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Hello 2010, Goodbye (again), Lava Man

While things are slowly gearing up in Florida and racing continues apace in California, one horse will most definitely be absent – Lava Man has been re-retired after his disheartening comeback race last month. His connections have remained true to their word that he would only remain in training if he could compete at the highest level, and so it’s back to the farm for the 9-year-old gelding. Whether he will remain in California or head to Kentucky Horse Park has yet to be determined.

Age has not stopped Cloudy’s Knight, however, despite the fact that he is Lava Man’s elder by a year – he was in the winner’s circle again on Boxing Day in the G2 W. L. McKnight Handicap at Gulfstream. Usual stalwart Presious Passion was barely a factor in the race, but he’ll be back later this winter – Cloudy’s Knight will have a break until the spring, and then he too will return to the track.

Gio Ponti is aiming to make his 2010 debut sometime in February, with a view toward the Dubai World Cup; there’s no official word yet on whether Rachel Alexandra may be Dubai-bound as well, but she’s been back galloping, with real works coming next month.

Newly-four Quality Road demonstrated that he’s learned how to behave at the gate – now that he’s a grownup 4-year-old, he handled things quite professionally in the Hal’s Hope (and one could argue that the mile distance suited him well). He may use the Donn Handicap as a route to Dubai – although I’d prefer to see him in the Godolphin Mile, rather than the World Cup.

For those interested in what the 3-year-olds are up to, it’s a bit too early to predict things – but it’s certainly encouraging to hear that Take Control, offspring of two former Horses of the Year, won his career debut (back when he was just a 2-year-old, last week). It’s easy to set the bar very high indeed when the parents in question are Azeri and A.P. Indy, and we have no real idea what sort of company he’ll be keeping as his career gets going, but it’s certainly a move forward for the Bob Baffert trainee.

We’re still a few weeks away from some of the season’s major races, but planning is very much underway – welcome to 2010!

4 comments to Hello 2010, Goodbye (again), Lava Man

  • Eddie D.

    I don't think we'll see Rachel Alexandra racing on a synthetic surface anywhere, even for $10-million in Dubai.

  • Teresa

    Lava Man had a reservation at Old Friends in Lexington before his un-retirement; I suspect–and hope–that we'll see him back there.

  • railrunner

    I was hoping that Lava Man would be given one more chance to run, but he’s certainly earned his retirement.
    Take Control could make a tremendous story with such fabulous parents if he continues his winning ways. I hear that Buddy’s Saint is heading for the Fountain of Youth Stakes for his 2010 debut, can’t wait to see how he does.

  • Dell Yount

    I recently discovered your excellent SuperfectaBlog… and if it's not too late, I would like to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR and continued success!

    Dell Yount
    UpInClass Racing Forum (USA)

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