PDA

View Full Version : Lava Man retired, yet again, Jan 2010



Pages : [1] 2

Glimmerglass
Feb. 25, 2007, 12:50 PM
It will be - yikes - Brother Derek among others pointed against the hardest working man in California: Lava Man in next Saturday's big race, the Grade 1 $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.

Lava Man has been looking brilliant in 2007 (on top of magnificent 2006) having already the strong win in the Sunshine Millions Turf race on January 27 and then a killer workout on just this past Friday (2/23):


Lava Man worked six furlongs in 1:12.20 at Hollywood Park on Friday, further strengthening his position as the favorite for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap on March 3.

The defending champion of the Big Cap, Lava Man's time was the fastest of 20 at the distance. The workout left trainer Doug O'Neill impressed.

"I think we're on schedule with where we want to be," he said.

Lava Man worked in company with the maiden Music and Magic, who is also trained by O'Neill. Lava Man started slightly in front, racing on the inside. He covered the first quarter-mile in 12.40 seconds, three furlongs in 37.80, and five furlongs in 1:00.40, according to O'Neill's stopwatch.Source: DRF 2-23-07 (http://www.drf.com/news/article/82808.html)

Accordingly he was assigned the top weight for the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap, a race he won in 2006, at 124 lbs.

An 11-time stakes winner, Lava Man will spot his probable rivals from seven to 10 pounds in the Grade 1 race over 1 1/4 miles.


"I think he's a deserving highweight," trainer Doug O'Neill said. "Now, he needs to run to it. The pressure is on, but he seems to rise to it. Hopefully, he can do that Saturday."

Last year, Lava Man carried 120 pounds in the Big Cap. Since then, the 6-year-old Lava Man has won six stakes, including three Grade 1's.

Lava Man is expected to have nine rivals in the Big Cap, seven of whom are graded stakes winners.

Arson Squad, the winner of the Grade 2 Strub Stakes on Feb. 3, is closest to Lava Man in the weights, at 117 pounds. He is followed by Awesome Gem, Ball Four, Brother Derek, and Molengao, at 116 pounds; Boboman, McCann's Mojave, and Spring at Last, at 115 pounds; and El Roblar, at 114 pounds.

It should be a wonderful race!!

Glimmerglass
Feb. 25, 2007, 06:33 PM
From the BloodHorse 2-35-07 (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=37738):


Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Brother Derek will miss the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) due to a chip in his left ankle.

“It’s a recurring problem that probably will require four months,” trainer Dan Hendricks said Sunday morning. “It’s not the end of the world. We’ll do a nuclear scan Tuesday.

“Basically, he’s got a little chip that has to come out and we’re going to turn him out and bring him back for a fall campaign. It’s very minor, but the best thing for the horse is to go at it now, let him recuperate and come back strong as ever.”

Owned by Canadian oilman Cecil Peacock, Brother Derek has six wins from 16 starts with earnings of $1,593,458. The 4-year-old California-bred son of Benchmark was third in the Strub Stakes (gr. II) in his most recent start on Feb. 3.

Glimmerglass
Feb. 26, 2007, 07:38 PM
Daily Racing Form columnist Jay Hovdey makes "light" of the weak weights assigned in The Big Cap :D

Although he points out that John Henry carried 130 lbs in this race in 1982 and Lava Man will tote just 124 lbs, I think the two can still be somewhat perfectly fine. The purpose of the weights as I've always understood their role were to make the field technically equal - the more superior the horse, the more weight. The point isn't to protect the record time of the race.

It just is more reflective of today that a horse capable of carrying 130 lbs and "equally" competitive to one carrying 117 lbs is exceedingly rare ...

DRF 2-26-07 "A storied race hardly living up to its name" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/82847.html)


For instance, in 1982 the Santa Anita Handicap was still what could be fairly referred to as a "handicap," with all the associated historical implications, not to mention a 17-pound spread between the top and the bottom. Five horses carried more than 120 pounds. Defending champion John Henry carried 130. Providential II, winner of the 1981 Washington D.C. International, carried 127. The French horse Perrault, making his first start on dirt, carried 126. Valets were careful when they lifted the saddles.

With more than 70,000 in the stands, the race came down to a furious duel between John Henry, under Bill Shoemaker, and Perrault, with Laffit Pincay. Perrault won by a nose, but he drifted out enough for the stewards to justify a disqualification. The crowd went wild.

Now compare the weights of 1982 to the leading names pointing for Saturday's 70th running of the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap. Lava Man, the defending champ, is assigned 124 pounds. Strub Stakes winner Arson Squad carries 117 pounds, while San Antonio Handicap winner Molengao carries 116.

"I guess they got it right," said Doug O'Neill, trainer of Lava Man, which of course means they got it wrong. No racing secretary worth his stall space wants to hear compliments on weight assignments from trainers, lest they be haunted for the remainder of their days by the ghost of Walter Vosburgh.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 1, 2007, 10:48 AM
The best comment I've seen in eons:


The 9-2 second choice is Arson Squad, who won for the fourth time in seven starts at Santa Anita when taking the Strub on Feb. 3. Trained by Bruce Headley for owners Mace and Samantha Siegel's Jay Em Ess Stable, Arson Squad, a 4-year-old Brahms gelding, will be ridden by Garrett Gomez as he tries the Big 'Cap distance for the first time.

The Pennsylvania-bred will also carry second high-weight of 117 pounds, and his trainer thought the assignment to Lava Man was generous.

"It's not enough," Headley told the Daily Racing Form's Brad Free in reference to the spread in weights. "Lava Man at 124 is a gift. The race should be called the Santa Anita Gift Shop."

:D

LA Times March 1, 2007 "Lava Man is Santa Anita Handicap favorite" (http://www.latimes.com/sports/printedition/la-sp-horse1mar01,1,2286052.story?coll=la-headlines-pe-sports)

From the inside out, the Santa Anita Handicap field includes Awesome Gem, El Roblar, Boboman, who will be making his first start on dirt, Ball Four, Spring At Last, who is also trained by O'Neill, Molengao, Lava Man, Arson Squad and McCann's Mojave.

Jinx
Mar. 1, 2007, 12:16 PM
thats an awesome quote!:lol:

Slewdledo
Mar. 1, 2007, 01:12 PM
I love Lava Man, however, his last race was not overly impressive and he'll have some work to do on Saturday.

If he wins, he'll be just the 3rd horse in history to win consecutive editions of the race.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 1, 2007, 11:04 PM
A modern era John Henry or not?


The six-year-old Slew City Slew gelding was unbeatable in California last year regardless of surface or competition. He won six graded stakes, including Grade 1 races on both turf and dirt. His success has led to lofty comparisons, including John Henry, also a Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt and a repeat winner of the Santa Anita Handicap in 1981 and ‘82.

Defending Big ‘Cap winner Lava Man can duplicate the latter feat with a win on Saturday.

“His versatility is truly amazing,” trainer Doug O’Neill said. “I’m honored that he is even talked about in the same sentence with the likes of John Henry.”

Of course there are those who say "he's nothing special" (?!?) ...


Opposing trainer Steve Specht had no reservations about sending out Grade 2 winner McCann’s Mojave to face Lava Man. McCann’s Mojave enters off a two-length victory in the $1-million Sunshine Millions Classic Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 27.

“You can’t take anything away from Lava Man,” Specht said. “He’s a good horse, but he’s no special horse, in my opinion. He’s not a horse like Secretariat or Spectacular Bid, horses that were so monstrous. He’s not in that league. He’s beaten some of the same horses that we’ve beaten.

“I don’t think he’s that big of a cinch in the race. I think we have a chance of beating him if we get a good trip. It’s worth taking a shot.”

I think folks have to give credit where credit is due. A $50k claimer who has made more money then any other claimer in history and his bankroll - and victory tally - just gets fatter by the month. Once, not so long ago, he was just another horse fighting it out for $12,500 and today he's going for another million dollar win. Thankfully horses don't read the newspaper or the internet!

TB Times 3-1-07 "California standout Lava Man tabbed heavy favorite for Santa Anita Handicap" (http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/racing-news/2007/February/28/California-standout-Lava-Man-tabbed-heavy-favorite-for-Santa-Anita-Handicap.aspx)

Glimmerglass
Mar. 2, 2007, 12:59 PM
*IF* Lava Man wins on Saturday in the 'Big Cap' he will actually surpass one record of John Henry - 10 dirt victories vs. 9 for John:

Orange County Register 3-2-07 "Chasing the legacy of John Henry" (http://www.ocregister.com/ocregister/sports/abox/article_1596381.php)

excerpts


Lava Man is an old gelding of modest pedigree who once was a claiming horse and now wins major races and attracts crowds.

In those respects, he is much like John Henry, whose achievement of two consecutive victories in the Santa Anita Handicap he is trying to match Saturday.

Twenty-five years after his second Big 'Cap score in 1982, John Henry's legend continues to grow as he nears his 32nd birthday in Lexington, Ky., near his place of birth.

As notable as his accomplishments are, Lava Man still has much to achieve if he is to join John Henry in the Racing Hall of Fame.

But if the 6-year-old wins Saturday, he will surpass John Henry in one respect.

A second triumph for Lava Man in the 11/4-mile Big 'Cap would be his 10th dirt victory.

John Henry, who won 30 races in 50 starts on turf, won nine times on dirt.

"He was a top horse on dirt, but a machine on the grass, just skimming over the course," said Lewis Cenicola, who worked John Henry for trainer Ron McAnally and has operated a stable since 1987.

The last of John Henry's dirt-track victories came in the 1982 Big 'Cap. He won nine more times, all on grass, in an 83-race career, which ended as a 9-year-old in 1984. He retired as the leading money-winning thoroughbred.

"To think we could actually beat John Henry in anything is unbelievable," Lava Man trainer Doug O'Neill said. "He's one of those horses who turned me on to racing in the first place."

O'Neill was almost 14 when his family took him to Santa Anita for the 1982 Big 'Cap.


As Lava Man tries Saturday to become the third two-time Big 'Cap winner (Milwaukee Brew won in 2002-03), Santa Anita will pay tribute to John Henry, who won 15 stakes races at the track.

"He knows he's the king around here," said Cathy Roby, John Henry's main caretaker since he took up residence at the Kentucky Horse Park more than 20 years ago.

John Henry, a diminutive 15.1 hands high but with a massive girth, had a persona like nails and would try to bite or otherwise abuse his handlers.

Age hasn't mellowed him, nor has major surgery for colic five years ago . Doctors removed 18 inches of his intestines.

"If he wasn't who he is, the surgery probably wouldn't have been tried," Roby said. "He was already 27, and we didn't know if he could recover from the anesthetic and the procedure.

"But a week later he was recovering, and in two months he was back to his ornery self. He's now the equivalent of a 104-year-old man, but I consider it a good day when he doesn't try to kill me. If he's too quiet, we know there's something wrong with him."

John Henry has arthritis in his ankles, but he sees, hears and eats well and spends most of his time outdoors.

"He has an 18 by 18 stall but doesn't like to come in because that's where he gets his medicine," Roby said.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 2, 2007, 10:14 PM
Regarding plans and expectations ...


O'Neill considers Ball Four and McCann's Mojave, the winner of the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 27, to be Lava Man's biggest threats.

Ball Four and McCann's Mojave should be near the front, and O'Neill is hoping the pace is not too quick.

"We've had most of our luck by aggressively leaving the gate, getting position, and being aggressive in the last three to 3 1/2 furlongs," O'Neill said. "My biggest concern is Ball Four and McCann's Mojave. They'll be a major factor early in the race."

O'Neill is worried that a quick pace, such as six furlongs in less than 1:11, could be a problem for Lava Man. Corey Nakatani, who has ridden Lava Man to eight stakes wins since the start of 2006, has the mount.

"If they're going in 1:09 and 4 and Corey thinks they're going in 1:11, that could do us in," O'Neill said. "You couldn't ask for a better big-time rider. Hopefully, I'm saying that on Saturday night."

Here are PP for the SA Grade 1 Handicap (or "Gift Shop") per rivals (http://www.drf.com/row/pps/07santaanitahandicap.pdf)

What will will be a brilliant day of racing between several key matches at Gulfstream and also Santa Anita; the "Big Cap" goes off as the 10th race at SA at 5:02 PST

Good luck, Lava Man, I'm rooting for you!!

Slewdledo
Mar. 3, 2007, 07:42 PM
A little over 20 minutes to post! Second choice Arson Squad scratched which means it's Lava Man vs. a bunch of longshots getting 8-10 pounds from him.

I'm pretty nervous but excited. Go Lava!!!

Drvmb1ggl3
Mar. 3, 2007, 08:11 PM
Too easy for Lava Man, he must get tired of beating up those Cali horses. He almost looked disinterested at the top of the stretch, Nakatani had to get after him.
Not much of a handicap though, they should make it a WFA race.

Slewdledo
Mar. 3, 2007, 08:13 PM
I do love this horse! :D

Nowhere else to run for a million, Drumbiggle. He scared 'em off. :winkgrin:

Drvmb1ggl3
Mar. 3, 2007, 08:20 PM
Well true, he can only run against who shows up. I heard talk that he might go to Dubai and run on grass over there in the Duty Free. That seems like a failry open race this year, he could be in with a shot.
Or I suppose they could just stay in California collecting win checks... that horse is like a bottomless ATM machine out there.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 3, 2007, 08:25 PM
... that horse is like a bottomless ATM machine out there.

Perhaps he should be given the nickname of "cha-ching" :D

Agreed that until East Coast runners want a piece of those big checks California wants to write to Lava Man he'll just keep banking more dough-ray-me!

Glimmerglass
Mar. 3, 2007, 11:48 PM
Not quite the 70,000+ fans that John Henry attracted to Santa Anita 25-yrs ago and certainly not carrying the 130-lbs her did but still ....


Lava Man became the third horse to win consecutive runnings of the Big Cap, joining John Henry (1981-82) and Milwaukee Brew (2002-03). A winner of 16 of 37 starts and $4,679,706, Lava Man returned to the winner's circle to a rousing ovation from the on-track crowd of 43,024. He is owned by the Kenly family's STD Racing and Jason Wood, who claimed him for $50,000 in August 2004. Lava Man has won 11 stakes in his last 12 starts on this circuit.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 6, 2007, 10:08 AM
Who thinks that Lava Man's next step should be:

1 - Ship overseas and go for the potentially huge payday with the $5-million Dubai Duty Free (Gr 1)


(likely facing in the Dubai Duty Free) 2006 American turf champion Miesque’s Approval, three-time Grade 1 winner and championship finalist English Channel, Japanese champion Daiwa Major, and French highweight and Group 1 winner Stormy River.

or

2 - Know that he dominates California, seemingly doesn't like to ship out of the region, and he almost could be certain of a win in the the Grade 1 $750k Hollywood Gold Cup (in Jul) or Grade 1 $1 Million Pacific Classic (Aug).

It is almost a guarantee that if he goes to Dubai he'll be unable to recover in time for the Hollywood Gold Cup and even being fit for the Pacific Classic seems exceptionally doubtful.

I think they should stay in the States and continue to plug away - win, lose or draw. Going overseas may seem like the final chapter in the fairtail saga with great hopes of him being John Henry, but I just don't see it.

Anyone?

Frog
Mar. 6, 2007, 11:00 PM
:D Definitely the Pacific Classic AND the Gold Cup!

I would love love LOVE to see him go to Dubai, but as far as risk-taking, I would probably keep him in the States for easier money without losing time by shipping etc.

lizathenag
Mar. 6, 2007, 11:08 PM
I would keep him in California. . .

Drvmb1ggl3
Mar. 6, 2007, 11:51 PM
Dubai, no contest.
There's no reason he can't run there and still win the Holly GC, it's in July for godsakes. Last year Ouija Board ran in Dubai, then went to Hong Kong in April for the QEII Cup, then was back in England at the start of June to run a good 2nd to Shirrocco in the Cornoation at Epsom, then she went to Ascot for the Royal meeting in late June and beat Electrocutionist and David Junior (who were 2 of the top ranked horses in the world at the time) in the Prince of Wales.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 7, 2007, 08:54 AM
There's no reason he can't run there and still win the Holly GC, it's in July for godsakes. Last year Ouija Board ran in Dubai, then went to Hong Kong in April for the QEII Cup, then was back in England ....

Agreed that Ouija Board was one heck of a shipper with versatility. However Lava Man's connections do not suggest they are as flexible.

DRF 3-6-07 Lava Man's next on the road" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/83013.html)


"It will come down to how the race is coming up and how the horse is doing," O'Neill said. "It's so much money."

But the trip could take its toll. If Lava Man were to race in Dubai, he may not be able to make the Hollywood Gold Cup on June 30 and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar in August, races he won last year.

Lava Man is owned by Kenly family's STD Racing and Jason Wood. Steve Kenly, for one, is enthused about the trip to Dubai, but said: "Let's let the horse tell us. It's possible it doesn't knock him out for six months."

What is amazing is that if his next race isn't Dubai it will be Churchill Downs, on turf, in the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic at Churchill Downs on May 5. I just don't see the logic there as he's never been a fan of CD.

Per the DRF article Lava Man will never again race on dirt. He will be exclusively raced on synthetic surfaces or turf.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 9, 2007, 09:01 AM
Art Wilson at Whittier Daily News (CA) puts his feelings out there on Lava Man and this season's races - no Dubai.

Whittier Daily News (Art Wilson) March 8, 2007 "Lava Man should go with SoCal flow" (http://www.whittierdailynews.com/sports/ci_5391637)

excerpts


Yes, $5 million is enticing, downright delicious even. But is it wise to ship a 6-year-old gelding to Dubai, a horse who is 0 for 4 outside of California, in search of more riches when he's already earned a record $4.3 million since being claimed for $50,000 in August 2004 by three gentlemen who, up to this point, have for the most part made all the right decisions?


Lava Man did something last year no horse has done. He swept the three major handicap races in Southern California - the Big 'Cap, the Hollywood Gold Cup and the Pacific Classic at Del Mar - in the same year. Winning one of the three is a major accomplishment, but scoring a hat trick was something that will etch Lava Man's name in the record books forever.

What could be better, huh?

Well, how about sweeping all three in back-to-back years? Lava Man is in a position to do just that if he's allowed to stay in California, take a break until Hollywood Park and then embark on a similar schedule as last year's, when he won two grass races leading up to the Gold Cup and captured the Pacific Classic and Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap at Oak Tree before his ill-fated effort in the Breeders' Cup Classic at Churchill Downs.


He's a great drawing card, something that racing badly needs. So what if he's never won outside California? If he wins the SoCal Triple Crown again and then, God willing, stays healthy and goes for an unprecedented third Big 'Cap victory, well, Lava Man will become a legend around these parts. They might even make a movie about him.

Word came down Wednesday that the Lava Man camp is deciding between the Dubai race and the $500,000 Woodford Reserve Turf Classic on May 5 at Churchill Downs for the horse's next race.

Guys, don't do it.

If you really need to prove to skeptics that Lava Man can ship out of state and win, do it at the end of the year at the Breeders' Cup. Let his fans revel in his successes here locally. Let them enjoy their hero and not have to worry that a major illness or one fatal misstep abroad could mean they never see him race again.

Lava Man already has done great things. He can do even more and doesn't need to be shipped halfway around the world to do them. Keep him home. Let the fans enjoy one of the sport's few stars.

If Lava Man is retired one, two or three years from now and he's never won outside of California, let the naysayers scream and shout that he couldn't win on the road. Let them whine about his record and how it doesn't include a victory that wasn't recorded in the Southland.

I mean, what's wrong with the title King of California?

Samotis
Mar. 10, 2007, 11:54 PM
I heard that he is going to Dubai. They are a little worried because he always does well in California, but didn't do well in Kentucky. The owners are very nice people and no matter what happens that horse will have a horse for life, and who knows, when he retires, he may have a jumping career. Many of their retired race horses have been re-trained for juumping and done quite well!

Good Luck Lava Man!

