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May 29, 2007

Corinthian grabs Met Mile on Memorial Day


Elmont, NY (Sports Network) - Gulfstream Park Handicap winner Corinthian held off Political Force in deep stretch to capture the $600,000 Metropolitan Handicap at Belmont Park on Memorial Day. The Met Mile is a major race for older thoroughbreds on the road to the Breeders' Cup.

Setting the early pace in the one-turn mile was Mr. Umphrey who was entered to provide a fast pace for his stablemate Silver Wagon. Their trainer Richard Dutrow, Jr. won last year's running with Silver Train.

Mr. Umphrey led the nine-horse field up the backstretch closely followed by Half Ours and Latent Heat. Silver Wagon encountered some traffic problems shortly after the start and fell back to last.

Taking over the lead into the final turn was Half Ours with Latent Heat and Corinthian gaining on the outside. At the top of the stretch half the field appeared in contention for the win.

Corinthian edged to the lead in mid-stretch with 8-5 favorite Lawyer Ron second and Political Force third on the outside. In deep stretch Politcal Force passed Lawyer Ron, but was unable to catch Corinthian.

Corinthian, ridden by Kent Desormeaux, held on for a 3/4-length victory over Political Force. Lawyer Ron got third with 7-2 second choice Sun King fourth. Last year Sun King finished second by a head.

The time for the 114th edition of the Met Mile was 1:34.77 on a fast track.

Completing the order off finish was Latent Heat, Silver Wagon, Half Ours, Silent Name and Mr. Umphrey. Accountforthegold had been scratched.

Corinthian is owned by Centennial Farms and trained by Jimmy Jerkens. A win in this race was something that the trainer holds in high esteem.

"A Met Mile win would be the greatest," Jerkens said before the race. "The Met Mile, for some reason, it's like winning the Belmont (Stakes)."

Corinthian adds $360,000 to his bankroll which now totals $694,273. He has won five of nine career starts. Last year he was disqualified to third after winning the Fountain of Youth Stakes.

The four-year-old colt was coming off a disappointing fifth place finish in the Excelsior Handicap as the 4-5 favorite at Aqueduct.

Corinthian returned $21.60, $11.40 and $6.50. Political Force paid $21.40 and $9.20, and Lawyer Ron paid 2.90 to show.

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