The Modesty Handicap is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Arlington Park Racetrack in Arlington Heights, Illinois near Chicago.
A Grade III race contested over a distance of 1 3/16 miles on turf, it is open to fillies and mares aged three and older. Run during the third week of July, the event currently offers a purse of $150,000.
Inaugurated in 1942 at the old Washington Park Race Track as a race for three-year-old fillies, the following year it was made open to both fillies and older mares. Until 1951, it was run as the Modesty Stakes. It was raced on dirt from 1942 through1955, 1958 through 1965, and again in 1996.
It has been run at various distances:
- 1 mile : 1942, 1944–1946, 1952, 1966
- 3/4 mile (6 furlongs) : 1947-1951, 1953–1954, 1958–1962
- 7/8 mile (7 furlongs) : 1943, 1963–1965
- 1 1/16 miles (8.5 furlongs) : 1955-1957, 1967–1968,1986
- 1 1/8 miles (9 furlongs) : 1987
- 1 3/16 miles (9.5 furlongs) : 1980-1985, 1989–present
The race was hosted by Washington Park Race Track from 1942 through 1945 and from 1968 through 1961. Hawthorne Race Course hosted it in 1985. The race was named in honor of Modesty, a filly who beat her male counterparts to win the 1884 inaugural running of the American Derby at Washington Park Race Track under African-American U.S. Racing Hall of Fame jockey, Isaac Burns Murphy.
In 1966, the Modesty Handicap was run in two divisions.There was no race from 1969 through 1979 inclusive, nor in 1988, 1995, 1998 and 1999.