Glimmerglass
Mar. 12, 2007, 07:53 PM
Confirmed: Lava Man is going to Dubai." per the Daily Racing Form Mar 12th (http://drf.com/news/article/83183.html)


"The horse is doing great, and the owners really want to go," trainer Doug O'Neill said over the weekend. "We're going to work him, and if he works awesome and comes out of it awesome, he'll board a plane on the 20th and go to Dubai."

Claimed for $50,000 in August 2004, Lava Man has won 16 races and more than $4.6 million from 37 starts and become one of the most popular racehorses in California. His Grade 1 victories include the 2006 and 2007 Santa Anita Handicap, and the 2006 Hollywood Gold Cup, Pacific Classic, and Charles Whittingham Handicap on grass.

The Dubai Duty Free, at 1,777 meters, is the penultimate race on the Dubai World Cup card. Post time for the Duty Free is 9:40 a.m. Pacific; the $6 million Dubai World Cup will be run at 10:30 Pacific.

I don't think we'll get to see the race as ABC Sports is only covering two races from Dubai.

Good luck Lava Man!

Glimmerglass
Mar. 13, 2007, 11:30 AM
There are more bits to be found on the Dubai Racing Club blog on Lava Man and O'Neill (http://blog.dubairacingclub.com/index.php/2007/03/13/o%e2%80%99neill-may-have-three-chances-to-win-in-dubai/)

As pointed out - if Lava Man was to win this prize in Dubai he would add $3,000,000 to his current earnings of $4,679,706.

We will get to watch his race on line - even if ABC Sports doesn't air it - as Dubai (thankfully) is fan friendly:

Dubai Video Race Replays (http://dubaiworldcup.com/media/video.asp)

Glimmerglass
Mar. 14, 2007, 08:53 AM
It would be kinda neat if there is another poster promoting this event created - like the Breeders' Cup folks did for Lava Man v. Bernardini (http://www.ntra.com/content.aspx?type=other&id=21329)

Glimmerglass
Mar. 16, 2007, 09:47 AM
Add the LA Daily News (3-16-07) (http://www.dailynews.com/sports/ci_5448501) as another paper questioning the value of shipping him abroad


Lava Man's bid to be a People's Horse, to "belong" to the adoring fans in California, could get sidetracked by the real owners' plan to send the gelding halfway around the world for big money.

Many U.S. horses have gone to the Dubai racing festival, five winning the World Cup.

Often they've been slow to bounce back from the long trip.

But O'Neill - who trains Lava Man for Steve, Tracy and Dave Kenly, and Jason Wood - thinks the 6-year-old can run in Dubai and still take a shot at local history three months later in the June 30 Hollywood Gold Cup.

"We're hoping the fans of Lava Man will be proud when they see him run on Dubai World Cup day," O'Neill said Thursday at Santa Anita. "If everything goes well there, it's all systems go for a third Hollywood Gold Cup."

A third straight Gold Cup would match Native Diver's 1965-66-67 record. But the Cal-bred's achievements in-state don't seem to be enough for his owners, who want to improve his 0-for-4 record out-of-state.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 19, 2007, 11:56 AM
Shipping off for Dubai this week per today's entry with the Dubai Festival blog (http://blog.dubairacingclub.com/index.php/2007/03/19/lava-man-aces-dubai-duty-free-workout-exam/):


Lava Man passed a critical workout test administered by trainer Doug O’Neill on Sunday and the six-time Grade 1 winner will be on his way to the United Arab Emirates for the US$5-million Dubai Duty Free (Gr.1) unless some unexpected problem with his feet arises on Monday.

“He worked fantastic and he scoped clear,” O’Neill said, “so as long as his feet are in good shape, he’s heading out to Dubai.”

O’Neill and owners Jason Wood and Steve and David Kenly of STD Racing Stable had determined that Lava Man would have to prove he was in outstanding condition in order to make the demanding trip to Dubai.

With regular exercise rider Tony Romero in the saddle, the six-year-old gelding breezed five furlongs with consummate ease over Hollywood Park’s Cushion Track surface in 1:01.20, erasing any doubts in their minds.

Barnfairy
Mar. 19, 2007, 02:11 PM
Good luck and safe trip big fella.

Glimmerglass
Mar. 23, 2007, 12:59 PM
A tough field he'll be facing ...

The likely fields for the 2007 Dubai World Cup meeting on Saturday, March 31. Final declarations for all fields are on Monday, March 26, while the Dubai World Cup post-position draw will be made on Wednesday, March 28.

PDF file - Likely Fields/Dubai Racing Club (http://blog.dubairacingclub.com/wp-content/uploads/2007/03/dwc-likely-fields.pdf)

See page 1 of 3 - Dubai Duty Free (Group 1)

Payouts in US$: 1st: $3,000,000. 2nd: $1,000,000. 3rd: $500,000. 4th: $250,000. 5th: $150,000. 6th: $100,000

Todd Pletcher's English Channel is entered in the race too

Barnfairy
Mar. 23, 2007, 04:06 PM
Uh-oh I'm torn. I like English Channel too.

Shooooowee $100,000 for sixth place. That's a pretty nice "thanks for coming." Covers the plane fare anyway.

Drvmb1ggl3
Mar. 24, 2007, 12:15 AM
Uh-oh I'm torn. I like English Channel too.

Shooooowee $100,000 for sixth place. That's a pretty nice "thanks for coming." Covers the plane fare anyway.

The Dubai World Cup already pays for the expense of getting the horse's over there, so $100,000 for coming in 6th is a pretty sweet deal.

It's a very interesting field for sure, and very international, Lava Man will definitely be meeting a better class of Turf horse than he has run into on Cali grass.
They may be kicking themsleves that they didn't enter him in the big race. Outside of Invasor, and Discreet Cat, the field for that is one of the weakest ever (though the Argentine horse, Storm Mayor, is a somewhat unknown quantity). Lava Man could run his usual outside of Cali stinker of a race and still manage to finish 3rd for $600k (that's the same money for winning a $1m race most places).

Glimmerglass
Mar. 26, 2007, 02:24 PM
Looks like Lava Man is enjoying Dubai - also note that English Channel is mentioned in the article too, below.

The final delcarations were made today for the race and it couldn't get any more international if you tried. South Africa, England, Ireland, US, India, Germany, Japan, Australia and France represented in this race alone!


DUBAI DUTY FREE-G1. 1 1/8 miles (turf). 4yo+. Purse $5,000,000

No. Horse
1 Seihali (Ire)
2 Best Name (GB)
3 Stormy River (Fr)
4 Irridescence (SAf)
5 Lava Man (USA) - Corey Nakatani up
6 Mystical (Ind)
7 Kapil (SAf)
8 Pompeii Ruler (Aus)
9 Flashy Wings (GB)
10 Admire Moon (Jpn)
11 English Channel (USA) - Jonny Velazquez up
12 Miesque's Approval (USA) - Eddie Castro up
13 Daiwa Major (Jpn)
14 Formal Decree (Ger)
15 Bad Girl Runs (SAf)
16 Linngari (Ire)

Dubai Gulf News 3/26 "Dubai Duty Free hope Lava Man loving it in Dubai" (http://www.gulfnews.com/sport/Horse_Racing/10113729.html)


Dubai: With dapples gleaming on his dark bay coat, six-time Grade 1 winner Lava Man strode around the Nad Al Sheba turf course for the first time in advance of the $5 million Dubai Duty Free (Gr 1).

The smile on exercise rider Tony Romero's face after the gallop told the story of how the six-year-old Slew City Slew gelding handled the course.

"He loves it here. He's doing really good," he said.
......................

Another American multiple Grade 1 winner, English Channel, could train under the lights at Nad Al Sheba tonight to get a feel of the conditions he will encounter in the Dubai Duty Free.

"We'll gallop him. He hasn't run under the lights before," said assistant trainer Ginny DePasquale after talking to trainer Todd Pletcher, who is still in the United States, on her mobile phone.

DLee
Mar. 26, 2007, 04:36 PM
I'll be rooting for Miesque's Approval.:yes: .. will we see these races anywhere?

Glimmerglass
Mar. 26, 2007, 05:01 PM
ABC Sports (http://sports.espn.go.com/espntv/espnGuide) (not ESPN) will be airing on tape-delay the UAE Derby and Dubai World Cup on Saturday at what appears to be 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm EASTERN.

The Dubai Duty Free race and the others will I assume be available on-line via the Dubai Carnival Race site.

http://dubaiworldcup.com/media/video.asp

Glimmerglass
Mar. 28, 2007, 10:37 AM
Update on English Channel and Lava Man: Source DRF 3/27 (http://www.drf.com/news/article/83507.html)


* Todd Pletcher changed course and decided not to send English Channel out for a spin under the Nad Al Sheba lights Monday night. English Channel will continue training during the morning.

* All the American-based horses apparently have settled in here without issue, but Lava Man has especially impressed onlookers with his training in recent days. He had a spirited gallop of about 1 1/8 miles on the Nad Al Sheba grass course Monday morning.

BloodHorse 3/27/07 - "Demeanor Has Lava Man's Camp Optimistic" (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=38185)


“The turf is excellent. To tell you the truth, he looks better here when he gallops on the grass than he does back home in California,” said Carlos Pena, who has been overseeing Lava Man’s preparations before the arrival Tuesday of Leandro Mora, assistant to trainer Doug O’Neill.

Although the gelding has a reputation for not shipping well or adjusting calmly to new surroundings, he has been relaxed in Dubai.

“Before when he traveled, he didn’t eat. He’s eating well and sleeping well here,” Romero said.

“I cross my fingers, but this time he looks different than he did in Kentucky for the Breeders’ Cup,” Pena added, referring to Lava Man’s journey to Churchill Downs for the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Classic (gr. I) on dirt.

There, he finished seventh after being bumped and carried wide on a track that favored horses on the inside.

The large stalls in the Nad al Sheba quarantine barn and the peaceful environment have proved to be much more appealing to the horse than the barn area at Churchill, Pena said.

Although pleased with his adjustment, Lava Man’s team has taken steps to ensure he will be in a position to race to the best of his versatile ability.

The California bred has been training with pads on his troublesome feet, and on race day, he will wear earplugs while in the paddock so as not to be distracted by the crowd, Romero said.

Glimmerglass
Jun. 27, 2007, 06:47 PM
Forget about the Dubai World Cup effort and with it unexplained problems of bombing (finishing 16th) - chalk it up to shipping out of California and be done with it - and his last start, the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (Grade 1) on June 9th was a tough loss by 1 1/2 length after commanding the race until the finish.

Let’s just focus on the attempt at history: winning the Hollywood Gold Cup a third year in a row. It's only been done once - by Native Diver.

The Times has a good article on Lava Man, History and Native Diver:

LA Times June 26, 2007 "Lava Man will chase a ghost in the Gold Cup" (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyre26jun26,1,5023372,full.column?coll=la-headlines-sports&ctrack=3&cset=true)


Back on the observation deck, Hall of Fame trainer Ron McAnally watches Lava Man and dozens of other horses work.

McAnally will be 75 on July 11, and he once had his own Lava Man — the great gelding John Henry, who contributed a large portion of the nearly $120 million in winnings that McAnally has had in the sport.

John Henry never won a Hollywood Gold Cup — McNally won with Pay Tribute in 1976 — but he won plenty of other big races.

McAnally is wishing the best for Lava Man. "It is good for racing if he keeps going," he says.

He says he has a trip planned soon to visit John Henry, who McAnally says "will probably recognize me because I'll have a treat."

Shapiro says he also visited John Henry not long ago at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.

"It's chilling," he says, "and right across from his stall is Cigar."

Native Diver never made it to a racing rest home. He resides in the paddock at Hollywood Park, where it is easier to keep an eye on Lava Man.

It is his favorite haunt.

Saturday June 30th at Hollywood Park at 1 1/4 mi history could be made


Native Diver:


"The Diver," as he was affectionately known to thousands of California fans, won 37 of his 81 starts from 1961 to 1967 and was the first horse bred in California to earn $1 million.

"And he made his money the hard way," recalls Jerry Lambert, 66, the jockey who is most closely identified with the horse. "The purses weren’t near what they are today." Lambert won 23 times in his 43 rides on Native Diver, including all three of his Hollywood Gold Cup scores.

The horse, who was trained by the late Buster Millerick, earned $102,100 in each of those victories, Lava Man, closing in on $5 million in career earnings, has earned $450,000 in each of his two Gold Cup wins.

Native Diver died from colic a week after his last race, a victory in the 1967 Del Mar Handicap, and is buried in the infield at Hollywood Park. No other horse has even won back-to-back runnings of the Hollywood Gold Cup—until Lava Man won the race the past two years.

Glimmerglass
Jun. 29, 2007, 03:32 PM
Perhaps the biggest competition to Lava Man for tomorrow's historic run:

Union-Tribune 6-29-07 "Brazil import taking aim at Lava Man" (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/20070629-9999-1s29horses.html)


Brazilian-born trainer Paulo Lobo says the Californianized translation from Portuguese of the name of his Brazilian-bred 6-year-old racehorse, Molengao, would be something like “laid-back guy.”

Molengao's human connections – Lobo, jockey Victor Espinoza and Brazilian owner Gonzalo Torrealba – hope Molengao runs counter to his name tomorrow when they send him out in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, the premier race of the Hollywood Park meeting.

An all-out effort from Molengao figures to be necessary. The race features West Coast king Lava Man, winner of the biggest three events in California in 2006 – the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Del Mar's Pacific Classic.

article continues ...

Grade-1 $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup
June 30, 2007 Race 10, Hollywood Park, 4:50 p.m.PST
Distance: 1 1/4 Miles on Cushion Track


PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. My Creed (KY), 117, Russell A. Baze
2. A. P. Xcellent (KY), 115, Mike E. Smith
3. Saint Stephen (KY), 115, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
4. Porfido (CHI), 112, Joel Rosario
5. Molengao (BRZ), 120, Victor Espinoza
6. Wilko (KY), 115, Joseph Talamo
7. A. P. Arrow (KY), 116, David R. Flores
8. Lava Man (CA), 124, Corey S. Nakatani
9. Big Booster (KY), 113, Michael C. Baze

Barnfairy
Jun. 29, 2007, 04:12 PM
In California? Can't bet against Lava Man.

Linny
Jun. 30, 2007, 07:59 PM
He won by a nose. Great effort once again. Nice to see him rebound off the 2nd in the Whittingham.

Glimmerglass
Jun. 30, 2007, 08:08 PM
Damn that was great to watch! I really thought he was beat when A.P. .Xcellent came back right near the finish line but Lava Man knows where that line is too ... that was all heart to surge back and snag the win by a nose/whisker ;) A tip to A.P. X too as that was a great effort as well.

Once a $50k claim and now millions upon millions earned from many, many Grade 1 victories. Kudos to Lava Man - this is horse racing!

FatDinah
Jun. 30, 2007, 08:47 PM
I hope Lava Man keeps racing and then he can take John Henry's stall at the Kentucky Horse Park, he'd be a worthy successor (assuming that cantakarous John ever gives up the ghost).

JER
Jun. 30, 2007, 09:09 PM
The other 6 year-old ex-claimer, Big Booster, was flying at the finish.

I hoped for better from Wilko. He's really stuck out a racing career after winning the BC Juvenile in 2004 -- how often do we see that?

miss_critic
Jun. 30, 2007, 11:25 PM
Yeah, casn't they place Wilko where he could win? I always want him to do well b/c he's stuck around.

That race was awesome. I hope Lava Man continues to show HE DA MAN!
Tin Man's was soooooooooo close!!!!

Glimmerglass
Jun. 30, 2007, 11:38 PM
Despite Wilko failing to win since the BC JV loooong ago he has finished in the money with some big graded - and bigger purse - races and thus has made his owners a very tidy profit.

Accordingly for Susan Roy and Paul Reddam to continue to race him is still a profitable venture. Finishing 2nd or 3rd even albeit sporadically has benefits. Examples:

2005: 3rd Santa Anita Derby (Grade 1)
2006: 2nd Dubai World Cup (Grade 1), 3rd San Antonio Hanidcap (Grade 2), 3rd Santa Anita Handicap (Grade 1)

Glimmerglass
Jun. 30, 2007, 11:51 PM
I'm sure Sunday's papers will be full of articles on Lava Man's history equally feat. Here is one of the early ones:

LA Times July 1, 2007 "Lava Man makes history by a nose" (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-horse1jul01,1,2746716.story?coll=la-headlines-sports&track=crosspromo)

excerpt


In the first Gold Cup run over a synthetic surface, Lava Man didn't have to run particularly fast at any stage to earn his 17th career victory and push his earnings to nearly $5.2 million. The final time for the 1 1/4 miles was 2:03.21, which made it the slowest Gold Cup since Seabiscuit won in 2:03 4/5 in 1938.

While believing the 6-year-old gelding's win Saturday was a positive for racing, [Jerry Lambert, the regular rider for Native Diver] smiled when asked how he thinks Lava Man would have fared if matched against the speedy Native Diver.

"I think he would have had a little trouble catching Native Diver," said Lambert. "Native Diver never got to go 24 and 48 [the first two fractions were 24.19 and 48.75 seconds] in any of his races. He never had it that easy."

miss_critic
Jul. 1, 2007, 09:37 AM
Despite Wilko failing to win since the BC JV loooong ago he has finished in the money with some big graded - and bigger purse - races and thus has made his owners a very tidy profit.



Agreed. How tall is Wilko? He looks so tiny out there.

What was neat to watch at the end of the race was Corey just riding his horse w/no whip at the end. What a horse.
And then the call "Here is your org. Rags to Riches"....
I wonder if LM continued winning in CA and not go to the Breeders Cup, if he could win older horse. I think on some level, after his performances the past few years, he deserves it.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 1, 2007, 10:06 AM
And then the call "Here is your org. Rags to Riches"....

Seth at Equidaily captured Vic Stauffer's call of the final few furlongs - take a listen: audio Lava Man and A.P. Xcellent down to the wire (http://www.equidaily.com/bestbet/extras/misc/2007/lavaman.mp3)

ESPN's coverage of the race had Jerry Bailey suggesting that it might be worth it for his connections to consider the Breeders' Cup this year at Monmouth Park because of the very firm track. Interesting but I do hope they focus on the here and now and enjoy what they've done and continue to do in California!

Elly Mae II
Jul. 1, 2007, 08:31 PM
I was disappointed that the Dayton, OH paper I get didn't even have a teensy mention of this race. I guess I'm not too surprised though---the thrilling Bemont ended up way back in the sports section while that race where a man beat a horse was on page one.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 1, 2007, 10:24 PM
North County Times/The Californian July 1, 2007 "The California horse, Lava Man is Golden" (http://www.nctimes.com/articles/2007/07/01/sports/delmar/21_34_466_30_07.txt)

excerpt


There's no doubt about it: Lava Man is the people's horse, at least in California.

When he took the track for Saturday's Grade I, $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup, the crowd of 9,276 cheered.

When he was introduced in the post parade, the crowd cheered.

When he came down the home stretch head and head with A.P. Xcellent, the crowd roared.

When the two horses hit the finish line, the crowd roared.

And, finally, when the replay appeared on the infield video board, the roar was even louder.

Sad that the crowd was so low with Lava Man and The Tin Man on the cards. Under 10,000 there in-person to see such a thrilling race. What a shame.

San Bernardino Sun 7-1-07 "Lava Man adds to resume" (http://www.sbsun.com/sports/ci_6273639)

excerpt


A fresh A.P. Xcellent still had something in reserve, but class won out in the end. The gelding who now has won three Gold Cups, two Santa Anita Handicaps and will likely be going for a second consecutive Pacific Classic score at Del Mar in August was a little too much for a 4-year-old colt still looking for his first graded-stakes victory.

"In the heat of the battle, you want a horse who wants to eyeball a horse and beat him," Nakatani said. "He's a smart horse. He definitely knows what he's doing. He's just a special animal."

