Lava Man finished last in the Eddie Read (gr. IIT) at Del Mar July 20.

Lava Man finished last in the Eddie Read (gr. IIT) at Del Mar July 20.


Lava Man's Racing Career Up in the Air

Lava Man could be retired soon, one of his owners said July 21.

from Del Mar

There’s a good chance Lava Man may have raced for the last time in the July 20 Eddie Read Handicap (gr. IT) at Del Mar.

The 7-year-old finished last of six in the 1 1/8-mile turf race and his owners, STD Stable and Jason Wood, said they expect to make a decision soon on his future.

“Nothing’s official, but I’m sure we'll huddle up and make a decision before too long on what to do,” Steve Kenley of STD said July 21. “It’s nothing we feel we have to do in a day or two, but we'll huddle up and decide to do what’s best for the horse.”

Lava Man, winner of $5.2 million in purses, nearly all of it for his current owners after he was claimed for $50,000 at Del Mar in 2004, has not won since capturing his third straight Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) June 30, 2007--six races ago. His career statistics show 17 wins, eight seconds, and five thirds in 46 starts.

Of the prospects going into the Read, Kenley said: "We were really confident (July 20) because he looked so good in the paddock and he had been training really well since the Whittingham. And he ran great in the Whittingham. With that, we thought we could do better. We thought he’d be cruising along on the lead and things would go our way.”

Lava Man, a California favorite, is trained by Doug O'Neill.