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Oct 12, 2007

Lava Man to bypass Breeders' Cup


Arcadia, CA (Sports Network) - Trainer Doug O'Neill has announced that Santa Anita Handicap and Hollywood Gold Cup winner Lava Man will not compete in any Breeders' Cup race this year. The six-year-old was last in Sunday's Oak Tree Mile here on the turf.

Lava Man, owned by STD Racing and Jason Wood, will start next in the $250,000 California Cup Classic on Saturday, November 3. The gelding has lost his last two starts.

"He came out of the race (Oak Tree Mile) in great shape, and California Cup, here we come," O'Neill said. "He's such a cool horse that if he never wins again or never hits the board again, he'll retire as the best horse I've ever laid my hands on, that's for sure. But as of now, he'll definitely stay in town."

Lava Man, only the second horse to win three straight Hollywood Gold Cups, has earned more than $5.2 million in 42 career starts with 17 victories. This year he has won three of seven races for $1.4 million.

In 2006 Lava Man swept the three big handicap races in Southern California, Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Pacific Classic. In last year's Breeders' Cup Classic he finished a disappointing seventh behind Invasor.

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