06/07/2008 12:00AM

True Metropolitan prevails

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True Metropolitan held off Sterwins in the stretch for a determined victory in the Grade 3, $153,400 Eclipse Stakes at Woodbine.

True Metropolitan ($4.80), Canada's champion older runner in each of the past two years, set slow fractions of 24.39 and 47.84 seconds under Jim McAleney, while being pressed by Good and Lucky in the 1o1/16-mile race.

True Metropolitan took control inside the quarter pole after three-quarters in 1:11.72. Sterwins rallied wide from about 10 lengths back, and took dead aim at the leader early in the stretch, but True Metropolitan dug in and won by 1 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:43.59.

"He's just a great horse," said Terry Jordan, who trains True Metropolitan for owner Bob Cheema. "He seems better this year than last year."

Patrick Husbands said the tepid pace hurt his mount, Sterwins, the slight favorite at 7-5. "The first quarter really killed me," he said. "I think if we had a faster quarter, my horse would have won today."

* Dancer's Bajan ($11.80) captured the $127,400 Steady Growth, a 1 1/16-mile route for Ontario-sired runners, by 1 1/2 lengths.