Modesty (War Dance - Ballet) won the first American Derby, in 1884 under the guidance of Hall of Fame rider (and Prairie State Festival stakes race namesake) Isaac Murphy, defeating males at the first Washington Park on Chicago's south side. Run since the 1940s, but on turf since the 1960s, past dirt winners have included Indian Maid (who has a Hawthorne stakes named for her). Past turf winners have included G1 winner Tuscan Evening and double winner/overnight stakes namesake Gaily Gaily.
Run at 1 3/16 miles on the turf for a pot of $200,000 and situated four weeks out from the Arlington Million, this G3 serves as a local prep race, with the G1 Beverly D. the Million Day goal.
Arlington Park - - Race 8 -- G3 Modesty Handicap - - 1 3/16 miles on turf -- post time 4:25 CT
On a course that has not played kindly to speed, LA TIA has bolted to the front and used her speed to score two wire-to-wire victories: two back in an upper level allowance and last time in the Lincoln Heritage for the in-state types. The Roman/De la Cerda team is quietly having a good Arlington meet (better than twenty percent wins), and she also projects as lone speed. Distance is a question, but last year she went on the lead from start to finish in the G3 Arlington Oaks. COLONIAL FLAG ships west for trainer M. Matz. She makes start two of the year of the winter vacation, and was last seen with a third in a Churchill G3. She wasn't that far behind Centre Court last year at three, the same Centre Court that this year won the G1 Wiley. Does have a win on the Arlington-like Woodbine course last summer. STRATHNAVER perhaps caught a course softer than what she likes last time in the G2 Sheepshead Bay at Belmont. She cuts back in distance from eleven to nine and one-half furlongs in the Modesty, but distance is not an issue: two back she upset the G3 Bewitch at Keeneland going twelve panels, three back a win at today's distance at Gulfstream. Worth noting those were three turn races with wins and this is a two turn Modesty.
#4 LA TIA (4/1)
#8 COLONIAL FLAG (5/2)
#5 STRATHNAVER (3/1)
Longshot: I would like #1 EMBARR (10/1) more if there was a different rider or a different post position. Still, it's tough to disregard a horse with a double digit morning line quote that cashed a check last time in the G3 All Along and has raced best from inside draws, as seen three back in the listed Dahila at Pimlico. Toss her run in the Gallorettte two back, as she was a closer trying to rally on a course playing against closers. And with LA TIA out in front, she'll get a target to chase.