At 20, Lava Man Adding Value As ‘Head Coach’ Of O’Neill Stable

Lava Man, the greatest claim in racing history and currently a valued stable pony at the Doug O’Neill barn, celebrated his 20th birthday this morning on the Santa Anita backstretch in Arcadia, Calif.

Bred in California by Lonnie Arterburn and Eve and Kim Kuhlmann, Lava Man, affectionately dubbed “The Coach” by O’Neill and his staff, is by Slew City Slew, out of the Nostalgia’s Star mare Li’l Ms Leonard.

Claimed out of his 13th start at age three for $50,000 on August 13, 2004, Lava Man won his first start off the claim, the $50,000 Derby Trial Stakes at Fairplex Park and proceeded to embark upon a  sensational career that saw him win back to back Santa Anita Handicaps in 2006 and ’07 and  three consecutive Hollywood Gold Cups from 2005-’07, while amassing career earnings of $5,268,706.

“He’s the head coach, he chaperones every good horse we have to and from the track and he’s been doing this for about 11 years now,” said O’Neill.  “Any horse that needs a little behavior correction, he’ll take them out there too.  As much as he did for all of us during his racing days, he’s doing maybe even more now in his retirement days being the head pony.”

The post At 20, Lava Man Adding Value As ‘Head Coach’ Of O’Neill Stable appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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