Co-owner Steve Kenly told drf.com this morning that the 9-year-old gelding Lava Man, the richest claimer in racing history, will be retired again following his last-place finish in the San Gabriel Handicap at Santa Anita on Dec. 27.
So much for the critics who denounced the comeback attempt, claiming the owners of the horse were doing it for greed. The gelding’s connections said all along he was a sounder horse after stem cell therapy and that he would run only if he could compete against stakes-caliber horses. Well, he showed he couldn’t, and true to their words, the owners have now ended the comeback.
I think what’s most important in all this is that it appears Lava Man will live a more comfortable life in retirement because he underwent the stem cell therapy. Kenly told the Racing Form’s Steve Andersen that had he not undergone the procedure, arthritis would have caused Lava Man much discomfort as the years went by.
Here’s the link to Andersen’s story about Lava Man, who gave us all many memorable moments during a career that was truly something that is best depicted in Hollywood movies: