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Aug 17, 2007

Jambalaya denies The Tin Man victory in Arlington Million


Arlington Heights, IL (Sports Network) - Canadian invader Jambalaya caught defending champion The Tin Man in deep stretch to capture Saturday's 25th Arlington Million at Arlington Park. A win gives Jambalaya automatic entry into the Breeders' Cup Turf.

Also gaining spots in Breeders' Cup races on Saturday were Shamdinan and Royal Highness. The three stakes races are part the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In" program.

The Tin Man had a chance to make racing history with a victory in the Arlington Million. No thoroughbred had ever won two straight editions of the 1 1/4 mile turf race, and legendary John Henry has been the only horse to take two runnings. John Henry won the first Arlington Million in 1981 and again in 1984.

The field for the race was reduced to seven after Pam and Martin Wygod’s After Market, the morning-line favorite for the Arlington Million, was unexpectedly withdrawn Saturday morning due to less-than-firm track conditions. The turf course was listed as good for the day.

"Unfortunately, the weather in Chicago the previous week was so rainy, the turf course hasn’t completely dried out yet," said trainer John Shirreffs. "The horse is doing great. He's just fantastic, but Mr. Wygod recommended that we don't run him on soft ground. I've been out on the course every day since I've been here. It's drying out, but it's not quite fast enough yet."

The pace in the Million was set by Todd Pletcher's Sunriver. The Tin Man raced second followed by Pressing and Jambalaya. The horses kept their positions up the backstretch and into the far turn.

Around the final turn The Tin Man drew along side Sunriver on the outside and took the lead coming out of the turn. At the top of the stretch the nine-year- old looked like the winner.

Jambalaya went after The Tin Man with about 300 yards to run. Ridden by Robby Albarado, Jambalaya caught The Tin Man with 100 yards to go and went on to win by three-quarters of a length.

Doctor Dino came in from Europe to finish third. Sunriver and Stream Cat finished in a dead-heat for fourth followed by Danak and Pressing.

The time for Arlington Million XXV was 2:04.76.

Jambalaya is trained by co-owner Catherine Day Phillips for Kingfield Farms. The win was worth $600,000 and was the third of the year for the gelding in six starts.

The five-year-old has eight lifetime wins in 21 starts for $1.6 million. Earlier this year he won the Gulfstream Park Breeders' Cup and Pan American Handicaps.

Jambalaya returned $17.20, $6.60 and $3.80. The Tin Man paid $3.80 and $2.60, and Doctor Dino paid $3.60 to show.

The $400,000 Secretariat Stakes for three-year-olds was won by Shamdinan as he caught Red Giant right before the wire. Ridden by Julien Leparoux, the colt covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:04.02 on the turf course. The victory puts Shamdinan into the Breeders' Cup Turf along with Jambalaya.

Royal Highness prevailed over Irridescence to win the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes on the turf. With Rene Douglas in the saddle, the German-bred mare covered the 1 3/16 miles in 1:56.68. Royal Highness is now guaranteed a spot in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

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