Lava Man, one of the all-time great California breds who was retired in July with earnings of $5,268,706, will lead the parade to the post for the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Oak Tree on Oct. 5.
His regular exercise rider, Tony Romero, will accompany the 7-year-old gelding.
A son of Slew City Slew, Lava Man joined the immortal gelding Native Diver as the only other three-time winner of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) in 2007. He won the prestigious 1 1/4-mile events in consecutive years beginning in 2005. In 2006, Lava Man became the only horse to sweep the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic (all gr. I) in the same year.
Lava Man is currently residing at Magali Farms in Santa Ynez. “He’s doing great,” said former trainer Doug O’Neill at the Cal Cup Draw Breakfast Oct. 2 at Oak Tree. “He’s just kicking back and enjoying time away from the barn.”
A winner of 17 races in his career, Lava Man participated in two California Cup Classics. He finished second in 2004 and sixth in 2007.