Video: 2007 Hollywood Gold Cup race (http://youtube.com/watch?v=Nwwlz1sMrWc)

Worth sharing too is Video of Native Diver (aka 'The Diver' or the Black horse) (http://youtube.com/watch?v=fdkxzJI9WNg); rightfully that great horse is a 1978 Hall of Fame member.

Texarkana
Jul. 2, 2007, 09:16 AM
Thanks for posting the video link to the race, Glimmerglass!

Lava Man looked like he was going for theatrics, haha.

Barnfairy
Jul. 3, 2007, 11:30 AM
I think the MassCap would be the perfect venue for Lava Man to break his away losing streak on his way to Monmouth. ;) :D

Glimmerglass
Jul. 4, 2007, 12:05 AM
DRF 7-3-07 "Lava Man's next goal: Pacific Classic repeat" (http://drf.com/news/article/86298.html")


He will try to become the third horse to win consecutive runnings of Del Mar's richest race - the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 19. Lava Man won the 2006 Pacific Classic by 2o1/2 lengths and will try to join Tinners Way (1994-95) and Skimming (2000-2001) as repeat winners.

Judging from the way he edged A.P. Xcellent in Saturday's Gold Cup, Lava Man will be tough to beat at equal weights in the Pacific Classic over 1 1/4 miles. In Saturday's Gold Cup, a handicap, Lava Man carried 124 pounds, eight more than A.P. Xcellent, and won by a nose.

Worth pointing out - A.P. Xcellent will follow to the Pacific Classic too!


A.P. Xcellent's Gold Cup effort felt like a victory to trainer John Shirreffs. Monday, he was making plans for a rematch in the Pacific Classic.

Shirreffs was left wondering whether the late rally from third-place finisher Big Booster might have propelled Lava Man in the final yards. If Big Booster "hadn't come up on the outside of Lava Man, we might have held him off," Shirreffs said.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 24, 2007, 11:58 AM
Sad news and certainly folks will be keeping him in their thoughts ...

San Diego Union Tribune July 23, "Lava Man's groom injured" (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/weblog/2007/07/lava_mans_groom_injured.html)


Noe Garcia the groom for top California-based thoroughbred racehorse Lava Man was involved in an automobile accident near here early Monday morning that severed his left arm, trainer Doug O'Neill reported.

Garcia's van was rear-ended near an off-ramp on I-5 South in the vicinity of the racetrack, O'Neill said, spun and rolled. Garcia was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla with head trauma as well as the arm injury.

Garcia, 39, from Los Angeles, has worked for O'Neill for the last 11 years, carrying for Lava Man, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup the last two years and the 2006 Pacific Classic here. Lava Man is the likely favorite for this year's Classic on Aug. 19.

While shaken by the turn of events, O'Neill said: "He's lucky to be alive and he's got a lot to live for. He's got a job with this stable forever."

Glimmerglass
Jul. 26, 2007, 08:36 AM
An update on Lava Man's groom DelMar notes 7-25-07 "Lava Man's Groom Improving After Accident" (http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=39904)

Hit by a drunk driver


O’Neill said a number of people, including some of his owners, his brother, Dennis, and others on the backstretch have begun brain-storming on a fund-raising event for Garcia, who has prepared Lava Man for three straight victories in the Hollywood Gold (gr. I), back-to-back Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) wins and last year’s Pacific Classic (gr. I). Garcia also groomed Sky Jack, another Gold Cup winner for O’Neill.

Temporarily replacing Garcia as Lava Man’s groom is Inocencio Diaz, who groomed the handicap star after he was claimed for $50,000 at Del Mar in 2004 until the horse joined O’Neill’s main string at Hollywood Park after finishing second to Rock Hard Ten in the 2004 Malibu Stakes (gr. I).

Lava Man has earned $5,189,706 in his career. The 6-year-old gelding was claimed for $50,000 by O'Neill three years ago at Del Mar.

JER
Jul. 26, 2007, 09:04 AM
Lava Man has earned $5,189,706 in his career.

Perhaps some of that can go to his groom.

(It's nice to organize a fundraiser but there's no shortage of funds here.)

Sandy M
Aug. 1, 2007, 01:53 PM
I'm sure Sunday's papers will be full of articles on Lava Man's history equally feat. Here is one of the early ones:

LA Times July 1, 2007 "Lava Man makes history by a nose" (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-horse1jul01,1,2746716.story?coll=la-headlines-sports&track=crosspromo)

excerpt

Wasn't Native Diver the horse that survived a catastrophic leg fracture that happened during a work out? I vaguely remember reading an account in Reeves "Classic Lines"(I think) about them taking bone from his hip and pinning it in the leg, the usual "what will he do when he wakes up" business, and that he eventually got to his feet and just started eating and was managed easily through all the rehab. The story also indicated that, while they had doubts about horses' sense of self, while they were waiting for the vet pre-surgery, Native Diver plunged his head into the water bucket and would not take it out - as if he were in so much pain he was trying to commit suicide. It was a weird story/image, so I remembered it.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 1, 2007, 05:54 PM
Worth noting A.P. Xcellent just ran on the turf for the $85,000 Cougar II Handicap and he'd better stick to the dirty/poly as he went off as the favorite (no idea why - in 3 prior turf starts he was 0-3) and promptly finished last in the field of 6.

It doesn't look like he'll be running against Lava Man in the Pacific Classic this month ;)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 4, 2007, 07:09 PM
Bloodhorse August 3, 2007 "Lava Man Breezes 5 Furlongs for Pacific Classic" (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=40050)

5 fulrongs in 1:01 2/5


Trainer Doug O’Neill termed the move “fantastic."

“Basically, it was a leg-stretcher. He went by himself, and he got stronger as the work progressed. We’re very excited about where we are with him.”

Lava Man, winner of back-to-back Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) editions and three straight Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) events, is scheduled to finish his work for the Aug. 19 Pacific Classic on Aug. 11, O’Neill said.

Pronzini
Aug. 9, 2007, 11:07 AM
The website for the fundraiser:

http://www.lavamanshero.com/

Glimmerglass
Aug. 9, 2007, 11:25 AM
Pronzini, thanks for sharing that!

In terms of August 19th's $1 Million Pacific Classic (on polytrack; now at 1 1/4 mi) at Del Mar, the field of competitors just shrunk: Becrux and Runaway Dancer - will not run. A.P. Xcellent is still a possible but after that last effort of his August 1st (albeit on turf) was less then excellent.

Santa Anita Derby winner, Tiago, is a possible runner but his connections appear to be leaning towards shipping him back East for the $1 Million Pennsylvania Derby at Philadelphia Park on September 3rd.

Interestingly - this race is a "win and you're in" Breeders' Cup berth race ;) So if Lava Man wins will they invoke the "never say never" and contemplate shipping to Jersey? There are benefits as the Monmouth track is speed favoring and honnest to goodness dirt :)

Lava Man's last official workout: five-furlong in 1:01 2/5 the morning of Aug. 3 on Del Mar’s Polytrack (http://ownership.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=40050)

A sore foot appears to be far better now.

Peggy
Aug. 11, 2007, 11:15 PM
Nice article in today's LA Times by Bill Dwyer on Noe Garcia. Link (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyre11aug11,1,5711929.story?coll=la-headlines-sports) to article - will require registration or going thru BugMeNot (http://www.bugmenot.com/).

The website cited by Pronzini also has info on sending donations, tho it's not yet set up for online donations.

miss_critic
Aug. 12, 2007, 12:46 AM
Ok, that article got to me. Thanks for posting it and also thanks for the lavamanhero link. Hard to not help this guy out. Let's hope LM wins one for him :)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 14, 2007, 01:58 PM
Not his best hour but a nice look back at a Lava Man fight outside of California a couple years ago:

2005 Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8MXWT9kHLS4)

I'd suggest looking at who comes into the frame from about 7 lengths off the pace of the entire field at about the 1:22 time mark :D

With this weekend's $1 Million Pacific Classic the presence of Tiago is still unclear.


There is no shortage of challengers expected to face Lava Man, who will be ridden by Corey Nakatani.

Those considered definite for the Pacific Classic are Albertus Maximus (Joe Talamo the rider), Arson Squad (Alex Solis), Awesome Gem (David Flores), Big Booster (Garrett Gomez), Hello Sunday (Brice Blanc), Molengao (Victor Espinoza), Porfido (Joel Rosario), Salty Humor (Jon Court), Student Council (Richard Migliore), Sun Boat (Michael Baze), and Time Squared (Julien Leparoux).

Mike Smith will ride Tiago if he runs, and will be on A.P. Xcellent if Tiago does not run.

Julien seems to fly everywhere these days - Saturday he was in the Arlington Million, Sunday back at Saratoga in a couple stakes races, now going out to CA next weekend for this race.

JER
Aug. 14, 2007, 04:33 PM
Mike Smith will ride Tiago if he runs, and will be on A.P. Xcellent if Tiago does not run.

A.P Xcellent ran rather poorly recently on the turf and John Shireffs has expressed his own dislike of synthetic surfaces. Tiago, on the other hand, ran a really nice race last month at Hollywood (the Swaps, I think). I'd rather see Tiago in the race but that's probably just personal taste.

If Tiago's not there, I'm hoping for another exciting finish from former claimer Big Booster. He was flying at the end of the Gold Cup.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2007, 05:01 PM
We'll see how well Corey rides Lava Man after being sore from a spill Wednesday ...

Daily Breeze 8-16-07 "Bruised Nakatani OK for Pacific" (http://www.dailybreeze.com/sports/articles/9190337.html)


Scheduled to ride Corazondelcampeon in the $85,000-added Green Flash Handicap, Nakatani injured his left shoulder when the 4-year-old colt reared in the walking ring and dumped the 36-year-old Covina native. He went to first aid and then was transferred to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla for X-rays.

Tests for a possible dislocated left shoulder proved negative, which means Nakatani should be fine to ride Lava Man in the 17th running of the $1 million Pacific Classic on Sunday.

"It's a huge relief," Nakatani's agent, Craig O'Bryan, said. "He has a bruised shoulder. He won't ride (Thursday) and will probably take Friday off, too, but he's fine."

It will be a huge field if all the entries go to the post:

Thirteen horses, including a trio of 3-year-olds, were entered Wednesday for the Pacific Classic, Del Mar's signature race that will be run at 1 1/4 miles over Polytrack for the first time. If all 13 run, it will be the second largest field in the Classic's 17 runnings. A maximum field of 14 went postward in 2002.

Looks like everyone wants a piece of Lava Man's cake :)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 16, 2007, 11:36 PM
The draw for post positions and morning line odds (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=40280)

If Lava Man does it again it won't be by virtue of a easy field!


$1 Million Pacific Classic - Sunday August 19th
Grade 1 race, Race 8, 4:30 pm PST, Sunday
DelMar Race Course
Age: 3 & Up
Distance: 1 1/4 Miles (All Weather)

PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey, ML Odds
1. Lava Man (CA), 124, Corey S. Nakatani, 5/2
2. Albertus Maximus (KY), 117, Joseph Talamo, 15/1
3. Sun Boat (GB), 124, Michael C. Baze, 6/1
4. Awesome Gem (KY), 124, David R. Flores, 15/1
5. Student Council (KY), 124, Richard Migliore, 15/1
6. Porfido (CHI), 124, Joel Rosario, 30/1
7. Salty Humor (KY), 124, Jon K. Court, 30/1
8. Arson Squad (PA), 124, Alex O. Solis, 12/1
9. Tiago (KY), 117, Mike E. Smith, 6/1
10. Big Booster (KY), 124, Garrett K. Gomez, 9/2
11. A. P. Xcellent (KY), 124, Victor Espinoza, 8/1
12. Time Squared (NY), 117, Julien R. Leparoux, 15/1
13. Hello Sunday (FR), 124, Brice Blanc, 20/1

Peggy
Aug. 17, 2007, 12:20 AM
Corey Nakatani came off in the tunnel to the track. The horses were going thru the tunnel, we heard the bugle and then cries of "hey" "watch out" etc. Then we saw the riderless horse come back into the paddock. He was led back thru the tunnel and then was apparently turned around as he then reappeared in the paddock and was taken to the saddling area. Then there was a call for the trainer and they eventually resaddled the horse for another jockey. Sort of a strange turn of events.

Hope he's OK for the big race. Go Lava Man!

Plaza Suite
Aug. 17, 2007, 02:30 AM
I believe that Corey bruised his shoulder. Took off his mounts today, but hopefully will be back on sunday. Is anyone from here going? I'll be there routing on my better half who will be aboard Sun Boat. :D

Texarkana
Aug. 17, 2007, 09:12 AM
I can't believe the field is so large for Sunday! Even if anyone scratches, it'll still be one heck of a race.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 19, 2007, 10:40 AM
Today is the big day - and best of luck to Lava Man to make some more history ...

It will be interesting how he runs on the polytrack. If we see speed from him upfront and he takes control I just don't see him winning it. Nakatani rode a brilliant runner in yesterday's DelMar Oaks to victory that even Gary Steven's said 'wow' to!

ESPN2 carries the race LIVE at 7 pm Eastern (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/index)

mroades
Aug. 19, 2007, 07:58 PM
Student Council and Awesome Gem ran big today...Lava Man looked tired.....I was so hoping he would win

miss_critic
Aug. 19, 2007, 08:26 PM
That race was a toss out for Lava Man imo. Everything that was predicted, happened. I'm so disappointed, but not at Lava Man. What a joke.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 19, 2007, 08:49 PM
By Kingmambo out of a G2 turf winning mare. Runner up had run well on grass too.
It's the dawn of a new era.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 19, 2007, 09:12 PM
And thus we have horse racing in 2007: a 2:07.29 final time - compared to Candy Ride's record of 1:59.11 - which no matter how you slice it is pedestrian! Just as much everyone else I want horses to return safe from running but something has to be done about the time and bias against any horses that has speed at Del Mar. No other synthetic track is this dramatic about robbing speed and giving the spoils to hoses that otherwise rare would ever win a G1 on a dirt track.

I'll tip my hat to Student Council (http://www.drf.com/news/article/87502.html) for having won it and maybe he is just comming into his own. However we are talking about a horse with his sole stakes win was the "Maxxam Gold Cup" over 1 1/8 miles at Sam Houston last January.

As Randy Moss said (or maybe it was Jerry Bailey) if Student Council does go to the BCC at Monmouth - on the dirt - you won't find him going off under 30-1 and I'll happily wager that he'd be no where to find in the to thre finishes.

For those with the need for speed: Video: 2003 Pacific Classic; track and stakes record (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ymy1rwBVfKc) with a mere 4 entries.

Worth citing I liked a lot ESPN's added info graphic while they were running with the miles per hour of each of the leaders. I saw 36 mph + for Lava Man. Cool stuff

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 19, 2007, 09:25 PM
And thus we have horse racing in 2007: a 2:07.29 final time - compared to Candy Ride's record of 1:59.11 - which no matter how you slice it is pedestrian! Just as much everyone else I want horses to return safe from running but something has to be done about the time and bias against any horses that has speed at Del Mar. No other synthetic track is this dramatic about robbing speed and giving the spoils to hoses that otherwise rare would ever win a G1 on a dirt track.



I don't understand this POV.
What is wrong with tracks being different from each other? It's bad enough that they all look the same, do they have to all run the same? So Del Mar has it's own unique baises, cool. Just like any place else in the world. A horse that runs down and around the tricky windy Epsom and wins the Derby may have his arse handed to him on big huge galloping track like the Curragh.
I say, Vive la différence!!

And it's a different surface, of course it will have different times.

Pronzini
Aug. 19, 2007, 10:03 PM
Except what I'm hearing is that lots of horses hate the difference. I walked on it recently and it's a bizarre surface--light and a little slippery on top, sticky and heavy just below. It also heats up to some ungodly temperature under the California sun and it changes consistency hour to hour.

After sitting through races the Del Mar both in person and through TVG, what I am seeing is horses either struggling to get over it like they are spinning their wheels or they appear so uncertain of the footing that they just don't try hard. I've actually heard trainers say that's why they suspect that the afternoon injuries are down--horses aren't running hard enough on the afternoon soupy version of polytrack to do anything catastrophic. I also know that whatever is getting said in the press, the morning injuries aren't down. Plenty of horses are getting hurt, especially in the back end which used to be a relative rarity in racing.

Speaking only for myself, I don't want to see horses hurt and, after so many horrible Del Mar meets, I really wanted to believe in this stuff. But then I watch the races themselves and see the weird results and the triumph of attrition and the fact that no horse ever strides out or looks impressive or wins for fun. Sigh... I don't know what this is but it's not horse racing--at least not the game that I've loved for over 30 years. For the first time ever, I'm looking forward to Fairplex.

Pronzini
Aug. 19, 2007, 10:14 PM
And thus we have horse racing in 2007: a 2:07.29 final time - compared to Candy Ride's record of 1:59.11 - which no matter how you slice it is pedestrian! Just as much everyone else I want horses to return safe from running but something has to be done about the time and bias against any horses that has speed at Del Mar. No other synthetic track is this dramatic about robbing speed and giving the spoils to hoses that otherwise rare would ever win a G1 on a dirt track.



I agree with you. Steve Crist wrote an interesting article on this recently as well.

http://www.drf.com/drfNewsArticle.do?NID=87735&subs=0&arc=0

Tiago was scratched from the Pacific Classic because of Polytrack per Shiriffs

http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=40314

Glimmerglass
Aug. 19, 2007, 10:50 PM
Lava Man, according to jockey Corey Nakatani, “never was traveling up underneath me.”

“Some like it, and some don’t,” he said of Polytrack.

I agree with Drvmb1ggl3's point that not every track should - or ever could - be the same in terms of characteristsics such that a G1 winner will find the surface the same everywhere. As we know some tracks are rock hard and perfect for bullets, others are deep as they get and punish runners unaccustomed to their feel.

With DelMar I think there will be grumbling at the end of the meet and a demand for returning some speed to the track - or else the next meet will be absent a lot of the bigger names which are the draw for some bettors. Let's face it if a horse like a Tiago will never win on that Del Mar polytrack as-is then you'll see him racing elsewhere. At the end of the day if a track effectively limits the number of runners it attracts [and maybe even loses some trainers] then it [financially] is going to be punished.

Is there a radical fix required? I doubt it but Martin Collins (the man and his company) will have to be engaged to reformulate the track some more. What works in cooler England doesn't work for a track just an hour or so from Mexico ;)

The good news - this was the 3rd largest attendance at DelMar ever: 35,320 came to see if history could be made or lost. At $48.80 to win some folks went home happy. By the way Nakatani won the last race (the 10th) of the day in addition to having won the 5th race too.

Frog
Aug. 20, 2007, 08:17 AM
What the heck! 2:07!

Glimmerglass
Aug. 20, 2007, 09:45 AM
If only Lava Man's connection had been sponsored by Con-Agra Foods (http://www.pam4you.com/pages/history/index.jsp) ...


“This surface can stick to their hooves, so we spray them with Pam (no-stick cooking spray) before every race,” Cerin said. “I do it with all my horses.”

Cerin and Migliore discussed race strategy yesterday morning and devised a plan.

Student Council was purchased privately on Aug. 11 for an undisclosed amount by Rosendo “Ro” Parra, an Austin, Texas-based Dell Computers executive with extensive racing holdings.

Source: San Diego Union Tribune Aug 20 "He and his Council get extra credit for upsetting Lava Man as 23-1 shot" (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/delmarraces/20070820-9999-1s20pacific.html)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 20, 2007, 07:37 PM
The good news .. LA Times 8-20 "When the best isn't saved for last; Celebrated horse falls short with a sixth-place finish but triumph surrounds him. (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyrecol20aug20,1,1800517.column?coll=la-utilities-sports)


Then came the story of the man who had applied a tourniquet to Garcia's arm on the scene and saved his life by keeping just enough blood, a little over one liter, in his body to keep him alive until paramedics arrived. The man's name is Juan (Johnny) Arredondo-Ponce, a navy aircraft mechanic who was quickly invited into the O'Neill camp as family. Thursday night, in a fundraiser run by O'Neill's brother and business partner, Dennis, about $125,000 was raised for Garcia, and Garcia and Arredondo were reunited to a standing ovation.

