Trainer Doug O'Neill has decided not to appeal an Illinois suspension that is being enforced in California and effective June 30 he will have no horses race in his name for 15 days.
Apprentice jockey Johnny Gihua of Peru earned his first victory in North America, guiding El Scorpio to a front-running 12-1 upset in an optional claiming allowance on the Hollywood Park turf June 16.
When trainer Doug O'Neill's charges head to the racetrack during training hours at Hollywood Park, Lava Man, who won three Hollywood Gold Cups (gr. I) during a long racing career, often accompanies them.
Unusual Suspect and High Court Drama, both disappointing in the San Luis Rey Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf March 20, are entered right back in the $100,000 Tokyo City Cup Handicap (gr. III) a week later.
Grade I winner Square Eddie has been retired from racing and will stand at Vessels Station Farm near Bonsall, Calif.
Lava Man, who returned to racing after a more than 17-month layoff only to finish last in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) Dec. 27 at Santa Anita, has been retired after his failed comeback attempt.
There was some disappointment in the Lava Man camp after the soon-to-be 9-year-old gelding faded to last in his comeback from retirement in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) at Santa Anita Dec. 27.
Steve Haskin ranks the greatest training achievements for the years 2000 - 2009, both for a trainer with an individual horse and overall. Who's #1?
The return from retirement of Lava Man, temporarily scrapped by bad weather in Southern California two weeks ago, is set Dec. 27 when he takes on six rivals in the San Gabriel Handicap (gr. IIT) on the Santa Anita turf.
Lava Man has been scratched from the Native Diver Handicap due to poor weather conditions
Lava Man and Mast Track have accounted for victories in four of the past five renewals of the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I). Both have question marks heading into the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) at Hollywood Park.
California's $5-million gelding Lava Man is set to return to action in the $100,000 Native Diver Handicap (gr. III) Dec. 12 at Hollywood Park. "I think he's ready," trainer Doug O'Neill said.
Trainer Doug O'Neill says the venerable Lava Man, working out at Hollywood Park since September, is nearing his return to the races.
Lava Man, the former claimer who earned more than $5 million, has returned to training at Doug O'Neill's Hollywood Park barn. The 8-year-old gelding worked three furlongs in :36 flat Sept. 23 at Hollywood, his first official work.
Mi Sueno, who left odds-on choice Necessary Evil far behind when she captured the Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) one month ago, headlines a field of 10 2-year-old fillies in the $300,000 Darley Debutante Stakes (gr. I) at Del Mar Sept. 5.
- By Tracy Gantz
Six horses have died from catastrophic breakdowns at Del Mar during a 10-day span that includes the first week of racing. Three occurred during morning training on Polytrack, two happened during races on Polytrack, and one was in a turf race.
The California Horse Racing Board plans to meet in closed session prior to its general meeting July 23 to consider complaints and appeals that have been filed against the board challenging Ingrid Fermin's appointment as a steward at Del Mar this season.
Del Mar begins its 70th season of racing July 22 with the traditional opening-day feature, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, headlining the 10-race card.
One day after Life Is Sweet tests males in the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), the Doug O'Neill-trained filly Necessary Evil will do the same in the $100,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) July 12.
J. Paul Reddam's Square Eddie will not run in Saturday's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), trainer Doug O'Neill told The Blood-Horse early April 28.
Square Eddie, a top 2-year-old last year who has been playing catch up for most of his early sophomore campaign, worked a half-mile April 26 at Churchill Downs in :50 1/5. Third last time out in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II), Square Eddie got in his final workout prior to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
This Ones for Phil, Mr. Fantasy and Just a Coincidence - all on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) trail earlier this season - top a field of seven 3-year-olds in the $150,000 Withers (gr. III) April 25 at Aqueduct. The $1 million Preakness Stakes (gr. I) is now the primary goal for each of them.
Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Square Eddie, who had been expected to train up to the May 2 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), instead will first run in the April 18 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland, if all goes well following a scheduled six-furlong workout April 11 at Hollywood Park.
Informed, continuing to improve his behavior during his morning exercise, galloped without incident at Nad al Sheba under exercise rider Tony Romero in preparation for the March 28 Godolphin Mile (UAE-II).
If California-based runner Informed finds his way home first in the $1 million Godolphin Mile (UAE-II) March 28, it could very well mark one of the most distinctive training feats in Nad al Sheba racing history.
Paul Reddam's Square Eddie, winner of the Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) and runner-up in the Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I), will be sidelined for about 30 days with a sore left shin, Reddam said Thursday.
