10/19/2006 11:00PM

The Tin Man out of BC Turf


ARCADIA, Calif. - The Tin Man, the winner of the Arlington Million in August and three other stakes this year, will pass up the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 after failing to rebound from his last start, trainer Richard Mandella said on Friday.

The Tin Man, an 8-year-old gelding, won the Grade 1 Clement Hirsch Turf Championship at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting on Sept. 30, his fifth start this year. He won that 1 1/4-mile turf race by a head, holding off a late bid by BC Turf hopeful T.H. Approval.

Mandella said The Tin Man has not shown the enthusiasm for training this month that he did earlier in the year, when he won the San Marcos Stakes at Santa Anita, the American Handicap at Hollywood Park, and the Arlington Million at Arlington Park.

"I don't feel I've got him up to the level I've had him all year," Mandella said. "There is nothing really wrong with him. I think the year has told on him a little bit.

"I thought he'd be coming along better. I came to a point a couple of days ago that I decided not to run."

Mandella was concerned that The Tin Man won the Hirsch by only a head, relinquishing nearly all of the 1 1/2-length lead he had in midstretch.

"He ran like his tank was starting to empty a little bit," he said. "It wasn't as good as his other races. I think he won on heart."

The Tin Man could start in the Citation Handicap at Hollywood Park on Nov. 24, or be kept out of training until next year, Mandella said.

"I'll ease off or I might turn him out for next year," he said. "Right now, I don't know what I'll do. I hope to have him back. He passed all the goals we've ever set."

Owned by Ralph and Aury Todd, The Tin Man has won 12 of 27 starts and $3,126,860. His career has been interrupted several times because of injury, but he was having a career-best campaign in 2006. In his only loss this year, he finished a game second to David Junior in the $5 million Dubai Duty Free in the Middle East in March.

Hollywood Park campaigns on dates

Days before the California Horse Racing Board is expected to vote on racing dates for 2007, Hollywood Park officials are campaigning to host a longer spring-summer meeting next summer than it tentatively has been awarded.

In a four-page letter sent to CHRB officials on Thursday, Hollywood Park president Jack Liebau asked for an additional five days in April to give the track a 65-day meeting. In his letter, he said the current allotment of 60 days is the shortest spring-summer meeting in the track's history.

Hollywood Park is seeking to begin its fall meeting during the week of April 18-22, which has tentatively been awarded to Santa Anita for its winter-spring meeting.

The issue of 2007 racing dates is expected to be decided by the CHRB at its monthly meeting on Thursday.

In his letter, Liebau contends that the week should go to Hollywood Park because: the track has recently installed a synthetic surface that has been well received by horsemen; Hollywood Park has averaged 66 days during its spring-summer meeting in recent years; and the week in question went to Santa Anita in 2006 and should go to Hollywood Park on an alternate-year basis.

Liebau presented similar arguments to the CHRB's Strategic Planning Committee on Oct. 12. At that meeting, CHRB chairman Richard Shapiro recommended that the week be allocated to Santa Anita because that track has greater attendance and handle than Hollywood Park.

Under the tentative dates awarded for 2007, Santa Anita would run its winter-spring meet from Dec. 26, 2006, to April 22, 2007. Hollywood Park would operate its spring-summer meeting from April 25 to July 15. Del Mar has tentatively been allocated a meeting from July 18 to Sept. 5.

Downthedustyroad cuts back

After placing in three stakes at a mile or 1 1/16 miles in recent months, Downthedustyroad reverts to a sprint in Sunday's $55,000 Pine Tree Lane Stakes at the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting.

Downthedustyroad finished second in the Grade 2 Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap on Oct. 1, leading to early stretch before finishing 1 1/2 lengths behind BC Distaff hopeful Healthy Addiction.

Trained by Bob Baffert for Zayat Stables, Downthedustyroad won three sprints at Oaklawn Park earlier this year before switching barns. Downthedustyroad is winless in three starts in California, including a third in the Grade 2 Hollywood Breeders' Cup Oaks in June.

"I figured I'd take a shot," Baffert said of Downthedustyroad. "She can be rateable."

Baffert said the Pine Tree Lane gives Downthedustyroad a chance for a race before the $250,000 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita in late December.

"There is nowhere else to run her," he said. "It would be nice to win a stakes with her."

For a restricted stakes with a minor purse, the Pine Tree Lane Stakes over 6 1/2 furlongs has drawn an accomplished field of six fillies and mares. The field includes Wee Bit Fancy and Gn. Group Meeting, the first- and third-place finishers of the Pio Pico Stakes at Fairplex Park on Sept. 15; Selvatica and Mazella, the first two finishers of the Bangles and Beads Stakes at Fairplex Park on Sept. 25; and Seafree, the winner of the Grade 2 La Canada Stakes last February.

McCann's Mojave switches goals

McCann's Mojave, the winner of the 2005 California Cup Classic, will not defend his title in that race next Saturday, trainer Paddy Gallagher said. McCann's Mojave is more likely to start in the California Cup Mile, he said.

The $250,000 Classic and the $175,000 Mile are the two richest races on the California Cup program, which is restricted to statebreds.