(The Turf Team at Churchill Downs / Photos by Holly M. Smith)

(Fast as Flight wins the G3 Modesty Stakes on Friday / Photos by Coady Media)

From the Churchill Downs Media Team / Darren Rogers & Kevin Kerstein:


TEC Racing’s Fast as Flight collared longtime leader Heavenly Sunday at the sixteenth pole and went on to post a one-length victory over Sparkle Blue in the 67th running of the $386,334 Modesty (GIII) for fillies and mares Friday afternoon.

Trained by Martin Drexler and ridden by Jose Ortiz, Fast as Flight completed the mile and an eighth on a turf course listed as yielding in 1:50.63. It was the third victory of the day for Ortiz.

Heavenly Sunday set unopposed fractions of :24.40, :50.01 and 1:14.83 as Ortiz gave Fast as Flight a ground-saving trip just behind the leader. Heavenly Sunday led the field into the stretch, where Ortiz tipped off the fence and moved into the clear for dead aim on the leader.

Fast as Flight took over at the sixteenth pole and held off the stretch runners to score her first graded stakes victory.

Fast as Flight returned $43.90, $16.50 and $10.04. Sparkle Blue, ridden by Jorge Ruiz, returned $9.80 and $6.42 and finished a head in front of Aspen Grove (IRE), who paid $6.10 to show under Tyler Gaffalione.

It was another neck back to Heavenly Sunday, who was followed in order by Papilio (IRE), Forever After All, Surprisingly, Mouffy, Queens Command (IRE), Join the Dance and Caroline Street.



Jose Ortiz (jockey, Fast as Flight, winner) – “I had a great trip. I followed (Florent) Geroux every step of the way. I knew we were going very fast on the backside and I was on top of him every step of the way. I have ridden her before and maybe she hasn’t run against these types of horses. As Martin (Drexler) told me, I know she has speed, I following his instructions and it worked out well.”

Martin Drexler (trainer, Fast as Flight, winner) – “My owner (Elliott Logan) really picked out this race right after we ran in Florida (in the Sandy Springs). I went along with it as long as she trained well. I knew it was a tougher spot than we would like. I thought a couple of stakes up in Woodbine would be a little better of a fit for her which I am sure we will be in. This was something that we wanted to try and this is his hometown and it worked out. It worked out very well.”

Jorge Ruiz (jockey, Sparkle Blue, second) – “The pace was too slow for her. She settled and finished well. She may have won with a faster pace.”

Graham Motion (trainer, Sparkle Blue, second) — “She ran well, very good. I think she’s a better filly this year, and that she’ll be more consistent in these races.”

Tyler Gaffalione (jockey, Aspen Grove (IRE), third) – “We got knocked around pretty good from both sides out of the gate but my filly found her footing and traveled well. We were obviously a little further back than we would have liked but she gave me a big run and finished up through the wire.”