Great to hear it!

miss_critic
Aug. 20, 2007, 08:04 PM
What an awesome article. Simply great.

But back on the topic of the track; I have no problems with different tracks being different from one another. However, there clearly is a problem at Del Mar. I've heard the local race goers go on and on (prior to the Pacific Classic) about how terrible the track is and how commonly horses that should win, or at the least, show up, don't. Race tracks are not modern marvels. It is engineering and geotechnical engineering is fascinating, almost an art. But it is not a mystery. We build foundations for machinary and buildings in the most absurd locations and heck, they even build islands out of nothing. Surely a track can be designed and constructed that is safe, fair, and not so straining. I am sure the engineers (hopefully they are engineers) are more dissappointed than anybody and will fix this. This is what they do. It just annoys me to no end that Lava Man was in it's wake.

And hey, should Student Councel and Awesome Gem turn out to be great horses, I retract. Until then, I can't wait until that meet is over.

Blueshadow
Aug. 20, 2007, 08:15 PM
Awesome Gem already is a pretty great horse IMHO...not exactly a slacker.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 20, 2007, 10:01 PM
There was little doubt, given all the variables, that Lava Man was beaten by Polytrack and Polytrack alone. The final time of 2:07.29 would have earned the footing a designation of "heavy" under traditional dirt conditions, and Lava Man has built his reputation on firm ground.

"We've been blessed with a lot of speed-favoring racetracks for him, but he's probably a true miler on the Polytrack," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "Any chance we could talk Del Mar into making the Classic a mile?"

Source: Jay Hovdey, DRF, "No fairy-tale ending this time" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/87782.html)

Blueshadow
Aug. 20, 2007, 10:27 PM
Sure, Jay Hovdey, Lava Man sure has earned his reputation on the speedy dirt and turf tracks of Southern California (and I would loved to have seen him win here too) but so have the other good California racehorses - Arson Squad and Awesome Gem, for example, who ran ahead of him, along with many of the other winners on this new surface... including some front runners that have gone wire to wire, by the way. It is clearly a more tiring surface - Doug O Neill is spot on there - but for ALL. Adjustments need to be made. Some are succeeding, some are not.

I have a small qualification to one of the comments made above regarding the way in which horses move across this track. Some of the most experienced exercise riders and jockeys here LOVE the way the Del Mar track feels in the mornings...and the horses really do look great out there. It's also not so obvious that the morning works are especially slow. However, the track plays differently in the afternoons, they say. Who knows why... However, Del Mar has been uncharacteristically humid both this year (and last). Maybe it's the humidity that causing it to be a little sticky. I'm sure they'll figure it out.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 21, 2007, 01:33 AM
It just annoys me to no end that Lava Man was in it's wake.


Lava Man was in the "wake" on Belmont's dirt in the JCGC a couple of years ago.
Lava Man was in the "wake" on Churchill's Dirt last Nov.
Lava Man was in the "wake" on Nad al Sheba's grass this Mar.

Hovdey hit the nail on the head. LM performs best on SoCal's fast dirt and concrete grass courses. The Polytrack at Del Mar is a whole new ball game, and one that doesn't suit him.
There's no shame in that, not every horse can operate on every surface. One of the top Turf horses in the world over the last two years is Dylan Thomas. You remember his ill-fated attempt at running on dirt last year in the JCGC? He looked like a $5k claimer, beaten the length of the stretch. He's still one of the best in the world, just not on Belmont's dirt.

There is nothing "wrong" with the surface, it is just different, and there is nothing wrong with it being different. Variety is the spice of life.

miss_critic
Aug. 21, 2007, 07:55 AM
Yeah, that's all true -we certainly know his out of Cal record!

Of course some will like and others won't. But my point is not so much about LM, it's about the material. By specification standards, this material can not be considered a success. Fortunately, it can be fixed. Also, apparently they did not install a protective coating on the poly bc of some environmental issues-and that's why the stuff is changing.

I really recommend reading some boards/forums where the local riders are writing. There is a lot going on that is not being written about-over and over and over again.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 21, 2007, 08:53 AM
Well Lava Man's none too happy with having been "robbed" of his repeat :)


Lava Man merely walked Monday morning, with assistant Leandro Mora overseeing operations at Del Mar while O'Neill tended to his flock at Hollywood Park. According to Mora, Lava Man kicked a sawhorse with his left rear leg following the race and scraped the hair off his lower leg.

"It's not an open cut, but there's no hair there," Mora said. "He was probably really [angry] he didn't win. The track was not his best friend. If the race was a week before, when it was overcast, maybe that would have helped. But the last three or four days, it was really hot, and the track changed dramatically. But if I was Vladimir Cerin, I'd probably say the opposite."

Source: Daily Racing Form Aug 21, 2007 "Polytrack agrees with some, not others" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/87781.html)

It will be very interesting to see where Lava Man is pointed to next. Doubtful for NJ although that hard dirt surface could just be his style. California converting all the tracks to poly in one form or another really limits his options. Maybe he'll be looking for something at Turf Paradise in AZ ;)

Jay Pivman cited the O'Neil is looking at Grade 1, $500,000 Goodwood Stakes at 1 1/8 miles on Sept. 29 [as is Student Council] held at Oak Tree (Santa Anita) but that is still synthetic albit much more firm like Hollywood Park's track.

Pronzini
Aug. 21, 2007, 10:01 AM
There is nothing "wrong" with the surface, it is just different, and there is nothing wrong with it being different. Variety is the spice of life.

Out of curiosity, what is the basis of that opinion? I know a lot of Southern California horsemen who train on it daily who would beg to differ.

Should a surface heat up to 115 degrees in midday? That's what Polytrack does in the afternoon under a California sun (as opposed to England's). Next time you have the opportunity to watch a race from Del Mar in late afternoon, look at the headon from the gate and watch the heat waves shimmer off of the surface. I'd never seen anything like that outside of the Mojave. Where's the saguaro and the scorpions?

Heat is part of the reason the horsemen want to water the surface. It's still unclear to me why a surface conceived and born in England can't stand a little water on it. Of course, it's unclear to me why anyone who's actually been to England and Southern California actually thought that there were any climate equivalencies whatsoever. I've lived in both places and that's just loony.

Drvmb1ggl3
Aug. 21, 2007, 10:19 AM
Out of curiosity, what is the basis of that opinion? I know a lot of Southern California horsemen who train on it daily who would beg to differ.

Should a surface heat up to 115 degrees in midday? That's what Polytrack does in the afternoon under a California sun (as opposed to England's). Next time you have the opportunity to watch a race from Del Mar in late afternoon, look at the headon from the gate and watch the heat waves shimmer off of the surface. I'd never seen anything like that outside of the Mojave. Where's the saguaro and the scorpions?

Heat is part of the reason the horsemen want to water the surface. It's still unclear to me why a surface conceived and born in England can't stand a little water on it. Of course, it's unclear to me why anyone who's actually been to England and Southern California actually thought that there were any climate equivalencies whatsoever. I've lived in both places and that's just loony.

Del Mar is costal Cali, not unlike summer time temps in northern Europe.
Here's the daily highs for Del mar the last 2 weeks.


Tuesday 08/21/2007 66°F 62°F 86% 76% 4 mph
Monday 08/20/2007 75°F 62°F 88% 57% 8 mph
Sunday 08/19/2007 79°F 66°F 84% 57% 9 mph
Saturday 08/18/2007 79°F 64°F 83% 52% 7 mph
Friday 08/17/2007 78°F 65°F 79% 52% 10 mph
Thursday 08/16/2007 77°F 64°F 82% 57% 9 mph
Wednesday 08/15/2007 75°F 66°F 80% 56% 13 mph
Tuesday 08/14/2007 76°F 63°F 85% 58% 11 mph
Monday 08/13/2007 77°F 60°F 87% 55% 9 mph
Sunday 08/12/2007 77°F 66°F 85% 56% 10 mph
Saturday 08/11/2007 72°F 63°F 80% 57% 8 mph
Friday 08/10/2007 71°F 64°F 81% 57% 8 mph
Thursday 08/09/2007 71°F 63°F 80% 58% 12 mph
Wednesday 08/08/2007 73°F 59°F 84% 57% 14 mph
Tuesday 08/07/2007 73°F 63°F 76% 57% 12 mph
Monday 08/06/2007 74°F 64°F 76% 55% 12 mph
Sunday 08/05/2007 74°F 66°F 74% 55% 9 mph

That's almost exactly the same temps as many parts of England the last several weeks. If you were talking about Santa Anita or Hollywood, then you'd have a point about heat.

Btw, the surface at Del Mar is not the same surface as has been installed at other Polytrack locations. Due to environmental concerns because of the proximty to the sea they were forced to change the mix, I believe there is no wax used, which is one of the essential ingredients. I'm not sure what they used in it's place, but it's not exactly the same surface.

As to training injuries, Polytrack and the varying AW surfaces have been used as training surfaces (that's what they were originally developed for) for close to two decades, all around the world, not just in England, but the train on such surfaces in Japan and Australia (next time you watch the Melbourne Cup look at that training track inside the Turf course, it's AW). I've never heard complaints horse's hind ends. Of course they train differently on it, much less emphasis on speed work, lots of long slow work.
Just like trainers will have to adapt when switching from dirt to AW for racing, they probably need to adapt when it comes to training on it. More stamina work and give the 3f and 4f bullets a rest for a bit, which wouldn't be a bad thing imo.

Pronzini
Aug. 21, 2007, 11:07 AM
Are you seriously comparing Del Mar California to Northern Europe? You might as well compare Morocco to Northern Europe.

I assume from your posts and your clever use of the word "arse" that you are in England right now. See the dense cloud cover overhead? It doesn't exist here. I have no idea what your UV index is right now but its higher here. And rain? None since April here and precious little before that. How about humidity? Del Mar is next to the ocean making it a little more like Italy but basically Southern California is desert.

Temperature isn't the only way you measure climate. If that's all they looked at when they bought into Polytrack, shame on them.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 21, 2007, 06:06 PM
Speaking of California Racing has anyone seen these tv promo spots for new gamblers?

An interesting twist on the Las Vegas promos

Video (29 seconds) California Horse Racing commercial 1 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYNUYwh9sD0&NR=1)

Video (29 seconds) California Horse Racing commercial 2 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7M_K2ldimY&mode=user&search=)

Video (29 seconds) California Horse Racing commercial 3 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYNUYwh9sD0&mode=related&search=)

.. for more fun and less trouble come to the track, you're this close to winning

Blueshadow
Aug. 21, 2007, 06:15 PM
They are actually pretty hilarious! Hadn't seen them played here in California before.

Peggy
Aug. 21, 2007, 06:56 PM
Well, I was at Del Mar last Wednesday and it sure didn't feel like England to me:cool:. I walked on the surface and I'd be hard-pressed to describe it easily. I considered taking a sample, but had visions of alarms sounding.

There were a lot of complaints about the footing at the dressage show that used some of the track area. The manager had gone down to a HJ show to look at the footing a few weeks before and said it looked great. But, it was much warmer at the dressage show and my understanding is that things deteriorated in the afternoon. The FEI riders refused to show or warm up on it. IIRC, a friend's description was that the horses feet didn't slip at all when they hit the surface (he may have used the word
"give"). This may sound good in a way, but the result was grabby. Sort of like having too much caulk. Interested parties might be able to get more info doing a search in the Dressage or HJ forums. The fact that it's different than the English version of Polytrack came up there as well. Some of the installations in the US have used the English version.

Blueshadow
Aug. 21, 2007, 07:23 PM
Peggy, I actually have a sample in my hand ...A friend who works on the backside got it for me (I think the racetrack gives them away). They come in small plastic bags saying "Del Mar - Cool As Ever" Polytrack Sample:D

ravenclaw
Aug. 22, 2007, 09:17 AM
There were a lot of complaints about the footing at the dressage show that used some of the track area. The manager had gone down to a HJ show to look at the footing a few weeks before and said it looked great. But, it was much warmer at the dressage show and my understanding is that things deteriorated in the afternoon. The FEI riders refused to show or warm up on it.
That's bad. And Tiago being scratched from the Pacific Classic because his trainer didn't like the track is bad, too.

I don't think all tracks should be exactly the same, but something is wrong when the surface is so tricky that people don't want their horses on it.

Since Del Mar's Polytrack is supposed to be better in the morning, could they use a water truck or something in the afternoon to wet/cool it down? I don't know if that would help or not. :confused:

Glimmerglass
Aug. 22, 2007, 09:27 AM
Regarding Martin Collins' polytrack and Del Mar - from the LA Times in July 2007 (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-turf18jul18,1,4001070.story?track=crosspromo&coll=la-headlines-sports&ctrack=1&cset=true)


"America has been a very difficult market," conceded Polytrack inventor Collins.

Some of Collins' frustration may be directed at California Coastal Commission standards and environmental concerns that forced Del Mar to install a version of Polytrack without an ingredient called "jelly cable."

The substance is a waste product imported from China — chopped-up, lubricant-coated plastic previously used to insulate stripped copper wire. It was used in Polytrack turf installed at Chicago's Arlington Park and at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky, where officials call the racing surface "outstanding."

But at Del Mar — where, as its famous advertising slogan declares, "the turf meets the surf" — concerns about copper contaminants fouling the shoreline arose after tests detected "higher levels of copper" in track water runoff.

Without the jelly cable, Del Mar's new surface reportedly became "loose" and "soupy" in the warmer afternoon hours, forcing eleventh-hour repairs.

... article continues ...

Pronzini
Aug. 22, 2007, 09:46 AM
That's bad. And Tiago being scratched from the Pacific Classic because his trainer didn't like the track is bad, too.

I don't think all tracks should be exactly the same, but something is wrong when the surface is so tricky that people don't want their horses on it.

Since Del Mar's Polytrack is supposed to be better in the morning, could they use a water truck or something in the afternoon to wet/cool it down? I don't know if that would help or not. :confused:

That's exactly what Baffert wanted and he got branded a whiny Quarterhorse trainer by the fans and some of the press. Harper from Del Mar in a recent LA Times article is very proud of the fact that they saved a million gallons of water from last year. Of course Baffert is having the last laugh at Saratoga.

Fortunately Del Mar is a short meet. People training on polytrack at Turfway, Arlington and Woodbine have all described the polytrack "wearing out" under the demands of an American racetrack where a few thousand horses train and race for several months as opposed to the English training track which is what it was originally devised for. Del Mar is also a destination meet and the sheer glamor of it may trump issues about the surface and any general disgruntlement. We'll see how this will play out in years to come.

Blueshadow
Aug. 22, 2007, 10:57 AM
As I've posted here before, the problem with tinkering with the track to improve its afternoon performance would make Del Mar officials very nervous after the debacle at Hollywood Park last winter. Recall, no matter how nice they are being about it now, that the horsemen complained about the CUSHION track there initially, being "too slow". When Hollywood Park used traditional methods to "speed up" the cushion track, the track sort of glubbed together in hardened clumps, three horses snapped their legs off within the space of a couple of hours in the afternoon, and the jockeys refused the ride the last race of the day...

I'm pretty sure that the Del Mar officials would rather keep the track safe and slow (I am aware of MAYBE one horse that's been euthanized this year after a polytrack injury - a dramatic departure from the euthanasia rate on the dirt surfaces of the past here) for the remainder of the meet and figure out how to speed it up for the complainants before the next meet...

Pronzini
Aug. 22, 2007, 11:37 AM
With regards to Del Mar, last year's surface was pretty horrendous and I don't know anyone who wants to go back to that. I'm not a huge Del Mar fan anyway, but I would take guests down there and just hope there was no incident on the track. I also knew people last year who would take the meet off because of safety concerns. I know that the book on racing owners by some is that they are greedy so and sos but really no one wants to see their investment go down on the track. So from the not inconsequential standpoint of public relations, this stuff is a success.

But so are the dirt surfaces at Saratoga and Calder and they didn't have to upend the nature of the sport to do it. There is also a real question as to how these artificial surfaces age. Del Mar with Polytrack should have been the case study and not the proposed template for the rest of California.

Blueshadow
Aug. 22, 2007, 11:53 AM
I guess my stance is that an almost 100 percent record of getting horses around the track without catastrophic breakdown is WORTH it from the PR standpoint of an industry that has struggled to attract new "viewers" for years, especially in today's clime of public sensitivity to animal welfare. In the long-run, this may be better for all - including the horsemen who are currently complaining about it, and certainly for the horses that come home safely. Part of the problem for Del Mar is that it IS such a short meet (although that may be changing a little next year I gather, to add two weeks) so that horsemen and horses have so little time to adjust.

Let's not forget that there IS a leading trainer at Del Mar, albeit not Bob Baffert, and several trainers that have had high rates of success over the ploytrack. There are horses that have run beautifully over it. I thought Sunday's 7f sprint feature - with the wonderful Greg's Gold winning in fine (and characteristic) style with Surf Cat a close second - was a great race for example, and I've seen many that I enjoyed tremendously there over the past month.

One issue that I think will arise with increasing use of artificial tracks is that we will see more horses actually LIVING through to retirement, albeit perhaps with higher rates of soft tissue injury, but with injuries that can heal - and those horses will need to find second careers.

solargal
Aug. 22, 2007, 01:58 PM
Polytrack is a mess. More horses are suffering career ending injuries than you think. They aren't publicly admitting it. At AP there has been a big problem lately and my horses will not be shipping back up there. It was great at first, but lately it has destroyed the horses. I am hearing the same of Del Mar. As bad as people thought the cushion was, Del Mar is causing more problems.

What is happening is that the horses are injuring themselves and they are making it back to the barn, even with severe injuries. I had one wrench his ankle badly. It took almost 48 hours to show up and then he was stall bound for a week before able to walk out. It seems to cause a lot of ankle problems. My only horses that have had problems this year are ones that have been on the poly.

I don't understand why the tracks just didn't put on a deeper surface, before adding polytrack. A deep sandy track may tire them out, but the poly really seems to weaken the tendons and ligaments.

This is just my personal opinion, so take it with a grain of salt.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 22, 2007, 02:32 PM
Arlington Park, a beautiful facility and trying hard to do everything right, is indeed having some mixed results. Total racing deaths are down from last year's horrible numbers but ...

DRF Aug 20, 2007 "Lethal breakdowns down, not gone" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/87768.html)


The investment of about $11 million Churchill Downs Inc. made in Arlington's new Polytrack surface came about in great part because of safety concerns raised here last summer, but a recent series of racing injuries has highlighted the fact that horses can get hurt on any surface.

In the last two racing weeks, comprising 10 days, six horses either were pulled up or broke down during races. Of those, at least three had to be euthanized, most recently a horse named High Pay in last Friday's second race. High Pay's breakdown caused meet-ending injuries to his rider, Israel Ocampo, as well as Uriel Lopez, who was riding a trailing horse.

Still, even with four fatal racing breakdowns in the last month, eight in July and August, plus another horse in that period who had to be put down after breaking his fetlock during morning work, deadly injuries are tracking below last year's rate, when 22 horses had to be put down after suffering injuries during a race. One of those deaths came about when one horse ran into another that already had broken down.

Through Aug. 20 last year, 20 horses had suffered fatal injuries during racing. The number through Aug. 19 at this meet is 14, but two of those horses went down on turf, and a third died of a pulmonary hemorrhage unrelated to track surface. So, with three weeks left in the 2007 meet, 11 horses have been put down because of leg injuries that occurred in Polytrack races. Three more suffered fatal injuries during training at the meet.

Without a sudden spike in equine racing deaths, the 2007 meet will wind up looking similar to 2005, when just 12 horses were euthanized because of racing injuries. In 2004, however, there were 24 fatal racing injuries, an even greater number than the 22 last year that spurred the conversion from dirt to Polytrack.

