Eclipse Award winner Stevie Wonderboy had a small chip taken out of his right front ankle a week ago, said trainer Doug O'Neill. The 2005 Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner had been doing well on the comeback trail, but came out of his last work with a slight filling.
Three of the top five finishers from the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) are among the 21 pre-entries for the $300,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (gr. I) at Laurel Park Nov. 25.
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.
Thor's Echo rolled to the lead reaching the stretch and shook loose for a four-length upset in the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) at Churchill Downs Saturday.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela and trainer Doug O'Neill got off to a winning start on the Breeders' Cup Championship Day card at Churchill Downs when Maryfield posted a convincing victory in the day's first race, the Emirates Airline Very Subtle Stakes.
The great Laffit Pincay Jr., now retired but still the world's all-time leading jockey (and winner of eight Breeders' Cup races), is at Churchill Downs to introduce the nominees for the Race Track Chaplaincy's White Horse Award.
Lava Man, a leading contender for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I), and Great Hunter, winner of Keeneland's Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) and a major contender for the Bessemer Trust Juvenile (gr. I), led the Doug O'Neill contingent that arrived at Churchill Downs on Saturday.
STD Racing and Jason Wood's Lava Man, gearing up for a showdown with Bernardini in the Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4, worked six furlongs in 1:15 over Keeneland's Polytrack on Friday, Oct. 27.
Darley Stable's Bernardini turned in a bullet five-furlong breeze in 1:02 2/5 at Belmont Park Wednesday, much to the satisfaction of trainer Tom Albertrani. His main rival for the Breeders' Cup Classic – Presented by Dodge (gr. I) will be Lava Man, whose trainer, Doug O'Neill, paid tribute to Bernardini.
I'madrifter, a Washington champion and graded stakes winner, was euthanized Oct. 12 because of complications from a broken pastern.
California-based Lava Man is scheduled to leave Tuesday for Keeneland Racecourse to prepare for the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic Powered by Dodge (gr. I) at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 and a possible showdown for Horse of the Year honors against likely favorite Bernardini.
Odds-on choice Lava Man proved once again he's the class of the West Coast by winning his seventh straight race of the year with another convincing turn in Saturday's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.
Great Hunter, shipped east from California by trainer Doug O'Neill, won the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) Saturday at Keeneland, upsetting odds-on favorite and previously unbeaten Circular Quay.
Lava Man, the $50,000 claim whose extraordinary string of six stakes victories this year has netted $2,470,000, headlines Oak Tree's $500,000 Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Saturday.
History-making Lava Man returns to action in the Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) Oct. 7 during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita Park, where he will face a field that includes Kentucky Derby (gr. I) winner Giacomo and Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) hero Brother Derek.
Cambiocorsa, queen of Santa Anita's downhill turf course, extended her reign Wednesday to eight consecutive victories when she dominated Oak Tree's opening day feature, the $100,000 Sen. Ken Maddy Handicap (gr. IIIT).
Prime Ruler and Great Hunter, the potential favorites, drew at opposite ends of the gate for Wednesday's $250,000 Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) for 2-year-olds, the closing day feature at the seashore.
For Lava Man, it's time to go with the flow. A victory in the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) Sunday at 1 1/4 miles will make Lava Man the first horse to sweep Southern California's "Big Three" grade I handicaps in the same year.
Lava Man, unbeaten in five races this year, including victories in the Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup (both gr. I), has been installed as the 8-5 morning line favorite in Sunday's 16th running of the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at Del Mar.
Lava Man and Super Frolic, first and third in July 8's Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) finished their work for Sunday's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) with solid six-furlong drills Sunday morning over Del Mar's main track.
Powerhouse trainers Doug O'Neill, with three entries, and Bob Baffert, with two, dominate the field of eight entered in the $150,000 Best Pal (gr. II) for 2-year-olds at Del Mar Sunday.
Eleven horses have been nominated to Del Mar's $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I) at 1 1/4 miles on Aug. 20. Lava Man, winner of the Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) and Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) for trainer Doug O'Neill, is the probable favorite.
Lava Man, a former claiming horse, became the first runner since Native Diver in 1967 to win back-to-back editions of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) when he won a heart-pounding finish by a nose Saturday over the longest shot in the field, Ace Blue.
Dynamic California-bred Lava Man, on a four-race winning streak, was assigned 124 pounds for Saturday's $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I). But after everything the 5-year-old gelding has accomplished this year, that probably wasn't enough -- just four rivals are signed on to challenge him.
In spite of a seven-race winning streak, California-bred filly Cambiocorsa will be an underdog as she challenges a talented international cast in the $750,000 CashCall Mile Invitational (gr. IIIT) on the Hollywood Park turf Saturday.
- By Jack Shinar
Doug O'Neill, Hollywood Park's leading trainer, will run his horses out of a detention barn for the next 30 days because one of his starters tested over the permitted level for total carbon dioxide in May.
Trainer Doug O'Neill keeps throwing bigger challenges at the multi-dimensional Lava Man, but nothing seems to faze the 5-year-old California-bred gelding. Winner of both the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) and Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in the last 11 months, Lava Man led gate to wire to register his first grade I win on the turf in the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park.
