Trainer Richard Mandella plans to start the venerable gelding The Tin Man in the Citation Handicap (gr. IT) Nov. 24, trying to match his feat in 2003 when the Hall of Fame conditioner saddled 8-year-old Redattore to victory in the same race at Hollywood Park.The $400,000 Citation, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, falls on the opening day of the Inglewood track's three-day turf festival.The Tin Man, also 8, set an age record when he won the American Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Hollywood grass in July before going on to win the Arlington Million (gr. IT) and Clement Hirsch Stakes (gr. IT) at Santa Anita. The son of Affirmed pushed his earnings over the $3 million mark for owner-breeders Ralph and Aury Todd of Santa Ynez."He went real slow, but good enough," said Mandella Thursday from the stable kitchen porch after watching The Tin Man breeze seven furlongs on grass in 1:31 1/5 under exercise rider Crystal Brown.Mandella opted to keep The Tin Man out of the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) and would start his star in the Citation for the first time. The Tin Man is under consideration for Eclipse honors."I kind of backed off what I was doing and gave him a little chance to catch his breath after the Santa Anita race (Sept. 30), and he has come back real good," said Mandella.
Mandella also won the Citation with Leger Cat in 1992 and Gentlemen in 1996. He seeks to equal the record of four victories shared by Charles Whittingham and Wally Dollase.