The Tin Man Well-Oiled for American Return

The 8-year-old gelding The Tin Man will attempt to win the $250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT) four years after he first captured the nine-furlong grass event at Hollywood Park for trainer Richard Mandella.

The son of Affirmed is the 2-1 morning line favorite among seven entered for the American and has been assigned top weight of 121 pounds.

It would be a first for the Hall of Fame trainer Mandella, who has accomplished many things on the racetrack. The Tin Man won the American as a youthful 4-year-old posting his first stakes victory in 2002.

The horse has not raced in the American since, but has put together a tidy career record of nine victories in 24 starts for earnings of $2,226,860 for owner-breeders Ralph and Aury Todd.

The Tin Man will make his first start since a second-place finish in the Dubai Duty Free Stakes (UAE-I) on March 25.

"He's ready," said Mandella from Santa Anita. "He worked a slow five-eighths (Wednesday) but he put in his major work, a mile in 1:38 and change, last week. It's time to go and see where he's at."

Victor Espinoza will ride the Tin Man. A victory would put him in elite company with another famous gelding, John Henry, who won the American as an 8-year-old in 1983, to become the oldest winner of the race.

Only two horses have won the American twice in its 66-year history: Bold Tropic in 1980 and 1981, and Takarian in 1999 and 2001.

$250,000 American Invitational Handicap (gr. IIT, Race 5, 2:08 p.m.), 3 & Up, 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, ML Odds
1. Quasimodo (KY), Martin A. Pedroza, 115, 8/1
2. The Tin Man (KY), Victor Espinoza, 121, 2/1
3. Willow O Wisp (FL), Patrick A. Valenzuela, 118, 3/1
4. El Don (CA), Alex O. Solis, 114, 12/1
5. Mr. Wolverine (CA), David Cohen, 112, 20/1
6. Fourty Niners Son (KY), Corey S. Nakatani, 120, 5/2
7. Hendrix (KY), David R. Flores, 116, 5/1