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Real Solution wins Arlington Million after The Apache disqualified

REAL SOLUTION winning ArlingtMilliXXXI ArlingtPark 8-17-13 Jockey Up Alan Garcia

REAL SOLUTION winning the Arlington Million XXXI at Arlington Park on 8-17-13 Jockey Up Alan Garcia

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Updated: August 17, 2013 9:40PM

With each head bob down the stretch, a new leader — Real ­Solution or The Apache — emerged in 31st running of the Arlington ­Million on Saturday.

“Yes-no, yes-no, yes-no, yes-no,” Real Solution owner Ken Ramsey said. “Then no.”

Then, amazingly, yes.

The Apache crossed the finish line first, by a head. But he wasn’t named the winner.

The South African horse was hugging the rail when he bumped Real Solution over and over down in the stretch, moving with him across at least three lanes, toward the outside.

Real Solution’s jockey, Alan Garcia, filed a foul claim and won. Garcia said he was touched “more than four times” and “might have won by two or three lengths” otherwise.

After six minutes of crackling nerves from the 34,222 at Arlington Park, The Apache was disqualified for interference — the third winner to be taken down in Million history.

Stewards moved New York-based Real Solution up to first in the Grade I 11/4-mile turf classic for 3-year-olds and up, earning him an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup. The Apache, who covered the distance in 2:00.99, was placed second and British horse Side Glance was third. Little Mike, trying to become the first back-to-back Million winner, finished sixth.

The Apache “got scared” by the video screen along the infield, jockey Christophe Soumillon said, and lugged out.

“But,” he said, “we were the best horse.”

Ramsey — who said “they did shove us out” — couldn’t stop smiling after Real Solution earned $558,000.

“The stewards, I think, made the right decision,” he said. “Not that I’d be prejudiced.”

Ramsey won two of the three Grade I stakes on the grass at Arlington Park. After Admiral Kitten won the $500,000 Secretariat Stakes for 3-year-olds, Ramsey was interviewed on the public-address system, and told bettors to take Real Solution an hour later. He called the odds — Real Solution went off at 8-1 — “a big overlay,” and said later he placed money himself.

“I got down,” he said. “I hope ­everyone else did, too.”

Real Solution ran the first five races of his career in Italy, after Ramsey sent three horses to Rome as a thank-you to University of Miami medical officials for treating his wife. The horse returned to the States to fix a lung infection and never returned.

His father, Kitten’s Joy, finished second in the 2005 Arlington Million. It proved to be his last race, after doctors found knee-cartilage problems.

“To have his son come back today and do what he didn’t do on that particular day was very gratifying,” Ramsey said.

Ramsey had one on the best days of his career Saturday. Another one of his horses, Big Blue Kitten, won the Grade I Sword Dancer Invitational on Saturday at Saratoga.

Two more finished third and fourth, respectively, in the Del Mar Oaks.

“I never had three Grade I [wins] before,” he said.

He matched England, 2-2, in Arlington’s major races.

Dandino, a British horse who went off at 4-5, rallied from fourth place with 5/16th of a mile to go to edge second-place Suntracer and third-place Najjaar in the second running of the $400,000 American St. Leger, a rare 111/16th- mile test.

Dank took the $750,000 Grade I Beverly D for fillies and mares, rallying from 31/2 lengths behind at the final turn to win convincingly.

“When she kicked,” Dank’s jockey, Ryan Moore, said, “it was all over.”

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