Despite struggling in his last two starts, Lava Man seems a clear standout against fellow state-breds in Oak Tree's $250,000 California Cup Classic presented by Smith Barney at Santa Anita Nov. 3.
Navy Aircraft Mechanic first class Johnny Arrendondo Ponce became the first non-track worker to win the Race Track Chaplaincy of America's White Horse Award when it was presented Oct. 25 at the Taylor Made Stallions' White Horse Heroes Luncheon at Monmouth Park.
No longer under consideration for the Breeders' Cup after his last-place finish in the Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) a week ago, Lava Man is being pointed to the $250,000 California Cup Classic at Santa Anita Nov. 3.
The Brazilian-bred Out of Control stole the spotlight from Lava Man and Surf Cat in Oak Tree's $252,000 Oak Tree Mile (gr. IIT) with a heart-pounding nose victory over Zann at Santa Anita Park Oct. 7.
The drunken driver who caused a crash that severed the arm of a groom for Lava Man, the richest claiming horse in Thoroughbred racing history, was sentenced Oct. 4 to five years in state prison.
Multiple grade II winner Surf Cat makes his turf racing debut Oct. 7 for trainer Bruce Headley when he tackles Lava Man and four others in the $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita.
Morning Line favorite Lava Man was withdrawn from Saturday's $500,000 Goodwood (gr. I) at Santa Anita by trainer Doug O'Neill. The California star is expected to run in the $250,000 Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. II) on grass Oct. 7.
Well beaten in the Pacific Classic last time out, California star Lava Man has an opportunity to prove he's as good as ever when he takes on nine rivals in the $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup (gr. I) at Oak Tree's Santa Anita meeting Sept. 29.
Santa Anita racetrack will unveil racing over the Cushion Track surface Sept. 26 when the Oak Tree Racing Association begins its 39th season.
He's saddled starters in several different countries, hoisted trophies at tracks from Santa Anita to Belmont Park, and trained champion horses to victory in the world's top races, but trainer Doug O'Neill came full circle at a bullring track Sept. 9 when he saddled the 1,000th winner of his career during Fairplex Park's 16-day meet.
A long-range look at how the Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I) is shaping up, ranked in order, and with the latest odds in the Wynn Las Vegas Race Book.
In a sign of the times, a Midwest also-ran with a liking for Polytrack came west to win the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 19. Student Council, purchased recently by Ro Parra's Millennium Farms to run in the 1 1/4-mile test, vanquished Lava Man and upset a large field at odds of 23-1 at Del Mar.
Among the 12 rivals entered against Lava Man in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Aug. 19, several could undoubtedly be considered from barns that are taking a shot, perhaps because their horse has shown an affinity for Del Mar's Polytrack or because they believe the California champion is vulnerable. That's not the case for trainer John Shirreffs, who heads into the 1 1/4-mile event with a one-two punch.
Defending champion Lava Man drew the rail as the 5-2 morning line favorite for the $1-million Pacific Classic Sunday.
Lava Man and A.P. Xcellent, who staged a dramatic Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) stretch duel won by the California star by a nose on June 30, are among 13 horses entered in the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 19.
Emotions are sure to run high when Lava Man attempts to defend his title in the $1-million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar Aug. 19.
Defending Pacific Classic (gr. I) champion Lava Man had his final major prep for the $1 million test on Aug. 19 when he breezed six furlongs before the first race Saturday in 1:14 4/5 over Del Mar's Polytrack surface.
Twenty-three horses were nominated -- with 13 considered likely -- for the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles on the Del Mar Polytrack Aug. 19, including defending champion Lava Man.
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.
A poker tournament will be held at the Del Mar Hilton Aug. 16 to benefit Noe Garcia, the groom for Lava Man who was seriously injured in an automobile collision July 23 near the racetrack.
Noe Garcia, longtime groom to Lava Man who lost his left arm in a serious automobile accident in the early morning hours July 23, is making progress at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla.
Hollywood Park closed its 63-day spring meet July 15 with a record average in all-sources handle, fueled by increases in on-track and advance deposit wagering, the Inglewood, Calif. racetrack reported.
We all know about Lava Man's dislike for any track east of the Sierra Madres and west of Santa Catalina. And we know his speed figures are not exactly in orbit. And we know he hasn't been beating champions in the Golden State. But Lava Man nonetheless is a true phenomenon, and America needs him badly.
Favored Lava Man joined the legendary Native Diver as the only horse to win the prestigious Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) in three consecutive years when he prevailed by a nose over the gritty A. P. Xcellent in a heart-pounding stretch duel Saturday at Hollywood Park.
Lava Man, attempting to match legendary Native Diver with his third consecutive victory in Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), will face eight rivals in the 1 1/4-mile classic at Hollywood Park.
