One of the highlights of a bleak year in North American racing, has been the consistency and heart shown by Lava Man.
The Slew City Slew gelding is unbeaten in his six starts this year and is a leading contender for Horse of the Year honours. Lava Man's wins include the Pacific Classic, Santa Anita Hcp and the Hollywood Gold Cup, which he won for a second consecutive year. He showed his versatility by winning the Charles Whittingham Hcp (Gr1) – which is run on the turf.
Another Doug O'Neil inmate to have shown great consistency is the filly Cambiocorsa. The four-year-old daughter of Avenue of Flags has won her last eight starts, all over the Oak Tree course at six and a half furlongs at Santa Anita. In fact the grey has never lost over that course.
The filly has won nine of her 15 starts and over half a million dollars. Her wins include the Las Cinegitas Hcp (Gr3), with her last win coming in the Senator Ken Maddy Hcp (Gr3). Like another top-class racemare, Fleet Indian, Cambiocorsa is out of a mare by Canadian Horse of the Year Afleet. Her dam, Ultrafleet, failed to win a race but is a daughter of stakes placed Social Conduct.