We celebrate horses, because they are essential to our very souls. For people like us, the thought of a lifetime without the equines we have come to know, is simply no lifetime at all. They are what calms us -what motivates us – they are what sustains us, truly.
We celebrate horses – and today, we celebrate Lava Man.
A one-time claimer, the son of Slew City Slew’s modest beginnings set the stage for one of the greatest success stories the world has ever seen. A gleaming, gritty bay gelding who wore upon his face a trademark crooked blaze, Lava Man’s story would carry him from the hallowed grounds of old Hollywood Park, to the Bluegrass State, to Japan, and back, once more.
Only the second horse in history to capture the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup thrice, Lava Man would set in motion the remarkable career of now two-time Kentucky Derby winning trainer Doug O’Neill, before riding off to a thoroughly-deserved retirement.
He would eventually make his way back, once more, to the Barn of his former-conditioner to, this time, help mold young Thoroughbreds into racehorses. With an honest work ethic and no-nonsense approach, Lava Man spends his days instilling in tomorrow’s generations the heart and determination he so put forth, time and time again for all to see.
Perhaps, he will bring to us the next great athlete— one which will too possess the heart and tenacity he so displayed, throughout the course of his historic career— one which will set our souls ablaze the way he did.
For we celebrate horses, and today, the day of his birth, we celebrate Lava Man.
📸 by Courtney Hanson and our friends at Eclipse Sportswire