Arcadia, CA, Dec. 28 -- California is known for its movie stars, but on the racetrack, few California-bred horses will ever match the notoriety and stardom the great Lava Man attained.
On Sunday, Dec. 30 at 8 p.m. ET, the next installment of HRTV's award-winning monthly documentary show -- Inside Information: Lava Man -- will chronicle a brilliant career that evolved from very modest, unlikely beginnings.
After starting his racing career on a Northern California Fair track in a maiden claiming event, and several non-descript races thereafter, Lava Man's fortunes turned after being claimed by noted trainer Doug O'Neill, and it kicked off a true rags-to-riches story.
Under O'Neill's tutelage, and mainly between 2005-08, the Slew City Slew gelding became one of the greatest California born Thoroughbreds of all-time. He remains the only horse to capture the California Triple Crown in one season (Santa Anita Handicap, Hollywood Gold Cup and Del Mar Pacific Classic). In 2007, he captured the Hollywood Gold Cup for the third straight year, and shares that distinction with only the great Native Diver. He earned over $5 million during his career.
A legend in California racing lore, Lava Man continues to be a fixture in O'Neill's barn, only a few years removed from his racetrack exploits. After successful stem therapy to repair damaged cartilage in his ankles, Lava Man was converted to a pony and has quickly become a "coach" for Team O'Neill. Most recently, he "ponied" for I'll Have Another's memorable Triple Crown run this season.
Among those interviewed for the documentary are: O'Neill, jockey Corey Nakatani, assistant trainer Leandro Mora, groom Sabas Rivera, equine veterinarian Dr. Herthel, and others.
HRTV, The Network for Horse Sports, is a television-based multimedia network dedicated to equine sports. HRTV’s programming features horseracing from top U.S. and international racetracks, as well as a wide range of world-class English and Western horse competitions, news, original programming and award-winning documentaries covering the world of horse sports. The live stream of HRTV is available on a subscription basis to high-speed Internet users worldwide at www.tvg2.com <http://www.tvg2.com/> . In the U.S., the HRTV television network is available via telco, cable and satellite in over 19 million homes.
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