High-profile Kentucky Derby (gr. I) hopefuls Old Fashioned, Silver City, and Flat Out are all likely for the Feb. 16 Southwest (gr. III) at Oaklawn, and now it seems there's a new contender coming from Southern California by the name of Square Eddie.
The Pamplemousse went from maiden winner to graded stakes winner Jan. 17 at Santa Anita Park, breaking to an early lead and never looking back for an impressive two-length victory in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds on the Pro-Ride surface.
Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) winner and Breeders' Cup Juvenile (gr. I) runner-up Square Eddie makes his highly-anticipated 3-year-old debut Jan. 17 at Santa Anita when he takes on seven rivals in the $100,000 San Rafael Stakes (gr. III) at Santa Anita.
Martin Smith, assistant and exercise rider for English trainer John Best, hopes the stable enjoys as much success in the $750,000 CashCall Futurity (gr. I) Dec. 20 at Hollywood Park with Axel Foley as it did with Square Eddie in the Breeders Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland in October.
The California Horse Racing Board entered into a stipulated agreement with trainer Doug O'Neill, who agreed to pay a fine of $7,500 and to serve a 30-day suspension, which shall be stayed pending a one-year probation.
J. Paul Reddam's Square Eddie moved into striking position rounding the far turn and drew off in the stretch for an easy win under Rafael Bejarano in the $500,000 Lane's End Futurity (gr. I) Oct. 4 on the Keeneland Polytrack. The victory earned the 2-year-old Smart Strike colt an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile later this month at Santa Anita.
Notional, a three-time graded stakes winner, has been retired from racing.
- By Tracy Gantz
Lava Man, a seven-time grade I-winner and earner of $5,268,706, has been retired.
J. Paul Reddam's Mistical Plan upset even-money favorite Dream Rush to win the $400,000 Princess Rooney Handicap (gr. I) for fillies and mares at Calder Race Course July 12 as part of the Florida track's Summit of Speed program.
Dismissed at odds of 7-1 in a field of six, Notional lagged behind in the early stages, made his presence known at the quarter-pole, and took over at the top of the lane en route to a 2 1/4-length victory in the $300,000 Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III) July 5 at Monmouth Park. The race was the first North American Breeders' Cup Challenge event of the season.
Azul Leon became the first graded winner and the second added-money winner overall for North America's leading first crop sire, Lion Heart, with a four-length triumph in the $106,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship Stakes (gr. III) July 5.
Benny the Bull, the "now horse" of the sprinting world, will face a blast from the past in the $250,000 True North Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park June 7, when 2006 Eclipse Award-winning sprinter Thor's Echo returns to competiton for the first time in a year.
Spring at Last, winner of the 2007 Godolphin Mile (UAE-II), skipped the trip to Dubai this year but will be in action at Aqueduct in the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) April 5.
Inside Information features Funny Cide, prisoners and horses working toward rehabilitation, and communication between trainers and jockeys on race day.
Steve Asmussen's 3-year-old colts have been in full view on the trail to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I). The trainer's fillies have been less visible, but his 3-year-old Sky Mom may get her chance to shine in the $200,000 WinStar Sunland Park Oaks March 16.
Lava Man is scheduled to have his first workout of the year the morning of March 12 at Hollywood Park, according to trainer Doug O'Neill.
Connections of Spring At Last, a convincing winner of the Feb. 2 Donn Handicap (gr. I), have decided to bypass the $6-million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) March 29 and aim instead for the $300,000 Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct April 5.
It is all systems go for a trip to Dubai by Spring At Last, who worked an easy four furlongs in :50 1/5 at Hollywood Park Feb. 25 for trainer Doug O'Neill.
Seven 3-year-old fillies, including a pair of Breeders' Cup starters, will contest the Feb. 9 event at Santa Anita.
Lava Man is back at the Doug O'Neill barn at Hollywood Park to prepare for a 2008 campaign.
Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint winner Maryfield earns inaugural female sprinter Eclipse Award.
- By Jason Shandler
- Thoroughbred Racing, Northeast Region, Midwest Region, Southeast Region, Southwest Region, West Region
The 3-year-old Smart Strike colt will look to give Todd Pletcher a record-tying victory Dec. 26 on opening day at Santa Anita Park.
Great Hunter and Spring at Last, two runners for Doug O'Neill that were sidelined by ankle chips, could make their next starts before the end of the year, according to O'Neill. Great Hunter could be headed for the Strub Series, while Spring at Last may earn other trip to Dubai.
Riding on to the track at Santa Anita for the last race of the Oak Tree meet Nov. 4, leading rider Tyler Baze will flip shaded goggles down over his eyes and take a deep breath of the fresh, dry air, and will think of how close he came to losing this, the one pursuit he loves most in life.
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