10/30/2007 11:00PM

Post-surgical injury ends The Tin Man's career

EmailARCADIA, Calif. - The Tin Man, the 9-year-old multimillionaire, sustained a fractured knee in an accident after a surgical procedure on Oct. 25, and is in guarded condition at trainer Richard Mandella's Santa Anita stable, Mandella said on Wednesday.

The Tin Man was recovering from exploratory surgery on an ankle when he sustained the injury, according to Mandella and veterinarian Jeff Blea.

"Coming out of anesthesia, he had a difficult time and broke his knee," Mandella said. "He's got a serious fracture in his knee. We're not letting him move around."

The injury means that The Tin Man has been retired from racing, Mandella said.

"It's a sad deal," Mandella said. "Hopefully, it will work out. It's a serious fracture."

Blea said horses rarely are injured after surgery.

"It's one of the inherent risks of horses coming out of anesthesia," Blea said. "This is the second time I've seen it in 15 years. I think his chances of survival are good. It's quite severe, but he's comfortable.

"He's made it this far. He's a good patient. Our job is to make sure that he's comfortable and make sure he lives his life to the fullest."

The surgery was part of a battery of tests that The Tin Man underwent after Mandella and owners Ralph and Aury Todd decided to take the gelding out of training following a second-place finish in the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship on Oct. 6. The Tin Man emerged from that race with body soreness. At the time, Mandella hoped that The Tin Man could return in 2008 and race as a 10-year-old.

Mandella said that the tests revealed possible damage to an ankle, which resulted in the exploratory arthroscopic procedure.

A winner of 13 of 31 starts, 8 stakes, and $3,663,780, The Tin Man had 1 victory in 4 starts this year, the Grade 1 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park. The Tin Man also finished second this year in the Grade 2 American Handicap at Hollywood Park and the Grade 1 Arlington Million at Arlington Park.

Awesome Gem, Nashoba's Key get time off

Awesome Gem, third in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park last Saturday, and Nashoba's Key, fourth in the $2 million BC Filly and Mare Turf, have earned vacations and will return to racing during the Santa Anita winter-spring meeting.

Awesome Gem closed from eighth on a sloppy track in the BC Classic to finish 9 1/4 lengths behind race winner Curlin. He earned $500,000 for the West Point Thoroughbreds partnership.

"Considering the way the track was playing, I thought he ran well," trainer Craig Dollase said.

One possible goal for Awesome Gem is the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, which is scheduled for March 1. Awesome Gem was eighth in the Santa Anita Handicap earlier this year, but has not been worse than third in his last five starts, including runner-up finishes in the San Diego Handicap, Pacific Classic, and Goodwood Stakes.

Nashoba's Key is being given a break for "a couple of weeks," according to Ricky Agarie, assistant trainer to Carla Gaines.

Gaines is attending horse sales in England this week.

The BC Filly and Mare Turf was the first loss in Nashoba's Key's eight-race career.

One possibility for a comeback race is the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf for California-breds and Florida-breds at Santa Anita on Jan. 26. Agarie described Nashoba's Key as "feisty." The filly is well-known in the stable for having a bad temper.

Citronnade on fence for Las Palmas

Citronnade, the winner of four graded stakes earlier this year, worked a half-mile in 48.40 seconds on Wednesday and is under consideration for Sunday's $150,000 Las Palmas Handicap, trainer Bobby Frankel said.

Frankel stopped short of committing Citronnade to the Grade 2 Las Palmas, which is run over a mile on turf for fillies and mares. Owned by Frank Stronach, Citronnade, 4, has won 8 of 13 starts and $774,205.

Earlier this year, Citronnade won the Gradeo1 Gamely Stakes at Hollywood Park. Most recently, she finished second in the Gradeo1 Yellow Ribbon Stakes on Sept. 29.

The probable starters for the Las Palmas include Double Trouble, Meribel, Naissance Royale, Private Banking, Sweet Belle, and Trick's Pic. Dollase has not ruled out starting Dancing Edie, who is entered in Saturday's $150,000 California Cup Distaff for statebreds on the hillside turf course.

Dollase said Dancing Edie would be entered in the Las Palmas and that he and owner Paul Reddam would assess the two races before making a decision.

The Las Palmas is the feature race on the final day of the Oak Tree meeting. The Hollywood Park fall meeting begins on Wednesday and continues through Dec. 22.