Kicking off Arlington Park’s Million Preview Day, Flaxman Holdings’ Faufiler took the afternoon’s first graded stake in the G3 Modesty Handicap. The 5-year-old daughter of Galileo covered 1 3/16 miles over the firm turf in 1:56.12 for trainer Graham Motion, crossing the wire about 1 1/4 lengths in front of the field with Jose Valdivia Jr.
“I think by Galileo I think she’d handle the extra distance,” said Graham Motion. “It’s something I’ve wanted to do, so she did it pretty nicely.”
Faufiler broke well and sat third off the early speed of longshot Secret Someone, who galloped out three lengths in front through fractions of :24.79, :50.66, and 1:15.19 before coming back to the field. Al’s Gal was inside for second, with Faufiler on her outside flank in third. Entering the stretch, Faufiler moved up to swing outside Secret Someone, then ground on past her rival to win by about 1 1/4 lengths at the wire. Al’s Gal hung around to finish second, while Secret Someone faded to third. No Fault of Mine was fourth.
“I had a great trip,” said Valdivia. “This is probably one of the best bred horses that I’ve ever sat on and she was spot on she settled off slow fractions. When I called on her she had a turn of foot – I mean unbelievable – so very excited to be on her.”
Bred in Ireland by the Niarchos Family, Faufiler began her career overseas with several group stakes placings, first coming to the US in October of last year. She captured a listed stakes at Gulfstream in February, then placed well in the G2 Royal Heroine at Santa Anita. She was perhaps outclassed when finishing fifth in the G1 Just a Game at Belmont Park, but seems to have found the appropriate level and distance with her win in the Modesty. Her overall record stands at 6-3-2 from 15 starts, with earnings of over $ 360,000.
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