Lava Man’s future plans due soon

The owners of Lava Man, the 7-year-old gelding who stands third behind Tiznow and Best Pal as the top Cal-bred money-winners of all time, are expected to announce plans for the son of Slew City Slew any day now. I think they are going to retire the horse, which would be the right path.

It’s obvious the old guy is not what he once was, and he was so good to owners Steve and David Kenly and Jason Wood, not to mention trainer Doug O’Neill. I know the debate rages over what’s best for Lava Man. He’s a gelding, so he obviously has no stud value. Some would argue that even if he’s not as good as during his heyday, let him run. That’s what he enjoys doing, just like Perfect Drift, the 9-year-old gelding who recently ran in the Hollywood Gold Cup. As long as geldings are healthy and appear to enjoy the competition, why not let them continue to run? It’s a fine line. Lava Man was so good for about a three-year period, is it best to retire him or let a past champion run in lesser races and perhaps take some luster away from his championship days, when he became the only horse to win the Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic in the same calendar year and also joined the great Native Diver as the only horses to win three consecutive Hollywood Gold Cups?

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