A hot pace failed to deter Wickedly Perfect when she rallied in upper stretch to win the $150,000 Sorrento Stakes (gr. III) Aug. 6 at Del Mar to remain unbeaten in two starts.
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.
Two key men in Doug O'Neill's Del Mar barn were saddened by the announcement that seven-time grade I winner Lava Man won't be coming to the barn anymore.
- By Tracy Gantz
Lava Man, a seven-time grade I-winner and earner of $5,268,706, has been retired.
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.
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.
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.
Breeders' Cup officials have confirmed that Lava Man, the 5-year-old gelding who is the top contender for the $5-million Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge (gr. I) has been nominated to the Breeders' Cup program as a horse of racing age.
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.
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.
Lava Man was named the 2005 California-bred Horse of the Year in voting by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, it was announced at the CTBA's annual awards dinner Feb. 7.
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.
Former claiming horse Lava Man poked his head in front on the far turn and inched away for his first graded stakes win in the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) at Hollywood Park Saturday.
Scrofa, ridden patiently by Patrick Valenzuela, rallied between horses and prevailed by a half-length Thursday in the $140,625 Irish O'Brien Stakes for California-bred fillies and mares at Santa Anita Park.
Scrofa, in her fourth start since being claimed for $62,500, posted a convincing victory in the $100,000 Work The Crowd Handicap for California-bred fillies and mares at Golden Gate Fields Sunday.
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