Pronzini
Aug. 23, 2007, 09:33 PM
Following up on the Noe Garcia fundraiser, from Bob Ike's blog:


On Thursday night, the racetrack community came together for a poker tournament and silent auction benefit for Lava Man’s injured groom Noe Garcia. The night was a huge success, raising more than $120,000 to help towards Garcia’s medical bills and a new, state-of-the-art prosthetic arm. Although this a very competitive business/sport with a tremendous amount of backbiting, racetrackers do have a history of taking care of their own. Congratulations to the O’Neill families for their tireless work on this project, which came together in a matter of only two weeks. Honorable mention to horse owner and former Syracuse basketball player George Hicker, who made the final bid ($12,000) on a Hawaiian vacation, then handed the vacation over to Garcia and his family.

Sight of the week: Dennis O’Neill rented a U-Haul truck to bring all the silent auction memorabilia down from Los Angeles. With no other mode of transportation to the post position draw party at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, O’Neill was left with no option but to drive the big orange truck. Watching O’Neill leave valet parking at the end of the night, I am quite sure he made history as the first person to ever valet park a U-Haul at swanky Torrey Pines.
http://blog.bobikepicks.com/

Blueshadow
Aug. 27, 2007, 11:08 PM
Did anyone else catch After Market's win yesterday at Del Mar? It was tight, but we argued afterwards about whether he had even been touched with the whip...That horse is so impressive physically - a giant among boys in the paddock. I am betting on him for a BC turf victory...and a nice placing by the "old" grey horse to boot, finishing very fast and impressively.

And - maybe someone else has posted on this - Baffert finally won a double with the first two races of yesterday's card here on the polytrack. Guys,
(famous last words) it's NOT the track! (Listens to deafening silence.)

Glimmerglass
Aug. 27, 2007, 11:47 PM
I don't think it was cited since his loss in the Pacific Classic, but Lava Man is being pointed to Monmouth for the Breeders' Cup!

However its going to be for the newly created 1-mile BC Sprint on dirt held on Friday vs. the traditional big Grade 1 races on Saturday. I don't think the race is even graded despite the $1M purse as it is a first year race and the BC organizers were turned down the grading board/committee from getting G1 status for Friday's races.

DRF Aug 25: "Lava Man, Tiago prepping for split Cup goals" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/87953.html)


Lava Man is more likely to use the Grade 1 Goodwood as a prep for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile over a mile and 70 yards on Oct. 26.

Lava Man, who finished sixth in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 19, resumed racetrack training on Friday. A trip to Monmouth Park would be the latest attempt by trainer Doug O'Neill and owners Jason Wood and STD Racing to get an out-of-town stakes win for Lava Man. On five occasions in the last 2 1/2 years, Lava Man has failed to win a major stakes outside of California.

Lava Man won the 2006 Goodwood, but finished seventh in the BC Classic at Churchill Downs. The Dirt Mile is being run for the first time this year.

Blueshadow
Aug. 27, 2007, 11:56 PM
Glimmerglass, is this the only new BC race to your knowledge? Also, do we know yet whether the "Win and You're In" campaign will affect non-US nominations/entries?

Glimmerglass
Aug. 27, 2007, 11:58 PM
... Baffert finally won a double with the first two races of yesterday's card here on the polytrack. Guys, (famous last words) it's NOT the track! (Listens to deafening silence.)

As has been cited before: each horse takes to surfaces differently. So I can't fault Zayat wanting Baffert to ship out his rising young stars to the "Hollywood of racing" where they can catch the eye of the press and put some fear into other owners of would-be dreaming Derby candidates for 2008.

His superstar, 2-yr old colt Maimonides never would have won so impressively at Del Mar and in fact is now such a 900-lb gorilla that only 3 other horses are confirmed for the Grade 1, $250,000 Hopeful on Sept. 3. If that same horse shows up that we saw on August 8th only the four horsemen of the apocalypse could defeat him ....

Glimmerglass
Aug. 28, 2007, 12:03 AM
Glimmerglass, is this the only new BC race to your knowledge? Also, do we know yet whether the "Win and You're In" campaign will affect non-US nominations/entries?

BC Dirt Mile details (http://breederscup.com/division.aspx?divisionname=dirtmile)

Friday and Saturday races will be telecast on ESPN


The new Breeders' Cup World Championships races, which will be run on Friday, October 26, are as follows:

$1 million Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile - 1 Mile, 70 yds* - 3-year-olds and up
$1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint - 6 furlongs* - 3-year-olds & up, fillies and mares
$1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf - 1 mile (turf) - 2-year-olds, colts, geldings and fillies

*In future years, the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile will be run at 1 mile and the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint will be run at seven furlongs. Monmouth Park track configuration mandates that the races be run at the above distances in 2007.

In addition to the three new Breeders' Cup World Championships races, there will be three other stakes races on the card funded by the Breeders' Cup and each of the three races will carry a purse of $250,000.
They are:

* a 1 1/16-miles race for 3-year-old fillies
* a 1-mile turf race for 2-year-old fillies
* a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds.

Total purses for the 10-race card on Breeders' Cup Friday will be $4 million, making it the second-richest racing day in North America.

Blueshadow
Aug. 28, 2007, 12:09 AM
I agree that different horses take to different surfaces, obviously. But I think Zayat was premature in his reaction to Del Mar's early days, for his two year olds, and did not win himself many fans out here with the tone of his announcement. Either he wants Baffert to be permanently bi-coastal, or he needs a new trainer for these horses. The fact is, there will be no more premier racing in CA on the dirt.

Baffert's two winners (one two year old and one older horse) yesterday were also pretty impressive - but not on the Maimonides scale. Noting, also, that
Pussycat Doll ran no more impressively at Saratoga than she did here...

Any comments on EZ Warrior's performance? I missed it... I always liked that colt, although I guess he's had his share of problems.

Blueshadow
Aug. 28, 2007, 12:09 AM
BC Dirt Mile details (http://breederscup.com/division.aspx?divisionname=dirtmile)

Friday and Saturday races will be telecast on ESPN

Thanks!

Pronzini
Aug. 28, 2007, 12:30 AM
I agree that different horses take to different surfaces, obviously. But I think Zayat was premature in his reaction to Del Mar's early days, for his two year olds, and did not win himself many fans out here with the tone of his announcement. Either he wants Baffert to be permanently bi-coastal, or he needs a new trainer for these horses. The fact is, there will be no more premier racing in CA on the dirt.


I think the only person Zayat needs to look after is Zayat and the amount of success he's had since leaving Del Mar speaks for itself.

Incidentally I know of an unraced two year old, very expensive, that broke down behind over the weekend at Del Mar. She had been working at Hollywood and they brought her down to get her gate card. She pulled up bad with a suspected condylar fracture. The person I heard it from is a racetrack lifer. In all of that time (almost 40 years), he knew of maybe a half dozen fractures behind. Now he has two rear condylars in his barn at the same time and he's not alone. Not to mention that this past week had 6 horse maiden fields. If this stuff is keeping them sound, where are the runners?

So color me skeptical.

Blueshadow
Aug. 28, 2007, 01:16 AM
Sure. Does the name Barbaro mean anything in the hind "fracture" story? No polytrack there. "It's the track" is the oldest excuse in the book for breakdown in racehorses. It's the oldest excuse for willful ignorance I can think of. Polytrack is just the hope of accomodating better what is already very wrong out there. Let's try - "it's the training, it's the drugs that permit them to run and train when they're already stress fractured, it's the two year old sales that force em to breeze before they're able to sustain it, it's the financial incentives to breed that make them run like hell as two year olds" ... let's try anything else, shall we? "Zayat's" record last year also stands for itself. The most promising two year old filly (the lovely Point Ashley) was done almost before she began. EZ Warrior, a similar story. I saw him breeze at Pomona before the March sale at which "Zayat" purchased him...if only that exercise rider hadn't let him get out on the turn, HE might have broken the track record (which one of Murray Smith's horses did at the March two year old in training sale THIS year). But I guess that money talks louder than racehorse welfare and longevity. It's unfortunate. Thank God we still have some great racing out there to keep us going. Thank God for great horses.

Glimmerglass
Aug. 29, 2007, 08:43 PM
For those who say that Bob Baffert cares not for Del Mar, think again ...

Union-Tribune (San Diego) 8-29 "Emperor Bob has two views on DM" (http://www.signonsandiego.com/sports/delmarraces/20070829-9999-1s29dmcol.html)


“Del Mar is still my favorite; you can't beat Del Mar,” Bob Baffert said Monday.

“I'm not sour on it. But my obligation is to my horses and owners. It was very frustrating to me at the beginning of the meeting, breezing those horses over it (Polytrack) and seeing that they just didn't like it.”

on the track ...


“We're all in favor of safety. I see [Joe Harper - Del Mar's GM] point,” Baffert said. “But when it (the surface) makes a good horse look average and an average horse look good, that's not right. And the problem was not being addressed.

“Water is the whole key. We didn't see why they couldn't put a little water on it in the afternoon so it would be more like it was in the morning.”

He did backtrack on one thing:


Baffert was quoted in a New York paper regarding Saratoga vs. Del Mar: “You've got a bunch of real racing fans here. At Del Mar all they want to do is get drunk and go to the beach.”

But that may have been just Bob being Bob, providing the press with a good quote.

“They're the same fans, Del Mar and Saratoga,” Baffert said Monday. “They're there to get out and have a good time. Here, it's more a picnic (atmosphere); there it's the beach.”

Glimmerglass
Sep. 6, 2007, 01:36 PM
Lava Man was specially hauled up to Santa Anita to be the very first horse to test out the new polytrack with a morning gallop Tuesday (8-4) at that famed track.

Aug 6, 2007 Whittier Daily News "Lava Man tests new track" (http://www.whittierdailynews.com/sports/ci_6803021)


"We're excited, this is an historic event," Santa Anita president Ron Charles said. "To have a horse of Lava Man's magnitude throw out the first pitch, so to speak, is truly an honor for us.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 8, 2007, 06:52 PM
After this weekend's dismal $250k Grade-2 Oak Tree Mile a 1-mile sprint on grass - not his best distance nor on his prime surface so clearly a terrible indicator IMHO of his talent - his connections have said New Jersey and the Breeders' Cup at Monmouth is a no go. A shame as I think they could've done well on the dirt provided it wasn't a sprint race.

San Gabriel Valley Tribune; Oct 8, 2007 "Favored Lava Man dead last" (http://www.sgvtribune.com/sports/ci_7114100)


"Corey said he never had any energy at any time," Kenly said of Lava Man.

"At Del Mar, he still tried his tail off. That deep track, he just couldn't handle it. But this track, it's like a putting green.

"I bet you when the smoke clears, he's going to come out of here with something, blood count or something else. Hopefully, this horse's health is good and he lives to fight another day."

Said Nakatani: "He's been having some issues, I believe. I don't know what they are, but hopefully, the warrior that he is, he'll get over them and get back to the old Lava Man that we all know."


If the gelding's health permits, Kenly said the Cal Cup Classic on Nov.3 is a future possibility for the gelding.

LyndaPellitteri31
Oct. 8, 2007, 07:36 PM
I was hoping they would give him the rest of the winter off and just save him for next year. At least he won't have to travel.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 1, 2007, 09:26 AM
Let's see what happens Saturday ...

LA Times 11-1-07 "Lava Man is a Classic favorite" (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-spw-horse1nov01,1,4837037.story?coll=la-headlines-sports)


Even though the two-time winner of the Santa Anita Handicap and three-time winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup is coming off two disappointing races, Lava Man was installed by oddsmaker Jeff Tuft as the 7-5 morning-line favorite in Saturday's race.

Facing only California-bred horses might be considered a break for Lava Man after sixth-place finishes when favored in Del Mar's Pacific Classic and the Oak Tree Mile.

Lava Man will carry high weight of 124 pounds and break from post position No. 10. His opposition includes 5-1 second choice Bold Chieftain and 8-1 Celtic Dreamin, two notable 2007 wannabes, just as Lava Man had been three years ago.


O'Neill is optimistic that the Cal Cup will bring out the best in Lava Man.

"Getting back to a mile and an eighth on a firm surface should be just what we want," he said. "He continues to shine in the mornings. He's shown all the signs of a big race on Saturday."

O'Neill paused before adding: "Should he not, maybe it will be time to give him some time off."

Good luck to Lava Man and Corey for a return to the winner's circle!

Lora
Nov. 1, 2007, 09:41 AM
I have a bad feeling about Lava Man running - I hope I am wrong.

Texarkana
Nov. 2, 2007, 04:23 PM
I have a bad feeling about Lava Man running - I hope I am wrong.

I don't have any bad feelings.

But O'Neill does not sound very confident in any of the articles I've read. It kind of sounds like they're stumped with Lava Man at the moment. And several times he alludes that they might be sending him "to the farm" for a breather if if he fails to fire this weekend.

Here's to hoping he'll find himself in the winner's circle!

Glimmerglass
Nov. 2, 2007, 05:25 PM
But O'Neill does not sound very confident in any of the articles I've read...

Yep, I agree


And while the biggest draw Saturday is a familiar seven-time Grade 1 winner, as many bettors will be wagering against Lava Man as those who consider him a virtual cinch.

"Getting him back to a mile and an eighth on a real firm surface should [help]," O'Neill said. "He continues to show in the morning that he's every bit as energetic. We should see a big effort Saturday. If not, then he might need a little breather."
Source: ESPN/DRF 11-02-07 (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/news/story?id=3091247)

Glimmerglass
Nov. 3, 2007, 10:13 PM
He took the lead after the final turn but had no juice to make it happen in the stretch .. faded to another poor showing with 6th place:


“He definitely will be sent to the farm," O'Neill said. "He ran a good race and he gave us a flicker of that acceleration there ... He just kind of flattened out there the last little bit.

"We’ll do all the proper diagnostics to make sure while he’s off, we’re doing what we should. Right now, he’s a sound horse. He might be a little deflated, energy wise, from such a long campaign. But knock on wood, he’s sound. I feel I’m sending a horse to the farm that’s sound but a little bit tired.”
Source: BloodHorse 10-3-07 (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=41866)

miss_critic
Nov. 3, 2007, 10:43 PM
He did look game around the turn and then for a second I thought he might come back.

Oh well, here's to next year!

Texarkana
Nov. 5, 2007, 10:00 AM
Here's to hoping a little vacation will make him want to come back and play. I hope we see him back on his form next year.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 15, 2007, 09:10 AM
Off to Temecula .. but will he do a wine tour while there? ;) I was at the Ponte winery in late September (www.pontewinery.com)


Lava Man has begun a freshening period, trainer Doug O'Neill confirmed Wednesday morning.

"He left yesterday for Alamo Pintado (in Los Olivos) and will spend two or three weeks there in the hyperbaric chamber there," said O'Neill. "Then he will be shipped to NexStar Ranch in Temecula for two or three months."

Lava Man, a 6-year-old gelding, finished sixth as the beaten favorite in his last three starts, most recently November 3 in the California Cup Classic at Santa Anita.

Winner of the last three runnings of the Hollywood Gold Cup, Lava Man should return in time to seek an unprecedented fourth straight victory next summer, said O'Neill.
Source: Hollywood Park barn notes Nov 14, 2007 (http://www.hollywoodpark.com/bet_the_races/barn_notes/barn_notes_11142007.html) (as noted by equidaily.com)

miss_critic
Nov. 15, 2007, 12:08 PM
I am so jealous. Temecula is awesome!!! Wine and horse country. Does it get any better than that? I came back with 20 wine glasses-all from sampling :)

JER
Nov. 15, 2007, 01:43 PM
NexStar is near Galway Downs which has a training track as well as XC courses up to the CIC*** level. Perhaps Lava Man will be watching from his field.

(I'm not a Temecula fan but my retirees and young horses live there and seem to like it just fine.)

Glimmerglass
Nov. 15, 2007, 02:38 PM
I'm not a Temecula fan but my retirees and young horses live there and seem to like it just fine.

Agreed that Temecula is different to be sure and not confused with Napa!

Easily spotted are the bachelorette type of alcohol-craving-groups in search of the next tasting. Plus a lot of urban cougars for those who are looking for that ;) The wineries in the region lost at least 50% (if not as much as 60%) of their vines due to disease in the last decade so it certainly has impacted business.

Going out there was a decent way to kill an afternoon while staying in La Jolla (my wife and I always stay at the Grand Colonial (http://www.thegrandecolonial.com/) and highly recommend it) although I'd prefer to spend the afternoon happily in Del Mar at a seaside pub over Temecula.

They could always ship Lava Man over to the San Diego Polo Club to watch a few chukkers :)

miss_critic
Nov. 15, 2007, 06:00 PM
Agreed that Temecula is different to be sure and not confused with Napa!



Oh absolutely! But I thought it was really pretty and had a great time. And it sure beats the 'Berks County Wine Trail' :lol:

Glimmerglass
Dec. 2, 2007, 05:23 PM
Saturday December 8 at Hollywood Park will be "Lava Man Day" at the track. I wonder if they'll haul him up for this special day?

A free DVD specially made on his history/career will be given out with paid admission to the track.

Hopefully this will make its way on the web in the near future ;)

Barnfairy
Dec. 2, 2007, 05:35 PM
Hopefully this will make its way on the web in the near future ;)

Oh I'm sure it will sooner or later. If not Exclusively Equine, then e-bay.

Glimmerglass
Dec. 9, 2007, 11:44 AM
Yesterday (Dec 7) was aside from being Pearl Harbor Day was also Lava Man Day at Hollywood Park.

An interesting aside is the former owner of that track doesn't think it will exist after 2010 and will instead be developed. Anyhow for now in honor of the great claim horse a race has been so named (http://www.ocregister.com/sports/won-year-turf-1938149-race-heatseeker):


The Californian, a 1 1/8-mile run here each summer since 1954, will be renamed the Lava Man Stakes in honor of the gelding who has won the past three runnings of the Hollywood Gold Cup.

Track officials said the name change won't take effect until Lava Man, 6, is retired.

Barnfairy
Dec. 9, 2007, 09:17 PM
Did you see that the Lava Man DVD can be purchased for $10 through Hollywood Park? There is ordering info in the Blood-Horse article: Lava Man DVD to benefit Noe Garcia (http://news.bloodhorse.com/viewstory.asp?id=42395)

Glimmerglass
Apr. 7, 2008, 04:48 PM
He'll be back at Hollywood Park:


..is “on target” to make his 2008 debut in the $150,000 Khaled Stakes April 27, according to trainer Doug O’Neill. The Khaled, a 1 1/8-mile grass race, is part of Hollywood Park’s $1.3 million Cal National Gold Rush IX program. Lava Man won the 2006 Khaled by 5 1/4 lengths.

Source: BloodHorse 4-7-08 (http://racing.bloodhorse.com//viewstory.asp?id=44463)

Texarkana
Apr. 28, 2008, 02:23 PM
I guess if Lava Man was going to lose his return, it was a good weekend to do it. Nobody is paying attention to anything but the 3 year olds. :lol:

Even though he got beat fair and square, I thought Lava Man looked much improved off his vacation. Hopefully he'll return to his old form next time out. :)

Glimmerglass
Apr. 28, 2008, 07:44 PM
When I got home from Kentucky I checked the results and wasn't too impressed :(

LA Times 4-28-08 "Lava Man fizzles out in return at Hollywood Park" (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-horse28apr28,0,1254269.story)


Those who came to Hollywood Park on Sunday to see a successful return by Lava Man left disappointed.

Making his first start since Nov. 3, the seven-time Grade I winner, which includes three consecutive wins in the Hollywood Gold Cup, finished third in the $150,000 Khaled Stakes. Mr. Wolverine, the 7-2 third choice, won the 1 1/8 -mile turf race and pacesetter Epic Power finished second.

In the Khaled, a part of the annual California Gold Rush card restricted to horses bred in the state, Lava Man wasted a perfect trip.

The 7-year-old looked poised to take over from Epic Power around the turn, which is where he took control of many of his races in his heyday. There was no magic this time.

"I thought he was 1-9 on the backstretch," said trainer Doug O'Neill, who has seen the gelding earn more than $5 million since being claimed for $50,000 in the summer of 2004.

