10/28/2005 11:00PM

Artie Schiller bigger and better

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Artie Schiller and jockey Garrett Gomez take the Breeders' Cup Mile, giving trainer Jimmy Jerkens his first victory in a Breeders' Cup race.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The 54-year-old Jimmy Jerkens began working for his father, the Hall of Fame trainer Allen Jerkens, when he was a little kid. Never was there a sense of anything but love for the sport, love for the father. Saturday, Jimmy Jerkens did something his father has not yet done - win a Breeders' Cup race. Artie Schiller rallied from fifth place and beat heavily favored Leroidesanimaux by three-quarters of a length in the $1,856,925 .

Artie Schiller gave Garrett Gomez his second win on the Breeders' Cup card, a remarkable turnaround for a jockey who had fallen off the map. And Artie Schiller, winning his first Grade 1 race, gave the Jerkens' family its first Breeders' Cup after nine starters had lost.

"I didn't think I'd be the first one, that's for sure," Jimmy Jerkens said.

Artie Schiller finished 12th as the favorite in the 2004 Mile. Much has changed since then. Artie Schiller has matured, and Saturday he was able to run out of his own stall, rather than shipping.

"This year he's gotten a little thicker," Jerkens said. "He's grown up."

Artie Schiller, Jerkens said, has "become like a pet around here. But he doesn't ship as well. He doesn't eat as well, and he can be a little studdish away from home."

Artie Schiller had the home court Saturday, and though regular rider Richard Migliore was absent, after being injured in the paddock here last week, Gomez gave Artie Schiller a rousing ride.

Breaking on top was Singletary, of all horses. A dead closer, Singletary gave way to Ad Valorem after a few strides, but he was always close to the pace in his bid for a second straight Mile - too close, since Singletary would fade to eighth in the stretch.

"He just didn't have the extra kick today," said jockey David Flores.

Sand Springs, who would tire to last, rushed up to challenge for the lead, with Leroidesanimaux, wide early after breaking from post 11, on top of the leaders through an opening quarter-mile in 23.47 seconds and a half in 46.88. Behind the top three came Artie Schiller, saving ground along the inside. He ran into contention at the top of the stretch and Gomez found a hole, going up to challenge Leroidesanimaux, who had emerged with the lead. The favorite fought back, but Artie Schiller was relentless, pulling away in the final 50 yards. He was timed in 1:36.10 over a course labeled good and paid $13.20 to win as the second choice.

"This horse always runs his eyeballs out," said Jerkens.

Leroidesanimaux, whose win streak came to an end at eight, raced valiantly in defeat, holding off third-place Gorella by a nose. He was forced to run in bar shoes, which soothed his tender feet but compromised his traction, and fought gamely when challenged by the winner.

"He's a better horse than that," said trainer Bobby Frankel. "Running in two aluminum plates, that had to hurt him."

A bad breakdown marred the Mile. Funfair pulled up suddenly on the backstretch with a broken hind leg and was euthanized after the race.