10/06/2007 12:00AM

Artiste Royal runs down The Tin Man

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - How do you say "Win and You’re In" in Japanese? That’s what trainer Neil Drysdale was wondering after Artiste Royal, making only his second start since December and since moving to Drysdale's barn, wore down heavily favored The Tin Man to capture the Grade 1, $250,000 Clement Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship on Saturday at Santa Anita's Oak Tree meeting.

Artiste Royal ($13.20), ridden by Joe Talamo, won by a length over The Tin Man, who won the Hirsch last year. Isipingo was a neck farther back in third. Artiste Royal completed 1 1/4 miles on a firm turf course in 1:59.89.

Drysdale said he was hoping Artiste Royal would now receive an invitation to the Japan Cup on Nov. 24 at Tokyo Race Course.

"That's what's in the cards," Drysdale said. "That's the plan."

Artiste Royal, 6, was trained through the end of last year by Laura de Seroux. He then was purchased privately by owners David and Jill Heerensperger and transferred to Drysdale. In his lone previous start of 2007, Artiste Royal was third in a money allowance race going 1 1/16 miles on turf at Del Mar on Sept. 2.

Saturday's win was his fifth in 20 lifetime starts, but was only his first in 10 starts since being imported from Europe in the summer of 2005.