The Tin Man was the slow man through the early going in Saturday's Arlington Million XXIV. And that was just what the doctor ordered for the 8-year-old gelding because when the running started, he had plenty left to hang on for a 1-length victory.
Cacique, who tracked The Tin Man all the way around the Arlington Park turf, also held on for second while British-bred and German-raced Soldier Hollow rallied to take third by a head over English Channel.
The Tin Man, under a beautifully timed ride by Victor Espinoza, finished the 1 1/4 mile on firm turf on a picture-perfect day in 2:01.35, giving trainer Richard Mandella a long-sought victory in the first race ever to offer Thoroughbreds a $1 million pot.
"I couldn't believe they let him do that," Mandella said of the slow pace. "I had it in my mind that someone will press him a little bit... . I've been trying to win this race for a long time and it's nice to finally win it."
Espinoza called the victory the "second-easiest win I've ever had. The first was the Kentucky Derby on War Emblem."
The Tin Man now has 11 wins from 26 lifetime starts, including a second behind David Junior in the Dubai Duty Free last March. Frequently sidelined by a variety of injuries, he hasn't run in the Breeders' Cup since finishing fourth in the 2003 Turf at Santa Anita -- a race in which he led most of the way. And in the race before that, he finished sixth in the Arlington Million.
In other races with potential impact on the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf this fall at Churchill Downs:
-- In Saturday's $400,000 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington, Showing Up went to the post as the heavy, odds-on favorite off only one previous turf start. Admittedly, that start was impressive -- a convincing victory in the Colonial Turf Cup at Colonial Downs in his last outing. He proved in the Secretariat that the Turf Cup was no fluke. Out on the lead, Showing Up was pressed to a very quick pace, running the first half mile in 47.83. But when the competition folded, he didn't, running on to win by 1 1/2 lengths over the late-running Ivan Denisovich. Primary was third. At the wire, Showing Up stopped the timer at 2:00.09 over turf rated firm. Cornelio Velasquez rode for trainer Barclay Tagg and the ownership team that also is ministering to Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro. Showing Up's only loss in six starts, in fact, was a sixth-place finish in the Derby. "I was impressed with him," said Tagg. "He ran even better than I thought he would. I knew he'd run well but I never expected this."
-- Go Deputy scratched out of the Arlington Million to run instead for half the money in the Sword Dancer Invitational at Saratoga. There, the pace was almost equally glacial but that seemed to be no problem for the 6-year-old son of Deputy Minister. With Eibar Coa in the irons, Go Deputy settled near the rear of the eight-horse field, started to move up on the turn and forged steadily to the front, eventually winning by 1 3/4 lengths over Silver Whistle. Grand Courturier was third and the odds-on favorite, Relaxed Gesture, after being taken back by Kent Desormeaux, couldn't regain any momentum when called on and finished fifth. The 1 1/2 mile went in 2:26.78 after slow early fractions. "Going down the backside, I realized we were going slow and we were in traffic," said Coa. "I got outside and clear from traffic. In the stretch, he gave me something extra."
In other races with potential implications for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Nov. 4 at Churchill Downs:
$2 million NetJets Mile (turf)
-- A.P. Warrior loved the turf in the $150,000 La Jolla Handicap for 3-year-olds at Del Mar on Saturday, rallying from a stalking trip and just getting a nose in front at the wire. Porto Santo came up just short and the early leader, Get Funky, held on for third. A.P. Warrior, a son of A.P. Indy, ran the 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:40.71 in his first try on the green course. David Flores was up for trainer John Shirreffs. Before Saturday's effort on a new surface, A.P. Warrior was 18th in the Kentucky Derby, second in the Affirmed Handicap and third in the Swaps at Hollywood Park. "He's been in some funny situations where he went head-to-head with Point Determined a couple of times, which probably wasn't a good thing for him," said Sherriffs.
-- At Deavuille in France, Librettist took charge with three furlongs to go and went on to win the Prix Jacques Le Marois by a neck over Manduro. Peeress finished third. The 1 mile on soft turf took 1:43.10. The colt, a Kentucky-bred son of Danzig, is trained by Saeed bin Suror for Godolphin. Frankie Dettori supplied the winning ride.
