09/04/2001 11:00PM



Tic N Tin was a surprise entrant in Monday's Labor Day Sprint, coming off a nose defeat in the $100,000 Arlington Sprint to Breeders' Cup hopeful Bet on Sunshine.

According to trainer Ron Brandenburg, "he needed a blowout anyway so we thought this would serve the purpose." The "blowout" turned turned into a track-record performance under leading rider Vincente Flores. His time of 51.40 eclipsed the 23-year-old standard of 51.60 for 4 1/2 furlongs. Tic N Tin, who is stabled locally, usually races in Chicago but is perfect in three starts here. He returned $2.80.

Trainer Ralph Martinez and owner Louis O'Brien have enjoyed a sensational year. Martinez, who trains privately for O'Brien, leads Brandenburg 99 to 49 in the standings after 278 starters, good for a 36 win percentage. Martinez also is 12th nationally with 111 wins overall. Martinez, 23, took over training duties for the O'Brien stable from his father, Raul, last year. O'Brien ranks third nationally in wins.