Updated on 09/18/2011 1:11AM

The Tin Man wires Hirsch


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Tin Man stretched his winning streak to three in Saturday's $250,000 at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, confirming his status as one of the best American hopes for the Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4.

The Tin Man was tested in deep stretch by T.H. Approval, whose stretch-long rally fell short by a head. Artiste Royale finished third in the field of six.

The Tin Man ($3) ran 1 1/4 miles on turf in 2:00.12. Ridden by Victor Espinoza, The Tin Man led throughout, displaying his customary style.

The Tin Man took the lead as the field crossed over the main track from the hillside turf course and onto the oval portion of the turf course. He led by a length over T.H. Approval, through an early pace of 25.06 and 49.87 seconds.

The pace quickened noticeably when the field reached the backstretch, but The Tin Man maintained a one-length lead. He led by two lengths on the final turn, a margin that was reduced to 1 1/2 lengths at the eighth pole.

In the final furlong, T.H. Approval closed ground but his rally fell just short. Artiste Royale finished third, a half-length behind The Tin Man. The first three were well clear of the other finishers - Fantastic Spain, Quinquin the King, and Sharp Writer. Sharp Writer, a 35-1 outsider, was vanned off and was reported to be "off in the left front," according to track stewards.

The Tin Man, 8, has won 12 of 27 starts and $3,126,860. A gelding, The Tin Man is having his best season this year, winning 4 of 5 starts. He won the Arlington Million in August, the most significant victory of his career.

If he starts in the Breeders' Cup Turf, The Tin Man will be making his third appearance in the race. He was fourth at both Arlington Park in 2002 and Santa Anita in 2003.

Owned by Ralph and Aury Todd and trained by Richard Mandella, The Tin Man suffered his only loss this year in a second-place finish to David Junior in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free Stakes in the Middle East.