Updated on 09/15/2011 12:54PM

Bet on Sunshine by an inch

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ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. - Four years ago, Bet on Sunshine dead-heated with Illinois-bred Hunk of Class to win the Arlington Sprint.

On Saturday, the same result very nearly occurred. Another Illinois-bred, 26-1 shot Tic N Tin, led every step of the way in the $100,000 Sprint before being beaten an inch by Bet on Sunshine, who won for the 20th time in 40 career starts. Bet on Sunshine returned $3.40 as the favorite after finishing six furlongs in 1:10.06 over a sloppy track.

"I really didn't know if I'd won it," said winning jockey Marlon St. Julien. "But I did think maybe I nodded him on the wire."

The victory was the third in a row in the Arlington Sprint for Bet on Sunshine, a 9-year-old gelding who twice has finished third in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. The Florida-bred son of Bet Big dead-heated in 1997, and after Arlington was dark for two seasons, he won outright last year.

In wet conditions, Tic N Tin immediately went to the lead from his outside post under Ramsey Zimmerman. After Boots on Sunday tired from chasing, Robin de Nest moved closest from an inside position. Meanwhile, Bet on Sunshine, after racing in mid-pack, was gaining steadily from the outside. He needed every bit of ground to earn the $60,000 winner's share, which lifted his career bankroll to more than $1.23 million for owner David Holloway and trainer Paul J. McGee.

Robin de Nest finished third, just a half-length behind the top pair. Then came Boots on Sunday, Chindi, Smokin Pete, Proven Cure, and Vinnie's Boy. Silver Zipper was an early scratch.

St. Julien was named to replace Calvin Borel, whose flight from Louisville was grounded because of poor weather in the Chicago area.

The 4-9 exacta paid $59.40 and the 4-9-1 trifecta paid $178.

* Arlington and the Illinois offtrack network conducted their own pools on the Travers while allowing fans to "shop" in the NYRA pools. A total of $64,554 was wagered on the simulcast, after which Point Given returned $3 to win and $3.40 to place.