$2 million Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf
Gorellla sat well back in the field in Saturday's $750,000 Beverly D. at Arlington Park, then boldly advanced outside rivals on the turn for home and drew clear to win by 1 3/4 lengths over Film Maker. Live Life was third. With Julien Leparoux in the irons for trainer Patrick Biancone, Gorella finished the 1 3/16 mile on firm turf in 1:53.71, winning for the third time in six tries since she came to the United States from France last year. And those defeats include a close third behind Artie Schiller in last year's Breeders' Cup Mile at Belmont Park. The Beverly D. was her first Grade I victory. "Today, we saw a new part of her game," said Biancone. "She can go longer than a mile. It was a gamble for use but she had trained really well. We came, we won and we were best today." Leparoux added, "You have to have patience with this filly. It's the only way to ride her."
$2 million Emirates Airline Distaff
Mo Cuishle pressed the pace early in Sunday's $200,000 Monmouth Breeders' Cup Oaks, moved up to challenge on the turn and blew up the competition in the stretch, winning by 7 1/4 lengths over Gasia. Peak Maria's Way finished third. Mo Cuishle, a Kentucky-bred filly by Saint Ballado, ran the 1 1/16 mile in 1:53.16 under Jose Santos. Todd Pletcher trains the filly. "She's a real nice filly," said Santos. "She has a bright future in front of her. In my opinion, she's going to be a champion later on."
$2 million TVG Sprint
War Front pressed the early pace in Saturday's $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup Handicap at Saratoga, got the lead four-wide on the turn and drew clear to win by 2 1/2 lengths. Judiths Wild Rush was second and Mass Media finished third. War Front, a 4-year-old Danzig colt, ran the 6 furlongs on a fast track in 1:10.21 with Jose Santos up.
$2 million Bessemer Trust Juvenile
-- Principle Secret stumbled at the start in Sunday's $150,000 Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar, sat behind the leaders until the turn and then went by to win easily by 3 lengths over Great Hunter. Stormello finished third. Principle Secret, a Kentucky-bred colt by Sea of Secrets, ran 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.15. Alex Solis was up for trainer Christopher Paasch. Principle Secret now is 2-for-2. Solis said he nearly fell when the colt stumbled. "But he recovered quickly. He's so athletic. I'm very impressed with this colt." Paasch said he hasn't yet sorted out where to go with the colt for his next start.
-- Holy Roman Emperor bested previously undefeated Hellvelyn by 1 3/4 lengths in Sunday's Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh in Ireland. With Kieren Fallon in the irons, the Danehill colt sat back of the lead until the final 100 yards, then easily drew clear. Miss Beatrix finished third. Trainer Aidan O'Brien said Holy Roman Emperor will go on to the Prix Morny next weekend as he is eager to race. After that, he said, "all the big races are open to him."
--A t Woodbine in Canada, Leonnatus Anteas went to the track for his first race in Sunday's $150,000 (Canadian) Vandal Stakes and came away a stakes winner. After trailing the field early, jockey Jono Jones swung the Ontario-bred son of Stormy Atlantic five-wide for room and he rolled past the competition to win by a head over Carysfort Light. Spread the News finished third. The 5 furlongs on a fast track took 59.86 seconds. "He was so wide but there wasn't much I could do other than keep on going," said Jones. "So I did and he gutted it out."
In other weekend racing:
Off Duty was on duty in Saturday's $45,000 Forward Pass Stakes for 3-year-olds, battling for the lead until he took charge in the stretch and drew off to win by 1 1/2 lengths over Tally Up. Hallowed Flag finished third. Off Duty, a Florida-bred colt by Yes It's True, ran the 7 furlongs on a fast track in 1:23.08 with Mark Guidry in the irons.
Sampson's Son established a pace-stalking position early in Saturday's $45,000 Cigar Stakes, got through to the lead at the top of the lane and went on to win by an easy 3 1/2 lengths over Straight Line. Tap Dancing finished third. Sampson's Son, a 5-year-old, Kentucky-bred horse by Lil's Lad, got the one-turn mile in 1:36.78 with Robby Albarado calling the shots.
Morner came from off the pace to take the lead in the final furlong of Saturday's $45,000 Smart Deb Stakes for 3-year-old fillies and scored by 1/2 length over Unreal Rocket. High Heritage got show money. Morner, a Kentucky-bred filly by Broken Vow, ran 6 furlongs in 1:10.56 with Julien Leparoux riding.