"We're disappointed, but I thought he ran well. It used to be when he came back from a race, he wouldn't be able to blow out a match, but today he could have blown out a forest fire. He should gain a lot of fitness from this."

Doug was still talking about returning to the Gold Cup with Lava Man in another post-race article I read.

Texarkana
Apr. 28, 2008, 10:41 PM
Did you watch the race? Lava Man ran well. Although he and the leader basically just burned each other out and Mr. Wolverine came in and picked up the pieces.

It was a slightly encouraging performance at least, as he showed a lot of interest in running and didn't fizzle out.

Drvmb1ggl3
Jun. 7, 2008, 08:05 PM
Lava Man ran a credible 3rd today on the grass in the Charlie Whittingham. Led most of the way before being caught in the stretch, but still was a neck and a nose of the winner.


Charles Whittingham Memorial H. (G1)
$300,000
1¼m, Turf

1. Artiste Royal (IRE)
2. Monzante
3. Lava Man

Glimmerglass
Jun. 7, 2008, 08:35 PM
Lava Man ran a credible 3rd today on the grass in the Charlie Whittingham. Led most of the way before being caught in the stretch, but still was a neck and a nose of the winner.

It was a pretty good effort and he dug in gamely in the stretch when he initially was caught by the field and fought back.

Armchair quarterbacking on my part but I though he was sent off far too quick and aggressive from the start which robbed him of any late kick. In a turf race is there really any reason by the 1/4 mi pole to put 4+ lengths in between you and the rest of the field?

Texarkana
Jun. 7, 2008, 10:22 PM
I'll armchair quarterback, too, and say I completely agree with Glimmerglass.

I know O'Neill said he needed to win today in order for them to continue with him, but I thought that was a solid performance by a horse who's not ready to retire yet!

miss_critic
Jun. 8, 2008, 10:48 AM
I'm going to armchair too! I see what you guys are saying, but the result was much better than what we have seen in the last year, so maybe it wasn't a bad idea to get him so into the race so quickly?

Pronzini
Jun. 8, 2008, 10:55 AM
Armchair quarterbacking on my part but I though he was sent off far too quick and aggressive from the start which robbed him of any late kick. In a turf race is there really any reason by the 1/4 mi pole to put 4+ lengths in between you and the rest of the field?

That's the kind of ride Tyler Baze is known for so that must have been O'Neill's strategy. You wouldn't use Tyler otherwise.

Glimmerglass
Jun. 9, 2008, 05:36 PM
Video replay of the G1 Whittingham within this link (http://racing.bloodhorse.com/article/45644.htm) - it's worth taking a look at it!

DRF Monday June 9, 2008 "Lava Man raises his owners' hopes" (http://drf.com/news/article/95322.html)


To an extent, Lava Man revived his career with a game third in Saturday's Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park.

The performance left the owners of the millionaire 7-year-old gelding and trainer Doug O'Neill dreaming of a record-breaking fourth consecutive win in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup on June 28.

"That has got to be the game plan," O'Neill said.

O'Neill said that Lava Man emerged from the race "a little tired, but not bad."

Lava Man led by as many as seven lengths midway through the 1 1/4-mile Whittingham and was beaten a neck and a nose by race winner Artiste Royal and Monzante. The field caught Lava Man in early stretch, but he was game to the wire.

"I don't think any of us thought we'd be that far ahead of the rest of the field," O'Neill said. "He was tenacious late in the race."


The performance in the Whittingham, a race he won in 2006 and was runner-up in last year, was a brighter effort.

Sadly no mention of the aggressive (if not ineffective) ride he was given. He took 3rd in spite of the jockey on his back.

Glimmerglass
Jun. 21, 2008, 10:32 AM
Up next looks like LM will be skipping the Gold Cup, a race he's all but owned (2005-2006-2007) and isntead shipping down to where 'the surf meets the turf' the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 20

DRF June 20, 2008 "No Lava Man in Gold Cup?" (http://drf.com/news/article/95690.html)


Lava Man is unlikely to try for an unprecedented fourth consecutive victory in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup next Saturday, trainer Doug O'Neill said on Friday.

Citing the three-week gap between Lava Man's third-place finish in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap on June 7 and the Gold Cup, O'Neill said that he was more likely to run Lava Man in the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf at Del Mar on July 20.

"I'm leaning against running him," O'Neill said. "It may be a little too quick back."

Lava Man's success in the Gold Cup from 2005-07 accounts for three of the seven Grade 1 races he has won in his career. Lava Man shares the record of most wins in the Gold Cup (3) with Native Diver, who won the race from 1965-67. A 7-year-old gelding owned by the Kenly family's STD Racing and Jason Wood, Lava Man has won 17 of 45 starts and $5,268,706.

Lava Man was the leading older horse in California in 2006 and 2007, the years in which he also won the Santa Anita Handicap, but he has struggled since winning the 2007 Gold Cup, losing five consecutive starts. In the Whittingham, he lost by a neck to Artiste Royal after leading to midstretch.

O'Neill said Lava Man could start in the Gold Cup, pending a conversation with the gelding's owners, but Steve Kenly said on Friday that the Gold Cup is doubtful.

"They want to do what's right by the horse," O'Neill said. "If he's coming out of his skin, we might run."

O'Neill said the Eddie Read was "a strong possibility."

Kenly said he was focusing on the Read, with the hope that Lava Man would run well and justify a start in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar on Aug. 24. "That's our number one plan," he said of the Read. "Then, maybe we could take on the big boys in the Pacific Classic.

miss_critic
Jun. 21, 2008, 10:47 AM
Yeah, Lava Man really liked the surface at Del Mar. :rolleyes:
Speaking of which, did they do anything to that surface since last summer?

Chiniko
Jun. 21, 2008, 10:49 PM
They will add water thi year. And Lava Man will have the red hot Heat Seaker to deal with where ever he runs

Glimmerglass
Jun. 22, 2008, 12:47 PM
The Eddie Read Handicap is on the turf so the synthetic track isn't an issue but agreed he didn't take well to it either there or at HP ;)

miss_critic
Jun. 22, 2008, 09:26 PM
Oops! My bad!

Is this a Gold Cup thread? Anyway, anybody catch Heatseeker's work today? WOWZA

Chiniko
Jun. 22, 2008, 09:45 PM
1.09 but they gave him the 5/8 in 57. I've got a friend or two in CA.

miss_critic
Jun. 22, 2008, 11:04 PM
Did they say how he looked doing it?

Glimmerglass
Jun. 23, 2008, 12:16 AM
Is this a Gold Cup thread? Anyway, anybody catch Heatseeker's work today? WOWZA

That's why I said before that Heatseeker, unless some injury befalls him, will be the horse to beat in the BCC. Nobody is mastering the California synthetic surfaces at the top-end graded level like him. BB may as well stay in Jersey ;)

Glimmerglass
Jul. 17, 2008, 11:00 PM
Sunday July 20th at Del Mar on the Turf - Lava Man will make his next move in the Grade 1 (turf) $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap!

(Track: Del Mar To be aired on TVG Sunday, July 20, 2008 @ 8:30 PM ET )


$400,000 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT, Race 8, 5:30 p.m. PST)
Distance: 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)

PP. Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Lava Man (CA), 120, Tyler Baze
2. Whatsthescript (IRE), 116, Isaias D. Enriquez
3. Ferneley (IRE), 114, Victor Espinoza
4. Monzante (KY), 114, Rafael Bejarano
5. Global Hunter (ARG), 113, Mike E. Smith
6. Storm Military (ARG), 115, David R. Flores
7. Spring House (KY), 117, Garrett K. Gomez

miss_critic
Jul. 18, 2008, 08:56 PM
I'll add that you can stream this race on www.dmtc.com very easily-or via calracing.com

Go Lava Man!! But Rebellion looks strong here.

dbtoo
Jul. 20, 2008, 08:55 PM
Darn. He couldn't quite do it. He was 2nd most of the race but faded to 6th at the end.

Glimmerglass
Jul. 20, 2008, 10:31 PM
He wasn't blown away but never seemed overly comfortable and the surge when needed wasn't there. The winner, Monzante, a US-born but prior British runner, put in a dazzling powerhouse, down the middle and from dead last at the 1/8th pole to kick past the field was damn nice! 2nd place runner, Whatsthescript never knew who blew by him and it was too late to react.

It was a very nice race to see despite the fairy tale ending not there for Lava Man

Glimmerglass
Jul. 21, 2008, 04:21 PM
Sad but true although he may follow in Funny Cide's steps and remain a part of the racing scene.

DRF 7-21-08 "Lava Man's career could be over" (http://www.drf.com/news/article/96553.html)


Lava Man, the $50,000 claimer who went on to win seven Grade 1 races and earn more than $5 million, may have run his last race.

Monday, a day after Lava Man finished last of six in the Grade 1 Eddie Read Handicap at Del Mar, owners Steve Kenly and Jason Wood and trainer Doug O’Neill were debating the future of the 7-year-old gelding.

Early in the morning, Kenly and O’Neill said they were likely to retire Lava Man. By late morning, they had backed away from that position, Kenly said.

“We decided, Let’s rest on it for a week and reflect, see how the horse is doing,” he said. “We’ll take our time.

“I’m kind of getting tugged all over the place,” he said. “My first thought after the race was we witnessed the end of the era.”

But Kenly admitted that he could not bring himself to say that Lava Man had been retired.

“It’s definitely on the table that he will be put out to pasture somewhere,” he said. “I’m having a hard time saying the word.”

Aside from Wood, Kenly co-owns Lava Man with his father and sister, Dave and Tracy.

There was a difference of thought within the Lava Man camp. Monday, O’Neill was leaning toward retiring Lava Man, and even suggested that the gelding be given a lengthy break and made into a stable pony.

O’Neill, who has trained Lava Man since he was claimed for $50,000 on Aug. 13, 2004, was advising Wood and Kenly to end the gelding’s career.

“We’re definitely kicking him out and retirement is the right word,” he said. “The thing that makes it tough is that he looks so well. I think it's time to hang up the glue-on shoes.”

Lava Man is on a six-race losing streak. In Sunday’s Eddie Read, he stalked pacesetter Storm Military to the eighth pole and faded to finish 2 1/2 lengths behind the winner, Monzante. Lava Man has lost three races this year, including a third, by a neck, in the Grade 1 Charles Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 7.

His most recent win came in the Grade 1 Hollywood Gold Cup in June 2007, his third consecutive win in that race. Lava Man joined Native Diver (1965-67) as the only three-time winners of the Gold Cup. Lava Man’s other Grade 1 wins have come in consecutive runnings of the Santa Anita Handicap in 2006-07, the 2006 Pacific Classic, and the 2006 Whittingham.

A California-bred, Lava Man has earned $5,268,706 in his 46-race career, which includes 17 wins. He has earned $5,170,103 since being claimed.

Barnfairy
Jul. 30, 2008, 10:05 PM
It's official: Lava Man Retired After Stellar Career (http://news.bloodhorse.com/article/46386.htm)
Steve Kenly of STD Racing Stable, co-owner of the 7-year-old gelded son of Slew City Slew (http://www.stallionregister.com/sr_sire_page.asp?refno=970290&origin=BHonline&result=1) with Jason Wood, said the decision was made following initial examinations of the horse at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center in Los Olivos, Calif., east of Santa Barbara.

Kenly said he was told by the center's staff that X-rays taken of the horse's front ankles were significantly different from those taken earlier this year.

"When we heard about the results of the X-rays, the decision was easy," the soft-spoken Kenly said, adding, "It was time to call it a day.
A sad, but good, decision. :sadsmile:

texang73
Jul. 31, 2008, 09:14 AM
It's official: Lava Man Retired After Stellar Career (http://news.bloodhorse.com/article/46386.htm)A sad, but good, decision. :sadsmile:

Agreed barnfairy! He was fun to watch, but has definitely earned a great retirement! :D

Marney
Jul. 31, 2008, 01:40 PM
Has anyone heard where he will be going????

Glimmerglass
Jul. 31, 2008, 01:50 PM
Has anyone heard where he will be going????

Del Mar, Hollywood Park, Santa Anita, The Oaks as a lead pony for Doug O'Neill's operations. That is if STD's partners feels he'd be happier remaining "part of the scene" vs. sitting in a paddock wondering why all the cheering has stopped.

Funny Cide needed that (and is thrilled to be still among race horses) and Evening Attire returned to racing as he couldn't stand retirement away from the action. I don't recall reading if he was happy or not when he was at NexStar Ranch in Temecula, CA for R&R. He received deep tissue massages while there ;)

I doubt due to any physical concerns he'd be retrained to be a jumper or steeplechaser.

In case it was never asked before: Lava Man was named as such after a Hawaiian triathlon race in which one of the STD Stables owners, Eve Kuhlmann, has competed in several times.

Marney
Jul. 31, 2008, 02:05 PM
I hope it works out for him. What a great horse!!!

Glimmerglass
Sep. 4, 2008, 11:50 PM
Well good news: BloodHorse Sep 4, 2008 "Lava Man to Old Friends" (http://news.bloodhorse.com/article/46910.htm)

Sep 15, 2008 he'll go to Old Friends, although I can't think there would be a more "at risk" horse who is also a proud champion who should be going there.

Lava Man easily could've gone to KHP if not dozens of other stables looking for a known-trophy ...

Calico
Sep. 22, 2009, 03:10 PM
He never made it to Old Friends. There's a rumor making the rounds on blogs that he's back in training with Doug O'Neill, so if anyone knows where he is, I'd really appreciate an update.

no posted workouts yet, but he's back in my VS, so we'll see.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 22, 2009, 03:41 PM
I'm sure you likely saw this from about three months ago ...March 2009 "Old Friends's "Lava Luau" Postponed. Lava Man Arrival Now Set for June" (http://www.equestrianmag.com/news/old-friends-lava-luau-june-03-09.html)


Co-owners STD Racing Stables (Steve, Tracy, and Dave Kenly) and Jason Wood made a commitment to pension their star with Old Friends last fall after he retired from the track with over $5.2 million in earnings due to ankle problems. In these past months it became apparent that Lava Man's injuries proved more problematic. His owners have taken every precaution to improve his health and well being before his journey east, thus insuring a long and comfortable retirement at Old Friends.

The 8-year-old gelding has been undergoing cutting-edge stem cell treatments at the Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center to improve his ankle issues. "The procedure is designed to regenerate cartilage," says Steve Kenly. "Hopefully, it will make him sound for the rest of his life. We brought him to Alamo Pintado for diagnosis last year, and they recommended this new method," adds Kenly. "And who better to do it on than a horse that has some recognition."

So far the prognosis is excellent. He seems to be thriving," says Kenly. "He appears pain free and, physically, he?s never looked better." Lava Man is recovering at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez, CA, where his care has been "outstanding," Kenly notes.

It would actually be a disappointment if they did put him back on the track and he wasn't absolutely 110% sound and competitive. The guy has earned whatever time off is necessary ....

flaggy
Sep. 22, 2009, 09:05 PM
He never made it to Old Friends. There's a rumor making the rounds on blogs that he's back in training with Doug O'Neill, so if anyone knows where he is, I'd really appreciate an update.

no posted workouts yet, but he's back in my VS, so we'll see.

You may not have long to wait! Someone I know is visiting Lava Man on Thursday in Doug O'Neill's barn at Hollywood Park. I only wish I was going.

Read this article posted -SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 A Thoroughbred Info Exclusive: The Return Of Lava Man. I don't have the link though or I'd paste it here. Very exciting!

Glimmerglass
Sep. 23, 2009, 09:21 AM
Read this article posted -SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 A Thoroughbred Info Exclusive: The Return Of Lava Man. I don't have the link though or I'd paste it here. Very exciting!

The aforementioned link here - "Thoroughbred Information Agency (TIA)" (http://www.thoroughbredinfo.com/showcase/notebook.php)

as excerpted from that website


September 22, 2009 Update: Because this news is now breaking across the internet, I would just like to clarify that the above information was received from a very reliable source. Some fans are questioning whether Lava Man has returned to be a stable pony, rather than a racehorse. Although that would be a worthy career alternative for this gallant horse, we shall see what the official spin from his camp is now.

A bit of an odd site and how they're presenting this unofficial info IMHO

Calico
Sep. 23, 2009, 09:41 AM
yeah, this is all a bit strange, to say the least. And "TIA" certainly does not appear to be unbiased in this matter.

flaggy
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:21 AM
An excerpt from the article was sent to me as a press release. Turns out, it's not a press release from Doug O'Neill's camp but a blogger??

Glimmerglass
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:28 AM
An excerpt from the article was sent to me as a press release. Turns out, it's not a press release from Doug O'Neill's camp but a blogger??

Well I'd view "TIA" as being really just more of a semi-active blog with an official sounding name IMHO. Plenty of good people have blogs with the demise of traditional newspaper coverage. You have for example the well respected Bill Christine's section of Horse Racing Insider (http://www.horseraceinsider.com/blog.php/West-Coast-Wash).

However I see TIA's comments as far more akin to a fan site then a neutral source of credible information taken from directly calling the people involved. You simply wouldn't see the Clancy brothers putting out news like this on their Steeplechase Times, Saratoga Special or their Keeneland meet edition.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:54 AM
As expected in 2009 with those wanting to voice their opinion - as created about 16 hours ago ....

ePetition site: Retire Lava Man (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/lava-man)

MintHillFarm
Sep. 23, 2009, 10:54 AM
Originally Posted by flaggy
Read this article posted -SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 A Thoroughbred Info Exclusive: The Return Of Lava Man. I don't have the link though or I'd paste it here. Very exciting!



I disagree! It's not very exciting; it very concerning frankly....I really hope this a rumor and not a fact. What more would this horse have to prove and why would they risk sending him back to the track?

flaggy
Sep. 23, 2009, 11:50 AM
Originally Posted by flaggy
Read this article posted -SEPTEMBER 21, 2009 A Thoroughbred Info Exclusive: The Return Of Lava Man. I don't have the link though or I'd paste it here. Very exciting!



I disagree! It's not very exciting; it very concerning frankly....I really hope this a rumor and not a fact. What more would this horse have to prove and why would they risk sending him back to the track?

I think it is very exciting to have the opportunity to visit this magnificent horse. In my exuberance, I hastily misplaced my comment. As far as risking sending him back to the track, unfortunately that's only something the owners can address. Maybe they will at some point. I look forward to hearing about the visit tomorrow.

MintHillFarm
Sep. 23, 2009, 12:59 PM
Visiting him would be a thrill. I hope your friend will get some photos to share with you....

It's him being back at the track issue I object to. That was my point. Hopefully he will be on his way to some farm to retire ...

Calico
Sep. 23, 2009, 01:39 PM
It's official - he has a published work this morning

From the DRF:

Horse Name Date Track Dist Time Surf Cond. B/H
Lava Man 09/23/2009 HOL 3F :36.00 All Weather Track Fast H

Glimmerglass
Sep. 23, 2009, 02:24 PM
It's official - he has a published work this morning

From the DRF:

Horse Name Date Track Dist Time Surf Cond. B/H
Lava Man 09/23/2009 HOL 3F :36.00 All Weather Track Fast H

And in case it is lost in the numbers that was fast: of the horses working at that distance (http://drf.com/static/workouts/23/wHOL23.html) his time earned him 1st of 24 horses.

I'm likely doing the worst thing possible by repeating something on the Net but others claim that Doug did not want to train him, wanted him retired, but relented only after it was clear one of the owners was hell bent on a return. Better to have him with O'Neill then shipped off to someone else. As cited by others "Old Friends" clearly has been jerked along and I'd be miffed.

MintHillFarm
Sep. 23, 2009, 02:52 PM
Yes, it's unfortunately true...
BloodHorse.com Breaking News
Lava Man, the former claimer who earned more than $5 million, has returned to training at Doug O'Neill's Hollywood Park barn. The 8-year-old gelding worked three furlongs in :36 flat Sept. 23 at Hollywood, his first official work.

