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Yankee Injunuity Wins Arlington Sprint

| Churchill Downs Communications | 07/11/2009 #

Encore Racing Stable & James McMullen's Yankee Injunuity earned a hard-fought victory and a possible spot in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint this November when he gutted out a neck win over favored Chamberlain Bridge in the $200,000 Arlington Sprint on Saturday.  Because of a malfunction of the electronic timer, the official race time was a hand-timed 1:02.50.

The son of Yankee Victor rebounded from a fifth-place run in the Highlander at Woodbine Race Course in his last start to earn his first win in four starts this year and his seventh in 30 starts overall.  He picked up $117,600 to boost his bankroll to $308,451.

"I thought he'd run a littler sharper (than he did) at Woodbine - maybe it was the trip," said trainer Jim McMullen.  "He ran one of his biggest races in Indiana.  He came out of the Woodbine race great and breezed terrific over this course.  He showed up today."

More importantly, as part of the Breeders' Cup Challenge "Win and You're In," Yankee Injunuity is guaranteed a spot in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita Park should his connections opt to make the trip West.

Sitting fourth early under jockey E. T. Baird, the 5-year-old horse angled out entering the stretch, engaged Chamberlain Bridge mid-stretch and got up in the waning yards to get the victory.

Chamberlain Bridge, the 6-5 favorite, chased the pace, took the lead at the eighth pole but could not hold off the eventual winner.

"(Yankee Injunuity) ran me down," said Jesse Campbell, who rode the beaten favorite.  "My horse was running hard to the wire, and he just beat me. I knew that horse was one of the ones to beat, I've been riding him.  I actually held my horse off the lead for awhile.  When I kicked my horse, he went.  (The winner) just got me."

St. Joe was third in the seven-horse field, followed by Grand Sensation, Fort Prado, Shrewd Operator and Stradivinsky.

Yankee Injunuity paid $19, $5.20 and $3.  Chamberlain Bridge returned $3.20 and $2.40.  St. Joe paid $2.40.