Updated on 09/16/2011 7:44AM

The Tin Man ends Mandella stakes slump


INGLEWOOD, Calif. - Trainer Richard Mandella ended a three-month stakes drought when The Tin Man won Thursday's $150,000 at Hollywood Park.

But before the losing streak officially ended, Mandella had to sweat through a stewards' inquiry regarding a bumping incident in the final furlong.

In the end, the judges ruled that The Tin Man ($10.40) did not interfere with Devine Wind, even though the two made contact.

"During the race, I didn't think I had anything to worry about," Mandella said.

The Tin Man's victory was Mandella's first stakes win since April 6, a span of 22 starters. A 4-year-old, The Tin Man won his first stakes in the American and will be considered for the Arlington Million on Aug. 19. He has won 5 of 9 starts and $268,100 for owner-breeders Ralph and Aury Todd.

In the Grade 2 American, The Tin Man finished 1 1/8 miles on turf in 1:46.82, leading throughout under Mike Smith. The front-running strategy did not worry Mandella, especially when The Tin Man set early fractions of 24.28 and 48.13 seconds.

"He was going slow and looked happy," Mandella said. "I told Mike to do what he thought might be right."

Turning for home, The Tin Man stretched his lead from a length to 1 1/2 lengths, but was quickly challenged by 9-1 Devine Wind. Devine Wind got close to The Tin Man but never got by him, losing by a neck.

The bumping in the stretch betwen The Tin Man and Devine Wins worked against Devine Wind, according to his trainer, Nick Canani.

"He doesn't have the biggest heart in the world when something doesn't go his way," Canani said. "He shies away from things."

Devine Wind finished 1 1/2 lengths in front of third-place finisher Kappa King, the even-money favorite. Native Desert finished fourth, followed by National Anthem, R McLellan, and Nicobar. Thady Quill and Super Quercus were scratched on Wednesday, and Amicable was withdrawn on Thursday morning.