Wednesday, September 23, 2009

It's official: Lava Man on comeback trail

When I received an e-mail this morning alerting me to news on another blog that the greatest ex-claimer in history, Lava Man, was at the track and working toward a comeback under trainer Doug O'Neill, I waited to blog about it until such news was confirmed.

Now it is official, in the most obvious manner possible. The 8-year-old Lava Man worked 3 furlongs in a sharp 36-flat Wednesday for O'Neill at Hollywood Park.

A horse of Lava Man's caliber and competitive nature truly might be at his happiest at the racetrack, and racing, regardless at what level he can still effectively compete. But should catastrophe strike, few in racing history will have opened themselves up to more criticism than the connections of Lava Man, the horse who earned more than $5 million in his career after once running for a tag as cheap as $12,500. And who had been widely reported as destined for a well-earned life of relaxation and celebrity at Old Friends in Kentucky.

Surely nobody knows the potential pitfalls more clearly than Doug O'Neill, so I'm certain that he's fully thought it through.

For now I'm left with only two thoughts.

1. Go, Lava Man! I'll root for you with all my heart, as I always have.

2. Dear Lord in Heaven, please keep him safe.


  1. Hi Glenn,
    I noticed you posted a video of Fugue for Tinhorns below....Nice to see someone is culturally literate. I used the opening line, with quote of first verse back in about 96 in my first article on sales to racetrack performance....I guess at least one person out there understood the reference...Cheers!....JPS

  2. If that was his first clocked work then Lava Man still has a long way to go before entering the gate on race day.

    Lava Man 09/23/2009 HOL
    3F :36.00 All Weather Track Fast H

    I don't see him racing until the Hollywood Park Fall meet rolls around - if ever.

  3. I dunno. Sounds like he was galloped quite a bit before he was brought back to the track. And while 36-flat for 3 furlongs isn't explosive, it's very brisk and was the quickest of 24 at the distance.

    He might not be that far off. If they really want to race him at all. And if they didn't, I'm not sure why he'd be there.

  4. Chief -

    Lava Man is a two turn horse and that means a couple of extra 5 and 6 furlong workouts before that first race. I've read about those gallops on the farm but still it takes a bit of an extra regimen for any 6-7-8 year old to make a strong comeback.

    That 36 flat HANDILY in California is like a mere 2 furlong work of 24 flat on the east coast. It's almost meaningless.

    And that first race, well I hope it's an extended sprint prep because I do not want to see an old-timer like Lava Man taxed to the max during an extended stretch run.


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