I agree with you Glimmerglass, regarding Old Friends... I would be a bit ticked as well. Hopefully in Doug O'Neill's hands Lava Man will be ok. Amazing that some owners can't leave well enough alone.

Woody Stephens once said to me "when you want to do more, stop", his comment certainly applies in this situation.

War Admiral
Sep. 23, 2009, 03:01 PM
Thoroughbred Times confirms (http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/racing-news/2009/September/23/Lava-Man-back-in-training.aspx). :no:

Glimmerglass
Sep. 23, 2009, 03:17 PM
From the TB Times article, it looks like Doug wants as much distance as he can get:


“If and when he runs, all of the trainer earnings will be donated to CARMA (California Retirement Management Account) so people don’t think this is all about greed.”

They didn't even have the decency to call Blowen/Old Friends?


Old Friends President Michael Blowen said on Wednesday that he was unaware of a comeback attempt.

According to Blowen, Wood told him on September 12 that Lava Man would be shipped to Old Friends in October.


O’Neill said he was aware of the consternation among some fans, who have taken to chat rooms and message boards on the Internet to voice their displeasure, that an eight-year-old horse with bad ankles would be put back into training after earning his owners millions of dollars.

“If and when we ever get to a point where he could race, we’d only talk about running him against Grade 1 competition. I’m going to make sure we do right by the horse, first and foremost.”

While faaaaaaaar too optimistic you'd think they are going to try him in the Breeders' Cup Classic.

ASB Stars
Sep. 23, 2009, 03:24 PM
Well, Blood Horse has it now, too...

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52670/lava-man-back-on-work-tab-for-doug-oneill

I hope this isn't shades of George Washington...:cry:

Drvmb1ggl3
Sep. 23, 2009, 04:40 PM
Well, Blood Horse has it now, too...

http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/articles/52670/lava-man-back-on-work-tab-for-doug-oneill

I hope this isn't shades of George Washington...:cry:


I don't see what bringing George Washington back had to do with him breaking down. He could just have easily never gone to stud, stayed in training and broke down. He was just plain unlucky.
People complain and moan that horses are retired too early, then when one comes back they complain. You can't win for losing with some people.
IF Lava man is sound, and IF being the operative word, I don't see any problem bringing him back to racing fitness and racing him. He's only 8 years old.

QHEventr
Sep. 23, 2009, 05:18 PM
I agree....IF...IF Lava Man is sound, why not give him another shot.....It sounds, from the article, like he was unhappy not having a job. My former advanced event horse retired 4 yrs ago after a pasture injury (at the hight of our career), and he is still on and off as far as total soundness....Very comfortable, but un level. I have to say that for the first 2 years he HATED not working. He would stand at his stall and bob his head ferociously when I took someone else out to tack up...It was always..."take me! Me NExt" If He had come sound, you bet I would have given him another shot....If he ever is sound again, I'll work him back into light riding to keep his brain sound.

Some people dont' get the the top athletes, horses included, WANT to be working. They love what they do! I hope that Lava Man is sound and happy, and cannot imagine Doug Oneil taking him back into his barn if that was not the case. Stem Cell therapy can work wonders in some cases! I for one, would love to see him return as a better version of the horse he was before. Think Better Talk Now who is 10 and is still VERY competitive at the G1 level.....Brass Hat is 8 I think? He's also doing very well!

lets give them a chance, and the benefit of the doubt....For now

ASB Stars
Sep. 23, 2009, 05:35 PM
I don't see what bringing George Washington back had to do with him breaking down. He could just have easily never gone to stud, stayed in training and broke down. He was just plain unlucky.
People complain and moan that horses are retired too early, then when one comes back they complain. You can't win for losing with some people.
IF Lava man is sound, and IF being the operative word, I don't see any problem bringing him back to racing fitness and racing him. He's only 8 years old.

Well, if they hadn't brought GM back, he wouldn't have broken down, now would he? Why not leave him retired? Was there some desperate verdict waiting to be snatched up?

And, I did say "shades", as in the ghost of...I hope that Lava Man makes out well, regardless of what happens next...

Drvmb1ggl3
Sep. 23, 2009, 05:55 PM
Well, if they hadn't brought GM back, he wouldn't have broken down, now would he?

Bizarre logic.
If he had never raced in the first place he wouldn't have broken down either, now would he? By that logic no horse should ever race.
There is no correlation between the fact that he was retired and then came out of retirement and the fact that he broke down. If he had never gone into retirement and had stayed in training (and he would have received the winter off anyway, just like all Ballydoyle horses do) and he then broken down, then would your argument be that no horse should stay in training as a 4yo?
Very bizarre and faulty logic.

He was plain unlucky, like any number of others before him and since.


Why not leave him retired?

Why not race him?
He's a race horse, that's what they do.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 23, 2009, 05:57 PM
DRF 9-23-09 "Lava Man working for comeback" (http://drf.com/news/article/107486.html)

excerpts


Lava Man was scheduled for retirement at Old Friends in Kentucky, an event delayed once in spring and now indefinitely postponed pending resumption of a racing career by one of the most popular geldings to race in California.

"He was telling us, don't send me to Kentucky," Kenly said. "This horse wants to train, probably more so than most horses."

Lava Man returned to Hollywood Park on Sept. 11 and continued to progress.

"We have his best interests in mind," Kenly said, "and if he tells us anytime he doesn't want to do this, that's it."

O'Neill said if Lava Man makes it back, all his trainer purse earnings would be donated to the racehorse retirement foundation CARMA.

Both Kenly and O'Neill emphasized that Lava Man will return at top class, or not return at all.

"Either he competes at the highest level, or nothing," Kenly said.

mintano
Sep. 23, 2009, 05:58 PM
By all means if the horse doesn't like being a pasture puff get him a job. But how bout a job thats not going to just destroy his ankles all over again.

I don't care how well the stem cell treatment worked the horse is an 8yo with some serious soundness issues. That's called tempting fate in my book.

DickHertz
Sep. 23, 2009, 06:34 PM
I agree....IF...IF Lava Man is sound, why not give him another shot.....It sounds, from the article, like he was unhappy not having a job.

A lot of former boxers can't adjust to life outside the ring either, so they go back into the ring and end up with brain damage or parkinsons. Just because he's not happy doesn't mean he has to go back into training to be, what, an optional claimer horse at best?

Rubyfree
Sep. 23, 2009, 07:01 PM
I agree....IF...IF Lava Man is sound, why not give him another shot.....It sounds, from the article, like he was unhappy not having a job.

There are many, many other career options available outside of 'race horse'. It's a high demand job, physically, and he was retired because he wasn't up to the task any longer. Tossing him back into training for the sport that roughed him up in the first place seems..... silly. Let's call it silly. And if it's true that Old Friends wasn't contacted before this broke then- let's call that 'silly' too. Sheesh.
It may not be based in greed, but there are some shades of romanticism and anthropomorphism here. Still not OK.
I hope this goes better than I anticipate it will.

Pat Ness
Sep. 24, 2009, 11:06 AM
I agree with Rubyfree.

Most healthy horses like having a job so it is not surprising Lava Man is happy back at the track. I believe he could also be happy doing a job somewhere else. Even if it is just enjoying a gallop around a training track 4 times a week at his retirement home in KY.

Yes - I like seeing the older horses run - but this one just does not feel right...

Marney
Sep. 24, 2009, 02:12 PM
I hope nothing happens to him. He is such a great horse!

ivy62
Sep. 24, 2009, 03:13 PM
To me if your horse has been sound and racing into an older age fine but he has not only had problems but has had major intervention to hopefully return him to a level he has a cold chance in h*^l of reaching..Why put him through this? Send him somewhere where he could be used for different things..
Does anyone know what his personality is like? I know Funny Cide would not fare very well in a nice quiet home...that is why he is where he is....
Maybe he would like dressage? heehee...

Glimmerglass
Sep. 24, 2009, 04:09 PM
Bits of commentary from a few scribes:

DRF's Executive Columnist - Jay Hovdey (and husband to jockey Julie Krone) 9-24-09: (http://hovdeyblog.drf.com/hovdeyblog/2009/09/old-man-lava.html) Old Man Lava


Lava Man was a grand racehorse, but he has never been mistaken for Precisionist or John Henry. Perhaps there is some kind of a comeback in the old boy, although no one--especially his owners--should count on it. And it is simply delusional to think that Lava Man will be able to return to any kind of Grade 1 level. His form tapered badly with the advent of synthetic surfaces in Southern California. His final pair of significant wins--one on dirt and one on synthetic--were desperate finishes against horses never heard from again. Even at the peak of his competitive ability, Lava Man could not take his best race outside Southern California. Today, he is a sound and healthy animal, but to suggest that minor ankle surgery and soft tissue stem cell treatments can reverse any of those harsh realities is placing far too much faith in veterinary science, and too little belief in the natural rise and fall of a Thoroughbred's competitive arc.


But worry not. Lava Man is in good hands, which include his one-armed former groom, Noe Garcia. Truth is, no horse will be having more fun than Lava Man back at the track, where he gets to be lord of all he surveys, sleek and sauntering, a reminder to everyone of just how good a racehorse can be. So let him have his quick, short workouts, his rich, nourishing feed, and his round-the-clock concierge service. If he makes it to a race, I will be pleasantly surprised. In the meantime, let Lava Man enjoy his personal fantasy camp.

ESPN's Jeremy Plonk 9-24-09 "Not so Favre-lous" (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/columns/story?columnist=plonk_jeremy&id=4499660)


Sure, there are some similarities between Lava Man and Favre, who both rank as great athletes who have come out of retirement after sustaining injuries. But the massive difference is that Lava Man didn't chose to; and if Favre goes out next Sunday for the Vikings and his injured arm falls off, people will say that he went to the well one too many times and gets what he deserves.

But Lava Man didn't write his script; the humans did.

I don't care how many quotes I read about how much happier Lave Man is now than when residing in a paddock somewhere. No doubt a good horseman can read his animal's emotions to some degree; but until Lava Man inks the contract himself and tells us all just exactly what he really wants to do, this is just another case of humans putting themselves before the animals they claim to love.

Obviously the connections of Lava Man will say they'll only run the old guy if they're 100-percent sure he's healthy and capable. And the truth of the matter is they will have no clue.

Barnfairy
Sep. 24, 2009, 04:32 PM
Lavre Man.

Sigh.

Whether they're living in a dream world or not, time will tell, but one thing's for sure: the eyes of the (racing) world are upon them. If he's truly not up to it, I would hope this thing will get the kibosh pretty quick.

flaggy
Sep. 24, 2009, 07:01 PM
For what it's worth, my sister visited Lava Man this morning. She said he looks fabulous and was enjoying all the attention. As you can imagine, he's getting a lot of it and is definately ruling the roost in Doug's barn. She said he's bigger (as in chubbier) than when she saw him a few ago at Magali farms. Definately not what you'd call racing fit.

He was enjoying being hand grazed so much he didn't want to go back in his stall! I hope to see lots of pictures soon.

Laurierace
Sep. 24, 2009, 07:11 PM
Lavre Man.

.

Now THAT's funny!

MintHillFarm
Sep. 24, 2009, 07:32 PM
From Glimmerglass' quote of O'Neill: "O’Neill said he was aware of the consternation among some fans, who have taken to chat rooms and message boards on the Internet to voice their displeasure, that an eight-year-old horse with bad ankles would be put back into training after earning his owners millions of dollars.


I think the bad ankle issue should be enough to send this horse into a deserved retirement. What a bunch of greedy people (I am not directing that comment at his trainer).

Laurierace
Sep. 24, 2009, 07:34 PM
Isn't the whole point that his ankles are no longer "bad?"

MintHillFarm
Sep. 24, 2009, 07:40 PM
How does that happen? Bad ankles I think, stay with the horse. Or am I wrong? Maybe in the owners mind they are no longer bad but I am not convinced!!

Laurierace
Sep. 24, 2009, 07:48 PM
You might want to read about the whole situation. The short version is he underwent an experiemental treatment and has actually regenerated cartilage or so the diagnostics say.

Blinkers On
Sep. 24, 2009, 09:27 PM
I doubt the ankle is "better" It was the size of my head. I would imagine it had no flex to it. I guess we just hope he stays safe. I am sceptical. I've seen the thing.

DickHertz
Sep. 24, 2009, 09:37 PM
But they say it "looks like the ankle of a 3 year old".

I'm sure it does now, let's see what it looks like after a few workouts.

Blinkers On
Sep. 24, 2009, 10:07 PM
He keeps black lettering and we might find out soon enough.

MintHillFarm
Sep. 25, 2009, 06:53 AM
You might want to read about the whole situation. The short version is he underwent an experiemental treatment and has actually regenerated cartilage or so the diagnostics say.

I am not convinced! It sounds like a medical breakthrough if that is the case.
But who knows, stranger things have happened medically in the past...

ivy62
Sep. 25, 2009, 07:27 AM
Since Lava Man cannot breed does he have to give his life to his connections so they feel they have gotten everything possibly out of him? He won over 5 million on the track isn't that enough?
This is just pure greed...let him go to Old Friends and be looked upon as the star he is not the memory of a bad decision from these owners and trainers. The trainer should say no way!
Public opinion would roast racing if he were to break down....Don't we have enough bad press?
I wish public opinion could be heard now...or would a racetrack vet scratch him because he is not sound enough to race? That vet would be hero in my book.....
JMHO

Jleegriffith
Sep. 25, 2009, 08:39 AM
This story makes me sick and overall I really do love racing. Perhaps I am just a bit jaded having just euthanized a perfectly lovely 5 yr that had an ankle that looked like a bomb went off in it. Severe arthritis, inoperable chips, a bone spur and everything falling down upon itself fusing together. He was said to be "really sound" and was racing on that ankle. He couldn't even stay comfortable in the pasture when he arrived at our program. Perhaps he could have been pasture sound a year down the road when the ankle fused but 2 bute a day to keep a horse walking around sound is not my idea of doing the right thing for the horse.

Hope Lava Man fairs better but I simply can't understand the logic behind this. I have heard several trainers say a horse just isn't happy at the farm..well no some really aren't for a while. If they want a job then ride them lightly around the farm but do they need to go back to the track?

Frustrating!

ASB Stars
Sep. 25, 2009, 09:43 AM
Bizarre logic.
If he had never raced in the first place he wouldn't have broken down either, now would he? By that logic no horse should ever race.
There is no correlation between the fact that he was retired and then came out of retirement and the fact that he broke down. If he had never gone into retirement and had stayed in training (and he would have received the winter off anyway, just like all Ballydoyle horses do) and he then broken down, then would your argument be that no horse should stay in training as a 4yo?
Very bizarre and faulty logic.

He was plain unlucky, like any number of others before him and since.



Why not race him?
He's a race horse, that's what they do.

It may seem bizarre to you, and you are welcome to that thought, but my point is- why go backwards? There is a progress to things. If, as you say, they should have kept GW racing, and THEN retired him to stud, fine. But there was no reason to send him back, when he had been retired- even if he did fire blanks. Thank God the Cigar folks just took the money!

Lava Man is no Cigar- and he is a gelding, as well- but there seems to be no real point to bringing back a hard knocking campaigner, except greed. I love the article that GG posted, with the bit about *knowing* that the horse wants to continue. Bullhockey. What you know is that the horse is attempting to do what he was trained to do, and what he believes will please those humans around him. As his humans, they are supposed to know better- and care more- than to let him go out there and get hurt. He certainly doesn't owe them a dime.

Drvmb1ggl3
Sep. 25, 2009, 10:53 AM
It may seem bizarre to you, and you are welcome to that thought, but my point is- why go backwards? There is a progress to things. If, as you say, they should have kept GW racing, and THEN retired him to stud, fine. But there was no reason to send him back, when he had been retired- even if he did fire blanks.



When Gorgeous George was sent to stud at the end of his 3yo year people were bitchin and moanin, just like they do whenever a top 3yo is retired.... "greedy bastards, why don't they keep racing them!"
They brought him back, and people were excited, they were going to get to see their star again. This was a horse that had really captured the public imagination in Ireland and Britain. He was a star.
Once again, there was no correlation between his short stint at stud and his breakdown 8 months later in New Jersey.
There is nothing backwards about racing a horse after what is a short layoff, which in GW's case he would have got more or less the same lay-off anyway, as they neither train nor race Ballydoyle horses during the winter.
You are way out of line with your crazy suggestion that his demise was because he was "retired".
Soldier of Fortune hasn't raced since the BC last year, he is still in training pointing at this year's BC, but is it ok for him to race again because he has not been officially "retired"? What's the difference? Just an announcement?
It's not like GW spent years at stud and then went back racing as an out of shape overweight cresty necked stud. He was still a racehorse, and people wanted to see him race.
What about Da Hoss, came back after a 2 year layoff and wins the BC Mile. What's the difference?

Calico
Sep. 25, 2009, 11:20 AM
Soldier of Fortune hasn't raced since the BC last year, he is still in training pointing at this year's BC,

I did not know SOF was pointed toward the BC again - awesome!

Horses, stakes winners or not, come back all the time from long layoffs like Lava Man's. It's not unusual, by any means. (Midnight Lute, to add to Drvm's list). Additionally, Lava Man has great care and he's in a great barn where he's treated like a king. All racehorses, regardless of age and class, should be so lucky. :)

Jleegriffith
Sep. 25, 2009, 11:47 AM
I don't have a problem with horses returning back to racing if the injury is such that it was minor and they healed. There are many things that can't be healed and I suppose that is my concern in this case. Particulary from the standpoint of who cares for him when he is doing racing? The damage of more training and race on already compromised bones and joints can be so extensive that the horse may not even be pasture sound. I get to see that side up close and personal when trainers race these horses until they are completely used up and then want others to "help" them.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 25, 2009, 02:03 PM
Additional media story with more of Doug's feedback and the owners ....

Wittier Daily - Art Wilson columnist 9-24-09 "Possible Lava Man comeback stirs debate" (http://www.whittierdailynews.com/sports/ci_13416782)


Trainer Doug O'Neill has some advice for the bloggers and chat-room regulars who have been bashing the Lava Man camp for sending the 8-year-old gelding back into training this week in hopes of a possible comeback.
"I would have them e-mail or talk to the doctor himself and ask him, `OK doc, off the record, if it was different owners and a different trainer, would you advise them to put this horse back in training?' He would say 100 percent yes," O'Neill said.

"People are going to have their own view. I am getting e-mails, people saying I should be ashamed of myself. You just respect their views and hope you're doing the right thing because in your heart you know it's right."

"I went up there about a month ago and watched him train (at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez) and saw it with my own two eyes," O'Neill said. "His ankles are tight and cold, he's training like a beast and he looked great.


As excited as Kenly is about a possible comeback by the gelding, he's also been soured by the number of Internet bashers.

"Lava Man has a MySpace page, and my stepsister is on there and she's getting hate mail from people who are all (upset) and angry," he said. "It's stupid. My one friend who blogs a lot and is on a lot of these chat sites, he sent me a chain where these guys were all just ripping (the decision), saying we should be arrested, these guys are this and that, they're greedy, they must be out of money.

"I don't even feel like reading any more of that stuff. I don't need to. We have the best intentions here and I'm comfortable with what we've done, where we are and how we got to this point and I don't really care what they think, to be honest with you."

In regards to being race ready for a start ....


That's a decision O'Neill said probably is about two months away.

"He's got three or four months of training under his belt at the farm, so he's got a pretty good foundation and he's done well the first couple weeks we've had him," O'Neill said. "But he hasn't looked this good in a long time. He looks fantastic. We're very excited."

I guess I have to ask the basic question: why are they considering racing him again? If the explanation is that he's restless, which is understandable, then is prepping him for a Grade-1 what will cure him?

Rubyfree
Sep. 25, 2009, 04:12 PM
.... He's got three or four months of training under his belt and nobody bothered to mention this possibility to Old Friends?

A quote from the Thoroughbred Times article:

“This horse is bred to run, he wants to run, mentally he wants to do it, and he’s sound,” Kenly said. “I think he’s sounder now than he was last year when we brought him back and he came back and almost won a Grade 1 race. Wouldn’t this be a fantastic story if he came back and did something like what The Tin Man did at nine? This sport needs its heroes.”