Lava Man, despite six grade I victories on dirt and grass and earnings of over $4.7 million, has had his knockers, because of his inability to win, or even run well, outside of California. But, on Saturday, he will be home and attempting to make history by equaling Native Diver's record three Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) wins.
Lava Man, who can match legendary Native Diver with a third consecutive victory in the $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) June 30, has been assigned high weight of 124 pounds for the 1 1/4-mile classic.
After Market took a giant step forward Saturday when he surged past odds-on choice Lava Man to win the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) going away on the Hollywood Park turf.
California legend Lava Man will seek to maintain his status as the West Coast's dominant older runner in the $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. I) at Hollywood Park on Saturday.
Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Lava Man could return to competition for the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) June 30, while quarter cracks have delayed the comeback of juvenile champion Stevie Wonderboy, trainer Doug O'Neill reported May 9.
Lava Man is scheduled to return to his Hollywood Park base Wednesday night after his trip to Dubai, and trainer Doug O'Neill said it's "reasonable to say" the gelding won't be leaving his home state again.
Japan had a strong hand going into the US$5million Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) and it was their Admire Moon, ridden by Japanese icon Yutaka Take, who landed the spoils in scintillating fashion.
There's a palpable feeling of optimism around the connections of Lava Man who have observed his initial gallops and overall demeanor since he arrived in Dubai last week for the US$5 million Dubai Duty Free on March 31.
Track work at Nad Al Sheba took off with a real purpose on Tuesday morning as the international competitors were out in force in pursuit of the US$21.25million in prize-money on offer on Saturday's Dubai World Cup night extravaganza.
Just imagine the evening of March 31, as a salmon pink sunset illuminates the mosques and ultra-modern skyscrapers off in the distance. Large groups of Muslims face Mecca and kneel in prayer. The sounds of bands playing provide a festive college-like atmosphere, while people of all nationalities mingle throughout Nad al Sheba Racetrack. There is something primal about this scene, as the Sport of Kings returns to its roots for the ultimate showdown, in which the kings of the sport issue the age-old challenge, "My horse is faster than your horse."
By Cynthia Biamon - And then he emerged...heading straight toward one of the world's most famous tracks and to his thousands of fans. His blinkers revealed just enough of hungry eyes, eyes that were taking in the surroundings, sizing up the competition, and readying to devour all opponents.
How amazing is Lava Man? Absolutely invincible in California over the past two seasons on turf and dirt, the 6-year-old gelding became the third horse in 70 years to win back-to-back runnings of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) Saturday.
Lava Man, the most prosperous claiming purchase in racing history, will be out to lay claim to another distinction on Saturday when the 6-year-old gelding will be an overwhelming favorite to win a second $1 million Santa Anita Handicap presented by San Manual Indian Bingo & Casino (gr. I).
Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) winner Brother Derek will miss the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) due to a chip in his left ankle.
Lava Man was named the 2006 California-bred Horse of the Year in voting by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, becoming a back-to-back winner of the honor, which was announced at the CTBA's annual awards dinner Feb. 5.
The paths of the two California-bred Thoroughbreds crossed like ships in the night Saturday when 7-10 favorite Lava Man won the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita and a rejuvenated McCann's Mojave captured the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic at odds of 33-1 at Gulfstream Park.
Lava Man, who was on the verge of Horse of the Year honors last year, kicked off his 2007 campaign with a sparkling two-length win in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino Turf Saturday at Santa Anita.
Revved Up will miss Saturday's $500,000 San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita after a training mishap Tuesday in Florida.
The California Thoroughbred Breeders' Association has announced its 2006 award winners, with the exception of Horse of the Year, which will be presented at the organization's annual meeting and awards dinner Feb. 5. Finalists for the honor include Brother Derek, Lava Man, and Thor's Echo.
The Emirates Airline-sponsored $6 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) is set for the showdown between the two top-ranked horses on the planet after the nominations were released for the world's richest race meeting Jan. 22.
Lava Man, the most prosperous claim in racing history, turns his attention back to grass racing on Saturday when the defending Sunshine Millions Classic champion lends his star power to the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf event at Santa Anita.
A panel of international handicappers hailed the exploits of the top U.S. horses when the 2006 World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings were unveiled Tuesday, Jan. 16, in London, England.
Shadwell Stables' Invasor has topped the Northern Hemisphere section of the World Thoroughbred Racehorse Rankings for 2006, details of which were revealed Tuesday, Jan. 16, in London, England.
The multifaceted Lava Man, a grade I winner on dirt and turf, could remain on turf after his next start in the $500,000 Sunshine Millions Turf at Santa Anita on Jan. 27.
Thor's Echo, who became just the second California-bred to win a Breeders' Cup race when he captured the 2006 TVG Sprint (gr. I) Saturday at Churchill Downs, is to remain in the East in quest of an Eclipse Award.
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