The Tin Man to Show Mettle in San Luis Obispo

(from track report)
The Tin Man, second by a nose to stablemate Johar in his most recent start, will carry top weight of 121 pounds as the expected favorite in Saturday's $200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 ½ mile on turf at Santa Anita Park.

In his most recent start at the San Luis Obispo distance, The Tin Man, a 5-year-old gelded son of 1978 Triple Crown champion Affirmed, finished fourth in the $2 million Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) at Arlington Park on Oct. 26. He preceded that race by capturing the Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Oak Tree in early October.

Idle for nearly three months after the Breeders' Cup race, The Tin Man vied with Grammarian on the pace of the 1 ¼-mile San Marcos Handicap (gr. II) on Jan. 20, losing by the narrowest of margins to the hard-charging Johar, who was since sidelined with an injury.

All 13 of The Tin Man's starts – including six victories – have come on grass. But trainer Richard Mandella is giving some consideration to running the horse in the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) on Mar. 1.

Seven runners were entered for the San Luis Obispo, which will be the seventh of nine races on Saturday's Santa Anita card.

Continental Red, the second high weight at 118 pounds, won the San Luis Rey Stakes (gr. II) at 1½ miles in 2002, and returns to the turf after a disappointing eighth in the Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream last month.

Harrisand was a game fourth, beaten by a length as a longshot in the San Marcos, and should also get attention.

$200,000 San Luis Obispo Handicap (gr. IIT), 4 & up, 1 1/2 mile on turf
PP. Horse, Jockey, Wgt.
1. Hannibal Lad, jockey David Flores, 114
2. The Tin Man, Mike Smith, 121
3. Harrisand, Patrick Valenzuela, 116
4. Royal Gem, Alex Solis, 114
5. Lucky Molar, Julie Krone, 114
6. Continental Red, Laffit Pincay Jr., 118
7. Special Matter, Tyler Baze, 113