- Leandro Mora, Doug O'Neill's assistant trainer, spoke to the Form about Lava Man's preparation for the Pacific Classic, which included just two published works a half-mile in 47.80 and three-quarters in 1:14.00.
"Yes, but you know that three-quarters?" Mora said. "On my watch he galloped out seven-eighths in 1:26 around the turn, and he probably got the mile in 1:39. Then there is his gallops, all of them very strong. Because of that, we don't have to pressure horses, work their asses off, so they can run this kind of race." [DRF]With his ass still intact, Lava Man showed it to the rest of the field. With the win, Lava Man takes over the lead in the Older Horse division of the TBA standings listed in the right sidebar. He's supposed to have one prep before the Classic, and it could be on the grass.
Murray Johnson apologized for those remarks he made about Lava Man's "bicarb level."
"I said some stuff after the race that I didn't mean," Johnson, his voice quivering, said Monday. "The guy got to me at the wrong time. I wanted to blame something for my horse not running. I should have just shut up." [DRF]It was not a very good weekend for Johnson, whose father suffered a near fatal heart attack at Del Mar on Friday; he had to be revived with emergency medical equipment.
Walter had an interesting point about Siren Lure perhaps running in the BC Mile. He has run very well on the grass, though not nearly at the Grade 1 level he has won at on the main. His trainer Art Sherman noted that the horse has been dropping further back than usual of late, and that he therefore may be better off in the Mile.
- Brother Derek is coming back, probably in the one mile El Cajon Stakes at Del Mar on Sept 2. Del Mar clockers caught Brother Derek going the first quarter-mile in :26 2/5, a half-mile in :50 3/5, five furlongs in 1:02 2/5, and six furlongs in 1:14 4/5. He was caught galloping out a mile in 1:39 3/5. [Bloodhorse]