Can Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella oil 9-year-old The Tin Man well enough for another grade I stakes victory?
He'll find out soon. The venerable gelding is being pointed to his 2007 debut in the $300,000-added Shoemaker Breeders’ Cup Mile (gr. IT) on the Hollywood Park lawn on May 28.
Mandella pronounced the son of Affirmed fit for the race after a mile work in 1:38 and change May 15 under exercise rider Jenine Painter.
The Tin Man will make his first start since winning the grade I Clement Hirsch at Santa Anita on Sept. 30.
“He was tired, period,” explained Mandella Friday of his decision to rest him.
The Tin Man will put a three-race winning streak on the line after previous scores last year in the American Handicap (gr. IIT) at Hollywood and the Arlington Million (gr. IT).
The Tin Man seeks to become the oldest winner in the 64-year-old history of the Shoemaker, which was previously known as the Premiere Handicap. Eight-year-olds Cyclotron in 1956 and Redattore, trained by Mandella in 2003, share the record for oldest.
The Tin Man has won 12 of 27 starts and earned $3,126,860 for owner-breeders Ralph and Aury Todd of Santa Ynez. He will try to make amends for one of the few poor lines on his resume, a ninth-place finish in the 2002 Shoemaker.
The Tin Man, with regular rider Victor Espinoza up, is expected to be joined in the lineup by the Neil Drysdale-trained duo of Becrux (David Flores) and Vega’s Lord (Michael Baze), Charmo (Martin Pedroza), Chinese Dragon (Mike Smith), Get Funky (Jose Valdivia, Jr.), Kip Deville (Richard Migliore), Right Special (Brice Blanc) and Willow O Wisp (Joe Talamo).