Kudos to Lava Man camp

You have to love the Lava Man connections — i.e. the owners and trainer Doug O’Neill — for deciding to campaign in California again this year and, even though there will be a priority put on grass races — O’Neill said today that they would love to sweep the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic again.

That would be quite a feather in the 6-year-old gelding’s cap — to not only be the only horse to sweep SoCal’s three major handicap races in the same year, but to do it twice. Lava Man certainly has his detractors for not being able to win outside California, but I bet the same people who criticize the popular gelding sure wouldn’t mind owning him. Is he has good as John Henry, who could win on both dirt and grass and also ship out of state and win? No. But let’s give the old guy some credit. He’s done some impressive things.

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