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.
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
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.