Certifiably Crazy rallied from a pace-pressing trip to win Sunday's $100,000 West Point Handicap for state-breds by 1 3/4 lengths over Dave. Pa Pa Da finished third. Certifiably Crazy, a 6-year-old gelding by Fit to Fight, ran the 9 furlongs in 1:46.24 with Cornelio Velasquez up for trainer Richard Schosberg.
Dreamsandvisions didn't get rolling until the field approached the second turn in Saturday's $150,000 Evangeline Mile Handicap. But once running, the 4-year-old, Texas-bred gelding found room between the leaders and got home first, 1 length in front of Biloxi Pride. Stockholder was third. Dreamsandvisions, with Luis Quinonez aboard, ran the 1 mile on a fast track in 1:38.60.
Vestrey Lady led from gate to wire in Saturday's $150,000 (Canadian) Duchess Stakes for 3-year-old fillies, prevailing by 3 lengths over Sudsy Baby at the wire. Seductively was third. Vestrey Lady, a Kentucky-bred filly by Vicar, ran the 7 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:31.74 with James McAleney up. "It wasn't the plan," assistant trainer Leroy Trotman said of the front-running tactics. "This filly, you have to let her do her own thing." McAleney agreed. "No matter what unfolds," he said, "you have to stay out of her way."
Langara Lass stalked the pace in Saturday's $100,000 (Canadian) Sonoma Handicap for 3-year-old fillies, moved up on the final turn and switched to the rail in mid-stretch, then was just up in time to score by a neck over Tartan Star. She's Italian, who took the point in the early going, held on for third. Langara Lass is a Kentucky-bred daughter of Langfuhr. She got the 1 1/16 mile in 1:46 3/5 for Jake Barton.
Dibolical led from gate to wire in Saturday's $75,000 Nick Shuk Memorial for 3-year-olds, finishing 2 3/4 lengths to the good of Silent Roar. What a Warrior was third. Diabolical, with Mario Pino up, ran 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:41.95. The Kentucky-bred colt is a son of Artax.
Tricky's Tick Tock, the heaviest of odds-on favorites, romped home an 8 1/4-lengths winner in Saturday's $60,000 Iowa Stallion Futurity. C J Mingo was second, 9 1/4 lengths ahead of the winner's stablemate, Ghazi Up. Tricky's Tick Tock, a Count the Time colt, scampered the 6 furlongs in 1:11.04 under Tim Doocy.
Terrific Challenge rallied from last to win Saturday's $60,000 Sneakbox Stakes, drawing clear in the final furlong to score by 1 1/2 lengths over Lucky Pulpit. Freedom's Honor finished third. Terrific Challenge, a 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred colt by Royal Academy, got the 5 1/2 furlongs on firm turf in 1:02.49. Joe Bravo rode for owner/trainer Stanley Hough.
Palace Rumor was only a rumor at the windows before Saturday's $50,000 Audubon Oaks, sneaking off at nearly 20-1. But after rallying through the stretch to catch pace-setting Beau Dare in the late going, the Royal Anthem filly was the talk of the track. Classical Ryder rallied from far back to take third. Palace Rumor, with Corey Lanerie up, ran the 1 1/16 mile on "good" turf in 1:45.98.
Patti's Clown broke from the inside post in Saturday's $50,000 Vivacious Handicap for Ohio-bred distaffers, went right to the fore and held on to win by 1/2 length at 20-1 odds. The favorite, Bold Passage, finished second and Whitewater Way was next. Patti's Clown, a 5-year-old Pacific Waves mare, ran 1 1/16 mile on firm turf in 1:42 1/5 under Luis Gonzalez.
Carolina Sky stumbled at the start of Saturday's $50,000 Old South Handicap for fillies and mares but quickly recovered and was sent to the lead. Once in front, the 4-year-old, Kentucky-bred daughter of Sky Classic had no further problems, winning by 1 1/4 lengths over Candy Ball. Due to Win Again didn't this time, finishing third. The "about" 1 1/16 mile on firm turf took 1:40.90 with Lonnie Meche riding the winner.
Judicature, the odds-on favorite, led from the git-go in Saturday's $45,000 Northwest Stallion Knights Choice Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and romped home a 3-lengths winner over Irene's Bonus Baby. The Cahill Special finished third. Judicature, a Washington-bred daughter of Tribunal, ran 6 1/2 furlongs on a fast track in 1:17 3/5 for jockey Ricky Frazier. "I let her break and she settled," said Frazier. "This filly is on top of her game."