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Apr 21, 2006

Lawyer Ron captures Arkansas Derby

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Hot Springs, AR (Sports Network) - Lawyer Ron, sent off as the 1-2 favorite, did not disappoint Saturday in winning the $1 million Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. The decisive victory put the three-year-old solidly in the Kentucky Derby picture.

Lawyer Ron is owned by the estate of James Hines Jr. and trained by Robert Holthus. The chestnut colt is undefeated this year in four starts and added $600,000 to his bankroll. His career earnings are now more than $1.2 million.

The pace in the Arkansas Derby was set by High Cotton with Superfly, Private Vow and Simon Pure close behind. Midway up the backstretch Lawyer Ron joined the group and quickly drew even with High Cotton.

Lawyer Ron took the lead on the final turn and began to draw away at the top of the stretch. Jockey John McKee recorded his seventh win aboard the colt as the pair won by 2 1/2 lengths. Finishing second was Steppenwolfer, with Private Vow third and Simon Pure fourth in the 13-horse field.

On Friday morning Well Said was scratched from the race because of a bone chip in his right front ankle.

The time for the 1 1/8 miles was 1:51.38.

Lawyer Ron began the year with wins in the Risen Star, Southwest and Rebel Stakes. He joins Santa Anita Derby winner Brother Derek and Florida Derby winner Barbaro as the probable Kentucky Derby favorites.

The Arkansas Derby winner has won four of the last six Triple Crown races over the past two years. In 2004 Smarty Jones took the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, and last year Afleet Alex captured the Preakness and Belmont Stakes. Both horses were then voted three-year-old champions.

Lawyer Ron returned $3.00, $2.60 and $2.20. Steppenwolfer paid $4.40 and $3.20, and Private Vow paid $3.60 for show.



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