Lava Man may stay in California

Word has come down in the past couple days that Lava Man’s camp may be reconsidering a trip to Dubai for a $5 million turf race on March 31 or a $500,000 grass race at Churchill Downs on Kentucky Derby day. Now, trainer Doug O”Neill says the 6-year-old gelding might remain in California and try to defend his title in the Grade I Charlie Whittingham Handicap at Hollywood Park on June 9 — a 1 1/4-mile turf event.

I hope the Lava Man camp does keep the horse in Southern California, at least until the fall. He can do so much by just staying home and running in front of quite a fan base he’s developed. If he remains healthy, he could even attain legendary status and become the first horse to win three Santa Anita Handicaps next March. If I owned Lava Man, that would be my goal. To have him do something that might never be equaled.

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