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Jul 22, 2011

Owners given lounge by one Del Mar trainer


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - The backside area of most racetracks is not normally the most luxurious part of the facility. Barns are primarily utilitarian, the comfort of the horses and not much else involved.

This summer at Del Mar trainer Doug O'Neill is providing a little bit of luxury for the owners of his horses. An 'Owners Lounge' is now available next to O'Neill's office at the track.

"It can get too tight in here," O'Neill assistant Leandro Mora said recently. "Lots of times we have 10 or 15 owners and their kids and families and we built this thing to keep everybody happy."

O"Neill, the defending training champion, converted one stall next to his office for an 'Owners Lounge' with seating and refreshments. Precautions have also been provided for the visitors from the thoroughbred traffic that goes on.

"Especially at Del Mar, we have owners who want to come around the barn," Mora said. "We have plenty of visitors at Santa Anita and Hollywood Park, but we're used to it and we know what to do there. And we get more here than we do anywhere else."

A large painting of Lava Man decorates the converted stall, though not the one that the millionaire gelding used. The picture depicts Lava Man, 2006 Pacific Classic winner, in the company of O?Neill's father and the fathers of the three ownership connections of the champion runner.

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