The Tin Man, who has compiled the best seasonal record of his career with two grade I wins at the age of eight in 2006, will miss what would have been his third effort in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
Trainer Richard Mandella said he decided on Thursday that the son of Affirmed would not make the trip from his California base to Churchill Downs.
"He just isn't training back up to his best form and I'm not going to bring him there if he's not," Mandella said. "Right now, I'm deciding whether I'll go ahead and give him a couple of months rest or just take some more time with him between races. But, with the Breeders' Cup coming up, I don't have time to have him back where I should in order to go."
The Tin Man won the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship Stakes (gr. IT) on Sept. 30 at Santa Anita Park by a head over T. H. Approval but has not recovered quickly from that performance. Yet Mandella said he and owners Ralph and Aury Todd are philosophical about the turn of events since The Tin Man, whose career almost never happened due to two bowed front tendons as a juvenile and who has endured more injuries since then, has done so much for them. He has won four of five starts and earned $1,990,000 just this year.
"Believe me, there's no disappointment that we're not going to be able to go or anything like that. He's done so much more than we ever expected him to come back and do, and he's still pretty sound. We'll still hope to get another year out of him," Mandella said.
The Tin Man has never been able to withstand a lengthy diet of racing. He was given more than a year off after an ankle injury in late 2004 and returned to competition with an allowance win last December. This year, he has won the San Marcos Stakes (gr. II), finished second to Breeders' Cup Classic (gr. I) contender David Junior in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (gr. IT), and then won the American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) and the Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT) before the Hirsch.
In his two Breeders' Cup Turf bids, The Tin Man ran well to be fourth to High Chaparral in 2002 and then fourth again behind dead-heat winners High Chaparral and his Mandella-trained stablemate Johar in 2003.