06/20/2009 11:00PM

Cinema distance perfect for Oil Man


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Oil Man's strength as a router could be on display nationwide this summer.

After struggling in turf stakes at a mile and 1 1/16 miles over the winter and spring, Oil Man launched his summer campaign with a victory in Sunday's at Hollywood Park.

The race distance of 1 1/8 miles on turf was key, according to trainer John Sadler.

"He wants to run a mile and a quarter or a mile and a half," Sadler said. "He'll stay forever."

Ridden by Joel Rosario, Oil Man rallied from fifth in a field of six 3-year-olds to win the Grade 3 Cinema by a length. "He finished really strong," Rosario said.

Arcodoro, a maiden making his fifth start and stakes debut, set the pace and held second. Massone, third in the Grade 1 Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in April, was third in the Cinema as the 7-5 favorite.

Sadler plans to start Oil Man in the $300,000 American Derby at 1 3/16 miles on turf at Arlington Park on July 11, hoping to use that race as a prep to the $400,000 Secretariat Stakes there on Aug. 8.

Owned by Tommy Town Thoroughbreds and Michael Tala, Oil Man has won 3 of 10 starts and $107,194. He won a maiden race in England last year, but was winless in four stakes in this country before winning an allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on turf on April 19.

The field was reduced to six after the scratches of Arden Park and Elusive Bluff. Elusive Bluff, the winner of the Pilgrim Stakes at Belmont Park last fall, has been turned out, according to trainer Eric Guillot.