year at 9, his lone loss a nose defeat in the Breeders' Cup Marathon. Sheppard said if all went well, Cloudy's Knight, who has been galloping for two weeks, could return to racing later in the summer.