SIZZLING CERIN WINS PAINTED WAGON PURSE WITH CIGAR MAN AT 11-1

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 10, 2010) – Vladimir Cerin, one of the hottest trainers at the Santa Anita meet, brought Cigar Man back from a two-month freshening to score an 11-1 upset Wednesday in the track’s one-mile feature, the $54,000 Painted Wagon Purse.

With Joel Rosario in the saddle, the 5-year-old gelding emerged victorious by 1 ¼ lengths over second-choice Deal Breaker in a driving finish despite a tendency to lug in during the stretch run. The final time was 1:36.23.

Cigar Man, running for an $80,000 price tag in the optional claiming event, provided Cerin with his ninth training victory from his 34th starter during Santa Anita’s winter/spring meeting.

“There was no pace in the race, so we needed to have a big effort from our horse to win,” Cerin commented in the winner’s circle.

The winner deprived British-bred Deal Breaker, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, of extending a perfect record at Santa Anita following three victories since being imported from England in the fall of last year.

Deal Breaker edged Euroglide, with Michael Baze aboard, by a head for the place in the field of 10. The latter nosed out Mr. Big who was perhaps closing fastest of all while finishing fourth. Mythical Power, the 2-1 favorite who was dropping out of three graded stakes races, failed to threaten while checking in fifth.

Cigar Man paid $24.80, $8.20 and $5.60. The prices on Deal Breaker were $4 and $3.20. Euroglide paid $4.20 to show.

The victory was worth $31,200 to the partnership of Ron Manzani and Russell Sarno as Cigar Man boosted his earnings to $270,710 from a career record of 4-6-3 in 24 starts.

Racing continues Thursday at Santa Anita with an eight-race program that gets underway at 1 p.m. This week’s action extends through Monday’s Presidents’ Day holiday prior to a two-day break.

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