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ARCADIA, CA – Richard Mandella was a relatively young pup of 33 when he won the 1983 San Pasqual Stakes for the first time, with a horse named Regal Falcon ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye.
In 2005, he captured his second San Pasqual, this time with Congrats under Tyler Baze.
On Saturday the Hall of Fame trainer, now a sprightly 70, sends out committed front-runner Tizamagician in a bid for number three.
A 4-year-old Tiznow colt, Tizamagician won an overnight race in game fashion last out on January 2, leading throughout as is his wont. It was his first race in more than 3 months.
“He likes to be in front and came off a nice win,” Mandella said of the Kentucky-bred owned by MyRacehorse.com and Spendthrift Farm, who will be ridden for the fourth straight time by Drayden Van Dyke.
Mandella was speaking of an overnight victory January 2 at a mile and 1/16, Tizamagician’s first race in more than 3 months.
“He’s doing real well,” said Mandella, who could use the San Pasqual as a steppingstone to the Santa Anita Handicap (G1) on March 6, a race the trainer has won three times: Siphon in 1997, Malek in 1998, and Rock Hard Ten in 2005.
“That makes sense,” Mandella said, alluding to the San Pasqual as a logical forerunner to the Big ‘Cap, Santa Anita’s marquee race for older horses, which will be presented for the 84th time this year.
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