ARCADIA, Calif. (Oct. 26, 2017)–Mid-pack early, longshot Cimpl Man angled inside in the run down the hillside turf course, swung four-deep turning for home and overhauled Eric the Trojan late to take Thursday’s $53,000 Santa Anita allowance feature by a half length under Rafael Bejarano. Trained by Gary Mandella and owned by Thomas L. Nichols, Cimpl Man got 6 ½ furlongs down the Camino Real Hillside Turf Course in 1:12.05.
“This win is very gratifying because Mr. Nichols had a heart attack just this past weekend,” said Mandella. “What’s gonna make him feel better than this? This horse runs so much better on this grass course…We’ll wait about 60 days and bring him back in a stake down the hill here on opening day (Dec. 26).”
Seventh in a pair of two turn turf allowances on Aug. 26 and July 30, Cimpl Man, a 5-year-old More Than Ready gelding bred in Kentucky by his owner, was off at 9-1 in a field of nine 3-year-olds and up and paid $20.40, $7.80 and $3.80.
A two-time winner over the Santa Anita turf but 0-2 down the hill, Cimpl Man improved his overall mark to 14-3-1-2. With the winner’s share of $31,800, he increased his earnings to $135,570.
Unhurried early under Evin Roman, Eric the Trojan launched a bold bid at the rail but had to settle for second money. Off at 11-1, he finished 1 ¼ lengths in front of Tribal Fighter and paid $10.40 and $5.80.
Ridden by Corey Nakatani, Tribal Fighter gunned to a hotly contested early lead from his rail post position and held sway until confronted by the runner-up a sixteenth of a mile from home.
Off at 7-2, Tribal Fighter paid $3.60 to show.
Fractions on the race were 21.31, 43.16 and 1:06.05.
Racing resumes with an eight-race card on Friday at Santa Anita. First post time is at 1 p.m. and admission gates open at 11 a.m.