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Trainer Doug O'Neill was almost giddy Thursday morning when talking about his dead-heat winner, Lava Girl, in Del Mar's seventh race, a 6-furlong event for fillies and mares 3 years old and older on the main track. The filly went off at odds of 32-1, but because of the dead heat her win payoff was $28.60.

 

"That was special," O'Neill said of the half-sister to his old warrior Lava Man, winner of the 2006 Pacific Classic and numerous other Grade I events. "I was surprised at the way she ran. She has been training really well but we never asked for a ton of run from her. She never tipped her hand that she would run like that in a race, especially in her first race ever -- and down on the rail."

 

Lava Girl is by Purge out of the Nostalgia's Star mare Li'l Ms. Leonard. The mare also foaled the O'Neill-trained Enriched, who runs Saturday in the Eddie Read Stakes here, giving O'Neill two half-siblings to Lava Man. The old warrior now is in a second career as a stable pony and is stabled at Hollywood Park with other O'Neill horses.

 

 

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