10/21/2002 11:00PM

Man Among Men bigger and stronger


ARCADIA, Calif. - Man Among Men, growing into both his name and his frame, will be difficult to wager against Thursday at Santa Anita when he faces winners for the first time in the $50,000 Pinjara Stakes for 2-year-olds at a mile on turf.

Trained by Gary Mandella, Man Among Men earned an explosive maiden win at Del Mar on Aug. 26 - he won a mile turf race by 5 1/2 lengths - in one of the most impressive performances of the summer. In the two months since, Man Among Men has grown up.

"He's a big horse with a big frame, and he hadn't filled out yet" when he ran at Del Mar, Mandella said. He added that Man Among Men has "really changed physically since he won. He was lean, there were some places in his frame that hadn't filled out. Now, his shoulders are getting bigger, his hips are filled in."

A field of eight entered the Pinjara. They include two Bobby Frankel-trained runners who will run as an entry - European import Bis Repetitas has won two of three races, and Peace Rules won a fast maiden turf race at Belmont in his third start on Sept. 25. Bis Repetitas and Peace Rules are owned by Ed Gann. Others starters include Jimmy O, Pine for Java, Stylish Account, Gohalo, and Luzern.

Mandella said he was not tempted to experiment with Man Among Men by switching him to dirt following his maiden win, which was his second start: "We've got all the time in the world to try things like that." Instead, Mandella pointed specifically for a two-race grass series - the Pinjara on Thursday, and the Grade 3 Generous Stakes on Nov. 30 at Hollywood Park.

A son of Gentlemen owned and bred by R.D. Hubbard and Connie Sczesny, Man Among Men will be ridden by Alex Solis. His main rival is Belmont maiden winner Peace Rules. A son of Jules, Peace Rules raced gate to wire Sept. 25, winning an open maiden race in 1:34.89, more than a second faster than New York-bred maidens ran on the same card and less than a second slower than older allowance horses ran later.

Icecoldbeeratreds out three months

A chipped knee will sideline Del Mar Futurity winner Icecoldbeeratreds for three months, according to trainer Bob Baffert. A 2-year-old California-bred by In Excess, Icecoldbeeratreds finished second in his most recent start, the Grade 1 Champagne at Belmont Park on Oct. 5, and was training for a start in the $125,000 California Cup Juvenile on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita. Instead, Icecoldbeeratreds underwent arthroscopic surgery Sunday.

Icecoldbeeratreds, owned and bred by Mike Pegram, has won three races and $353,800 from five starts. In addition to the Del Mar Futurity, he won the Graduation Stakes this summer at Del Mar. Baffert expects Icecoldbeeratreds to return to training during the winter meet at Santa Anita. The defection of Icecoldbeeratreds makes Cavonnier Stakes winner Excessive Barb the likely favorite in the 1 1/16-mile Cal Cup Juvenile.

Nazirali heads a compact Burke

Nazirali is no superstar yet, but he may be the horse to beat Sunday in the Grade 3 Carleton F. Burke Handicap at Santa Anita. A small field is taking shape for the $150,000, 1 1/2-mile turf race. It will be Nazirali's second start since being sidelined with a splint injury following his Feb. 16 win in the Grade 2 San Luis Obispo Handicap at 1 1/2 miles on turf.

"He had a splint that he aggravated after his race, so we stopped on him," trainer Julio Canani said. "It was nothing major. He ran well the other day." Nazirali finished only 3 1/2 lengths behind The Tin Man in his Oct. 6 comeback, the Grade 1 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap.

Jockey David Flores replaces Brice Blanc on Nazirali, who worked six furlongs Tuesday in 1:13.20. Flores worked him on the main track after the 9 a.m. renovation. According to Canani, he galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.80 and a mile in 1:41.60.

Possible starters and weights in the Burke are: David Copperfield, 117; Nazirali, 115; Rob's Spirit, 113; Alyzig, 111; Mountain Rage, 111; and Special Matter, 110.