Lava Man, the 2005 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) winner who is unbeaten in three starts this year, will meet defending champion Sweet Return in Saturday's $300,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at Hollywood Park.
J. Paul Reddam, the majority owner of Sharp Lisa and Dancing Edie, entered both 4-year-old fillies on Friday for the $300,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup (gr. IT) for fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles on the Hollywood Park turf on Monday.
Lava Man's return to grass was such a smashing success with a Hollywood Park course-record effort in the $150,000 TVG Khaled Stakes on Sunday that the 5-year-old horse may remain on turf for his next start, trainer Doug O'Neill said Wednesday.
After winning million-dollar races in his last two starts, Lava Man successfully took on another challenge Sunday, shifting to turf and winning the $150,000 TVG Khaled Stakes at Hollywood Park in course record time of 1:44.26 for nine furlongs.
There wasn't much speed signed up for Saturday's $200,000 Santa Barbara Handicap (gr. IIT), and jockey Corey Nakatani took full advantage to drive Sharp Lisa to a crafty front-running victory by a nose over Eternal Melody at 10 furlongs on the Santa Anita lawn.
Rail-skimming Pure as Gold slipped through an opening on the inside for jockey Patrick Valenzuela to gain the lead in mid-stretch and coasted to a 1 3/4-length upset in the $109,400 San Simeon Handicap (gr. IIIT) on the Santa Anita hillside turf course Saturday.
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) and Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) winner Lava Man is expected to be among the starters for trainer Doug O'Neill on the Cal National Gold Rush program April 30 at Hollywood Park.
Front-running Cambiocorsa extended her winning streak to five in Friday's $134,125 Irish O'Brien on Santa Anita's hillside turf course, but the gray 4-year-old filly was fully extended to repel Somethinaboutlaura by a head in the St. Patrick's Day feature for California-breds.
California-bred Lava Man, ridden with extreme confidence by Corey Nakatani, shook loose of favored High Limit on the far turn and defeated upset-minded Magnum to win the $1 million Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) in a spectacular effort in front of nearly 50,000 fans Saturday.
- By Steve Haskin
Even standing in his stall, two days after being operated on for a condylar fracture, Stevie Wonderboy continues to amaze trainer Doug O'Neill, who said the colt's surgery Wednesday went perfectly and he "looks fantastic."
Sharp Lisa, winless since winning the Las Virgenes (gr. I) as the odds-on favorite as a 3-year-old 12 months ago, gets another chance in Saturday's $250,000 Santa Maria Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita Park.
Spirits were improving Wednesday at trainer Doug O'Neill's Hollywood Park stable after the Eclipse Award-winning 2-year-old Stevie Wonderboy underwent surgery to repair a condylar fracture of his right ankle sustained in a workout at Hollywood Park.
- By Steve Haskin
Stevie Wonderboy, 2-year-old male champion of 2005 who suffered a condylar fracture of the right front ankle in a workout at Hollywood Park Monday, is scheduled to undergo surgery Wednesday morning, trainer Doug O'Neill said.
Stevie Wonderboy, champion 2-year-old male and winner of the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), suffered a condylar fracture of the right front leg during a workout Monday morning and has been knocked off the Triple Crown trail, trainer Doug O'Neill said.
The grade I winner Lava Man flashed his former brilliance with a sweeping 2 1/4-length victory in the $1 million Sunshine Millions Classic to conclude the rich program for California and Florida-bred horses at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
A day after Brother Derek squared his record with Stevie Wonderboy at one win apiece with a gate-to-wire victory in Saturday's San Rafael Stakes (gr. II), the 3-year-old colts were on course to meet once more in the Santa Catalina Stakes (gr. II) at Santa Anita on March 4.
The outlook is good for Dennis O'Neill, the 42-year-old brother of trainer Doug O'Neill who has non-Hodgkins lymphoma, but the experience has put life in perspective for him.
It's not often we get to see the probable 2-year-old champ and early favorite for the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) running in January. But not only is Stevie Wonderboy making his 3-year-old debut in Saturday's San Rafael Stakes (gr. II), he'll be facing another leading juvenile and major Derby contender in Brother Derek.
Merv Griffin's Stevie Wonderboy, this year's early Kentucky Derby (gr. I) favorite, begins the Triple Crown trail Saturday when meeting Hollywood Futurity (gr. I) champion Brother Derek and four other 3-year-olds in Santa Anita's $150,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. II).
Trainer Doug O'Neill has mapped out a program that would keep Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) winner Stevie Wonderboy in Southern California until the Kentucky Derby (gr. I) on May 6.
Itty Bitty Pretty left the 2-5 favorite Sabatini well behind in the stretch while registering her first stakes win by six lengths in the $109,200 Santa Ysabel (gr. III) for 3-year-old fillies at Santa Anita Park Saturday.
Triple B Farms' Whilly, who won a pair of grade II races in front-running fashion in 2005 for trainer Doug O'Neill and jockey Felipe Martinez, can start the new year in the same way in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita Park grass Sunday.
Hollywood Gold Cup Handicap (gr. I) winner Lava Man, who will try to give trainer Doug O'Neill his second victory in three years in the Japan Cup Dirt, worked six furlongs in 1:12 1/5 at Hollywood Park Saturday morning and is set to head to Japan on Tuesday.
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