Southern California-based Vladimir Cerin earned his 1,000th career training victory on his birthday when his 5-year-old gelding Cigar Man got up in the final jump to win the $100,900 All American Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) by a head over Hot Chaco Nov. 26 at Golden Gate Fields.
“That was fun,” said Cerin of his milestone victory. “It’s especially neat to get it with a horse like him. He tries hard every time.”
Cigar Man, making his 33rd career start, rallied from seventh in a field of eight to collect his first stakes victory. He was ridden by Juan Hernandez, an 18-year-old native of Mexico who notched his first U.S. stakes win.
"The trainer wanted me to take him back seven or eight lengths off the lead,” said Hernandez. “The horse wanted to run right from the gate but I took a hold and did the best I could. I knew I had a lot of horse and when I hit him left-handed he really responded.”
Cigar Man, the 3-1 second choice in the betting, paid $8.40, $5, and $3.20 after taking the 1 1/8-mile feature in 1:49.78 over the Tapeta surface. Hot Chaco, who ran a big race under jockey Chad Schvaneveldt, took second by a length over favored Our Nautique.
Cigar Man, owned in partnership by Ronald Manzi and Russell Sarno, is a son of Drewman out of the Big Bold Sefa mare Foxey's Lasy Key. He was bred in Florida by Charles Spence. The dark bay/brown gelding has now earned $409,859 from his 6-6-6 record.