I stand by my previous statement of romanticism run amok.
I have lost a lot of respect for these connections including Doug O'Neill. Even if Lava Man wins the friggin' World Cup, Arc and Indy 500 next year, I have no doubt that a lot of fans will still be wondering why, exactly, this was necessary. I think most would agree- he was already a hero.

ivy62
Sep. 25, 2009, 04:43 PM
This is just someone trying ot justify what they are doing..Give him a job as a pony horse or something...Let him go to a nice place and be a horse! How do they know what a horse is thinking or feeling..Most good horses will give their all and lose the race or life to please their human!
Is there a way to contact these people?

Laurierace
Sep. 25, 2009, 05:46 PM
You know for all the people saying that Lava Man should not be given a chance to run again even if he is sound, think about Kona Gold.

ivy62
Sep. 25, 2009, 07:31 PM
Accidents happen but running a horse that has known injuries is asking for trouble in my opinion. This horse owes his connections nothing. He did an awesome job for them so why can't they reward him with an easy life?

farmgirl88
Sep. 25, 2009, 07:35 PM
how sad:no:

Dont people just know when to quit? The poor horse has won over 5 million for them and ran his heart out, injuries and all. You would think they would just retire him from the track and find him a different job like dressage or hunters or something where he isnt pounding and plugging away at the track.

I really feel for this lovely boy. he deserves his time off the track; he has more than proved himself. shame on this idiots for trying to suck every last damn dime out of him. the animal is going to be crippled if they keep it at...or worse

Blinkers On
Sep. 25, 2009, 08:47 PM
Let's hope we only ever refer back to this thread with happiness that he wins and is eventually retired sound and happy

MintHillFarm
Sep. 26, 2009, 02:38 PM
You know for all the people saying that Lava Man should not be given a chance to run again even if he is sound, think about Kona Gold.

Kona died at 15 while in retirement, so I am not following what you are saying.

MintHillFarm
Sep. 26, 2009, 02:40 PM
Accidents happen but running a horse that has known injuries is asking for trouble in my opinion. This horse owes his connections nothing. He did an awesome job for them so why can't they reward him with an easy life?

You are right. The reason likely is money, what else? If the horse was bored at the farm there are other things he can do in his life other than train and race.

Barnfairy
Sep. 26, 2009, 02:51 PM
Kona died at 15 while in retirement, so I am not following what you are saying.I can't speak for Laurierace, but it is not lost on me that horses can and do catastrophically hurt themselves in retirement at pasture.

Interestingly, Kona spent some time working as a pony at the track after he retired from racing, before he went to the KHP.

As I've said before, time will tell whether or not Lava Man's peeps are delusional.


Let's hope we only ever refer back to this thread with happiness that he wins and is eventually retired sound and happy Agreed.

Laurierace
Sep. 26, 2009, 03:19 PM
Kona died at 15 while in retirement, so I am not following what you are saying.

That is the whole point. Retirement obviously didn't keep him from being fatally injured. Rule number one is shit happens. Rule number two is people can not change rule number one. If the horse is sound let him run. If not, retire him and hope for the best.

Nikki^
Sep. 26, 2009, 03:35 PM
I was thinking about this in a different sense. This experimental treatment that they gave to Lava Man made him sound right? What did it actually do? If it really healed him to be racing sound and perhaps it Lava Man stays sound on his ankles, wouldn't that be a new treatment that they can give to horses?

Think about all the race horses that can be healed with this new treatment. What about our show horses? Retired oldies we want to feel comfortable? How about putting this new treatment on humans so instead of surgery, this new stem cell treatment can heal our joints. No more replacement surgery. Think about it.

Good luck Lava Man! May you stay sound and healthy.

Laurierace
Sep. 26, 2009, 03:38 PM
I was thinking about this in a different sense. This experimental treatment that they gave to Lava Man made him sound right? What did it actually do? If it really healed him to be racing sound and perhaps it Lava Man stays sound on his ankles, wouldn't that be a new treatment that they can give to horses?

Think about all the race horses that can be healed with this new treatment. What about our show horses? Retired oldies we want to feel comfortable? How about putting this new treatment on humans so instead of surgery, this new stem cell treatment can our joints.

Good Luck to Lava Man and may he stay sound and healthy.

Exactly. They said that it was a requirement of the experiment to test it on the race track to see how long it worked for. Not that they had to train until he broke down but at least test it and see how he held up.

ivy62
Sep. 26, 2009, 03:55 PM
So he has agreed to be a guinea pig and a test animal...I just do not like that they left Old Friends out in the cold. They never told them that wasn't coming...Why are they trying for Grade 1 level? If they want to see him hold up why can't he run in a lesser allowance race or something...
There have been so many well publicized breakdowns in recent years..How many owners have successfully brought back a horse after an injury andhs done that well? I ask this with curiousity....

Laurierace
Sep. 26, 2009, 04:02 PM
They have worked him once. How on earth could they have a race picked out already? How many horses who made a comeback had an experimental procedure that appears to have been a success so far?
Look, I have never ran a sore horse in my life. Once I even scratched a horse because she had flys on her. I couldn't figure out why she wouldn't twitch them off or bite at them unless something was wrong. But I have no problem with racing a sound, willing horse at any time.

ivy62
Sep. 26, 2009, 04:36 PM
There was a comment about him only racing in grade 1 company....
You are not the norm, I wish you were that is for sure....And I wish him a safe journey but my point is hasn't he done enough for these guys?

Calico
Sep. 26, 2009, 05:58 PM
I don't have a problem with horses returning back to racing if the injury is such that it was minor and they healed. There are many things that can't be healed and I suppose that is my concern in this case. Particulary from the standpoint of who cares for him when he is doing racing? The damage of more training and race on already compromised bones and joints can be so extensive that the horse may not even be pasture sound. I get to see that side up close and personal when trainers race these horses until they are completely used up and then want others to "help" them.

I understand what you're saying here (believe me, I do) and your point is valid. Yesterday, the 2002 Brazil 2yo Filly of the Year was started after spending 7 years as a broodmare, and she broke down. That is utterly maddening. But Lava Man is nowhere near that scenario - he's getting great care despite the owners acting like jackasses. If they had told us months ago that Lava Man was sound and that they planned to return him to racing instead of letting us find out by rumors that he was conditioning under the cover of early morning darkness, I believe that a lot of the outrage could have been avoided. The owners are not classy, but that does not mean their decision to return Lava Man to the track is unsound. I'm conflicted, obviously, but I know and trust Doug O'Neill, and Lava Man is getting top class care. O'Neill knows what's at stake, his skepticism is very apparent, and that is a good thing. He will take care of Lava Man.

Laurierace
Sep. 26, 2009, 06:11 PM
There was a comment about him only racing in grade 1 company....
You are not the norm, I wish you were that is for sure....And I wish him a safe journey but my point is hasn't he done enough for these guys?

He has done enough for his owners without question. He could possibly do more than ever dreamed possible for the equine population for generations to come however.

ivy62
Sep. 26, 2009, 06:24 PM
Isn't there any other way to see if the therapy was good? I think a dirt track or Pro-Ride if he stays in Cal could be very dangerous..I really like this horse and do not want to see anything happen to him....Can I take him home? I would pay his bills.....Do you think he would like trail riding on the Rockefeller estate?

Blinkers On
Sep. 26, 2009, 09:29 PM
Here's hoping it's Cal bred company. I am sceptical and hopeful for a good ending. Doug is not Mandella and he's not Headly... jus sayin

Louise
Sep. 26, 2009, 09:52 PM
It's the experimental nature of the therapy that bothers me. You're sending a horse back out to race that has "grown new cartilage." That may be, but do they know that cartilage is as good as his original? Do they know that the new cartilage is going to hold up to the stress of racing at his level as well as his original would have? Or, in his case, didn't.

I keep going back in my mind to another treatment, for another species (human) that everyone thinks is so wonderful. With some of these osteoporosis medications, it is claimed that "you can even grow new bone." Yet, I have heard the opinion, from people on COTH who are experts in that field, that there is the possibility that the new bone is not of the same quality as original bone.

Experimental means just that. I would have a hard time letting a horse of mine be subjected to an experiment like this. I just wonder at his owners for allowing it.

Glimmerglass
Sep. 28, 2009, 12:46 AM
One of the few columnists who defends the actions of returning him back to training if not racings: ESPN 9-25-09 Bill Finley "Cool the Lava Man hysteria" (http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/horse/columns/story?columnist=finley_bill&id=4505069)


We will hear between now and Lava Man's first race that it's really not about the money, but about giving a gallant old champion another shot at what he really loves to do, which is to run. That's nonsense. Of course it's about the money. Kenly and Wood stand to make a decent chunk of change should Lava Man return to form. There's nothing wrong with that, as long as they don't do anything to endanger the horse.

In the meantime, Kenly and Wood need to take a cue from O'Neill, who has pledged his share of Lava Man's earnings to a horse welfare charity. To help themselves in the court of public opinion and quiet the cries that they are motivated only by greed, the owners need to do something along the same lines.

The real test will come in the months ahead. Should they continue to race Lava Man when it becomes clear that he doesn't have it any more, drop him into a claimer or do anything obvious to put him at risk, then, yes, they will deserve to be vilified. I will lead the charge.

For now, everyone needs to give O'Neill, Kenly and Wood the benefit of the doubt. This isn't that bad of an idea.

What I find odd but everyone seems to do it is whip out some horse from the past to compare another to either. That is either using X horse in defense of it working or Y horse to illustrate it not. Da Hoss, for example, proving serious injury can be overcome and a miracle can happen. (Obviously too many to cite of those who have been injured and never return to form or worse.)

Every horse is different even if they have the same injury - Barbaro died of his while Hoist The Flag with the same managed to have a very successful stud career - however I do think the connections should really think long and hard as to what they want to gain from this.

Is taking just 1 more Grade 1 race the goal? Or do they want to race him at 9-yrs old in multiple G1 races?

Is there a dollar amount they'll try to hit? Point of reference is that the great Citation, despite all he did at 2 and 3, was forced to race at 6 while nowhere near his form at 5 (let alone the phenominal 3-yr old effort) because Mr. Wright wanted to attain the goal of $1 million. Which his did and was retired right afterwards.

Or is it until the horse is no longer perceived to be craving the races again?

DickHertz
Sep. 28, 2009, 01:32 PM
I'm sure the horse is better physically, but that doesn't mean he'll still have the same will to win mentally. Often, you can fix the problem, but they'll never come back into their old form because they remember the pain of running hard and getting sore.

MintHillFarm
Sep. 29, 2009, 12:53 PM
That is the whole point. Retirement obviously didn't keep him from being fatally injured. Rule number one is shit happens. Rule number two is people can not change rule number one. If the horse is sound let him run. If not, retire him and hope for the best.

Nothing can prevent accidents, which is what apparently happened to Kona Gold. Soundness is the question and I am again still not convinced Lava Man is or isn't, but to run a horse in a field of other race horses and jockeys where the risk for harm to many horses and people is what I am trying to understand. How does that make sense?

Laurierace
Sep. 29, 2009, 01:26 PM
They don't have to convince you of his soundness or lack thereof. That is for the vets to decide. With all the attention focused on this horse already I am sure they will examine him much closer than they would any unknown horse before the race assuming he even gets that far.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 6, 2009, 09:02 PM
Hey looks like we all are paying for Lava Man's return ;)

LA Times 10-6-09 "Science brings 8-year-old Lava Man back to racetrack" (http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-dwyre3-2009oct03,0,2179826.column)
excerpts

Examining doctors said there had been some bone deterioration in his ankles. Ten days after the Eddie Read, Lava Man was retired.

But the Kenlys and Wood agreed to foot part of the bill -- a government grant paid the rest -- for research on stem cell replacement in horses, being done by Dr. Doug Herthel at Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center near Santa Ynez. Surgeons could harvest Lava Man's bone marrow -- it is taken from his chest -- and use it to treat joints and cartilage in the horse's aching ankles.

O'Neill heard about it and thought it was nice, because if this worked it would improve Lava Man's comfort around the retirement farm. Then he got the word about three months ago that Lava Man was doing some light galloping. The reports were amazing. Herthel told O'Neill that, were Lava Man to return to racing he'd have the strongest bones of any of the horses. Finally, about a month ago, O'Neill went north.


"The message to the fans is two things," O'Neill says. "First, nobody is doing this for the money. And second, Lava Man is being monitored daily by the top people in the business."

Well Doug is giving away any earnings - if there happen to be any - however STD Racing is not doing this for charity.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 24, 2009, 01:01 PM
In for a review and examination:

DRF 10-23-09 "Lava Man sent in for a checkup" (http://drf.com/news/article/108363.html)


Lava Man's trip to the clinic was downplayed by the trainer, who insists the popular gelding has not suffered an injury or any kind of physical setback.

Dr. Doug Herthel of Alamo Pintado asked O'Neill to send the 8-year-old Lava Man to the clinic for a checkup, a month after he was put back in training for a potential comeback, O'Neill said. Lava Man has not raced in 15 months.

"He's going to Alamo Pintado to get a once-over," O'Neill said. "Herthel came down the other day and loved what he saw. I think they'll do another nuclear scan and [other] diagnostics.

"I think he deserves to take advantage of every piece of technology [available]. I'm not sending him in an 'Oh, no' kind of way. He'll be up there for a day or so."


O'Neill is hoping to start Lava Man during the Hollywood Park fall meeting, which runs from Nov. 13 to Dec. 20.

Lava Man worked five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Hollywood Park on Wednesday, his fourth workout since rejoining the O'Neill stable in early September.

TBCollector
Oct. 24, 2009, 01:41 PM
This might be it for Lava Man as a racehorse.
Doug did not want him to return to racing, but he did not want the horse going to another barn (as the owners hinted). I've been waiting for "something" to show up that would force him into retirement...for good, one hopes.

VelvetNoses
Oct. 25, 2009, 01:13 AM
I never realized that Lava Man's treatment was partially funded by a government research grant. That would suggest that regular examinations have to be conducted to gather data and evaluate the treatment.

So it just might be a routine exam for the research project.

Glimmerglass
Oct. 26, 2009, 05:19 PM
DRF: 10/26 "Lava Man gets doctor's OK" (http://drf.com/news/article/108415.html)


... underwent a nuclear scan and other tests at the Alamo Pintado Equine Clinic and was scheduled to return to O'Neill Hollywood Park stable this week, the trainer said.

"They nuke-scanned him, and he was perfectly clean," O'Neill said.

[Dr. Doug Herthel] [who performed the stem cell procedure] requested that O'Neill send Lava Man to Alamo Pintado.

"From my own piece of mind, I wanted to send him up there and go through a battery of tests," O'Neill said.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 2, 2009, 07:00 PM
Doug O'Neill claimed (for clients other the STD) LM's half-brother (http://drf.com/news/article/108638.html) Enriched for $32,000 on Sun Nov 1st. The 4-yr old has won 4 of 9 starts and $153,980.


O'Neill said he considered claiming Enriched for $80,000 from a maiden race at Hollywood Park in May. Enriched won that race by 7 3/4 lengths.

"We glanced at him briefly when he had him for a maiden claiming," O'Neill said. "We were kicking ourselves. He hasn't run a bad race."

Enriched was dropped into the optional claiming race and, as the DRF noted, inspired one wager that was massive but it was largely withdrawn by the time the race went off. Had the wager not been withdrawn the payoff would've been the bare minimum which I think is $2.10 for ever $2 wagered.


Enriched was the subject of an odd pattern of bets on Sunday. More than $100,000 was bet on him to show, but the money was slowly withdrawn from the pools in increments of approximately $8,000 to $9,000 per minute before the horses reached the post parade, track officials said.

Track officials said that a Turf Club costumer placed the large wagers and then canceled the bet. The track does not have a policy to prevent such occurrences.

In the final pool, Enriched attracted $8,255 of the $36,389 bet to show. Enriched returned $5 to win and $3 to show.

Glimmerglass
Nov. 20, 2009, 05:00 PM
Looks like he's being pointed to a Grade 3 race. Hopefully this won't inspire the owner/trainer of "Grand Forks" to think bigger after the 9-year layoff ...


Trainer Doug O'Neill also named Joel Rosario to ride Lava Man on Dec. 12 in the Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap

Source: Daily Racing Form 11-16-09 (http://www.drf.com/news/article/108982.html)

Glimmerglass
Dec. 4, 2009, 10:17 AM
An update on the progress towards next weekend's Dec 12, 2009 (Sat) return ...NTRA/DRF 12-2-09 "Lava Man works for Native Diver" (http://www.ntra.com/content.aspx?type=news&id=43610)


Lava Man, a seven-time Grade 1 winner, worked six furlongs in 1:13.60 on Wednesday [Dec 2nd]. According to Hollywood Park head clocker Russell Hudak, Lava Man worked the first three furlongs in 37.60 seconds, the last three furlongs in 36 seconds, and galloped out seven furlongs in 1:26.60.

The $100,000 Grade 3 Native Diver Handicap is at 1 1/8 mi on the HP synthetic surface.

Glimmerglass
Dec. 8, 2009, 11:22 AM
Based upon the expected entries this is by no means a lightweight field of contenders. DRF 12-7-09 "Native Diver has Gold Cup look" (http://drf.com/news/article/109407.html)


[In addition to Lava Man will be] Mast Track, winless in nine starts since the 2008 Gold Cup, including a loss by a nose in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar in August.

O'Neill has two other runners in the Native Diver - High Court Drama, who won his American debut in an allowance race at 1 1/8 miles on turf here Nov. 15, and Square Eddie, the winner of the Grade 1 Breeders' Futurity at Keeneland in October 2008 who is winless in his last five starts.

Neko Bay, sixth in the BC Dirt Mile on Nov. 7, is another probable starter, along with Tres Borrachos, Cigar Man, and Viscount.

Glimmerglass
Dec. 11, 2009, 10:58 AM
The line-up at the post for Saturday Dec 12th's comeback after 16 months off for recovery and perceived retirement ...


$100,000 Native Diver Handicap - Grade 3
Hollywood Park Race 7 @ 3:35 p.m. PST
Distance (surface) 1 1/8 Miles (All Weather)

PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Mast Track (KY), R Bejarano, 116, H Ascanio
2. Lava Man (CA), J Rosario, 118, D F O'Neill
3. Square Eddie (ON), G K Gomez, 115, D F O'Neill
4. Neko Bay (KY), M E Smith, 116, J A Shirreffs
5. High Court Drama (IRE), M C Baze, 113, D F O'Neill
6. Tres Borrachos (KY), V Espinoza, 115, C B Greely

danceronice
Dec. 11, 2009, 11:49 AM
Top weight? (Yeah, not by much, but really?)

DickHertz
Dec. 11, 2009, 12:37 PM
Lava Man has been scratched because the track is too "wet" :rolleyes:

What a joke

Glimmerglass
Dec. 11, 2009, 01:54 PM
Lava Man has been scratched because the track is too "wet" :rolleyes:

I haven't seen notice of a scratch but Doug has said in the last 72-hours that if there is excessive rain then yes that's what will happen. I was under the impression that synthetic tracks made rain largely a moot issue for footing.

FatDinah
Dec. 11, 2009, 03:58 PM
A NY TImes story on Lava Man

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/11/sports/11racing.html?ref=sports

DickHertz
Dec. 11, 2009, 04:18 PM
Has anyone noticed the field sizes in CA? I know they've been bad this year, but half of their card has been field sizes of 6 or less and the only races that get 12 are maiden claimers.

Glimmerglass
Dec. 12, 2009, 04:24 PM
Dick was correct - Lava Man scratched from the Native Diver "due to the rains" over the last few days. Up next? No certainty but O'Neill said that Lava Man is a candidate for Santa Anita's Grade 2 San Gabriel Handicap at nine furlongs on the grass Dec. 27.

mroades
Dec. 12, 2009, 07:52 PM
so who DID win the Native Diver?