After starting his racing career on a Northern California Fair track in a maiden claiming event, and several non-descript races thereafter, LAVA MAN's fortunes turned after being claimed by noted trainer Doug O'Neill, and it kicked off a true rags-to-riches story.
Under O'Neill's tutelage, and mainly between 2005-08, the SLEW CITY SLEW gelding became one of the greatest California-bred Thoroughbreds of all-time. He remains the only horse to capture the California Triple Crown in one season (Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Del Mar Pacific Classic). In 2007, he captured the Hollywood Gold Cup for the third straight year, and shares that distinction with only the great NATIVE DIVER. He earned over $5 million during his career.
A legend in California racing lore, LAVA MAN continues to be a fixture in O'Neill's barn, only a few years removed from his racetrack exploits. After successful stem therapy to repair damaged cartilage in his ankles, LAVA MAN was converted to a pony and has quickly become a "coach" for Team O'Neill. Most recently, he "ponied" for I'LL HAVE ANOTHER's memorable Triple Crown run this season.
Among those interviewed for this feature were trainer Doug O'Neill, jockey Corey Nakatani, assistant trainer Leandro Mora, groom Sabas Rivera, equine veterinarian Dr. Herthel, and many others.
|Format(s) Available:||DVD And VHS|
|Category:||U.S. & Canadian Flat Racing|