Lava Man moved a step closer to defending his 2006 Pacific Classic (gr. I) title with a five-furlong workout in 1:01 2/5 the morning of Aug. 3 on Del Mar’s Polytrack.
The easy work got a “breezing” designation from the track’s clockers, meaning rider Tony Romero asked little of the big 6-year-old gelded son of Slew City Slew. The breakdown of splits showed Lava Man turning the first quarter-mile in :25 4/5, three furlongs in :37 4/5, a half-mile in :49 2/5, and galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.
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.
The only horse to win the Big ‘Cap, Gold Cup, and Pacific Classic in the same year, Lava Man is California’s third-leading money-winner of all time at $5,189,706.
The $1-million Pacific Classic will be run at 1 1/4 miles.