Lava Man, who is gearing up for a 2008 campaign to add to his career earnings of $5,214,706, had his first recorded workout of the year at Hollywood Park Wednesday morning, March 12, for trainer Doug O’Neill.
“He looked real good,” said Russell Hudak, head clocker at Hollywood Park. “He went three-eighths in :36 1/5. He worked from the quarter pole to the mile pole. The [exercise] rider had him under restraint.”
Because Lava Man was kept under restraint during the workout, it was termed “breezing” on the official work tab.
Owned by STD Racing Stable and Jason Wood, Lava Man is gearing up to resume his racing career during the upcoming Hollywood Park spring-summer meet, which begins April 23. Last year, Lava Man became only the second horse in history to win the prestigious Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) three times, joining Native Diver, who accomplished the feat in the 1960s. Lava Man’s connections are hopeful that he will be able to seek a fourth consecutive victory this year in the June 28 renewal of the $750,000 event.
Lava Man was taken out of training and sent to NexStar Ranch in Temecula, Calif., after finishing sixth in the California Cup Classic Handicap Nov. 3. The 7-year-old California-bred gelded son of Slew City Slew—Li’l Miss Leonard, by Nostalgia’s Star, returned to O’Neill’s Hollywood Park barn Jan. 26.