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Aug 02, 2007

Lawyer Ron captures Whitney Handicap


Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Lawyer Ron, with John Velazquez in the saddle, used a stalking run to propel himself to a 4 3/4 length victory in Saturday's $750,000 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga Race Course. The time for the 1 1/8 mile race was 1:46.64, a new track record.

Lawyer Ron, one of three horses in the race trained by Todd Pletcher, snapped a two-race losing streak and guaranteed a spot in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic this year.

The winners of all four Saturday stakes automatically qualify for their respective Breeders' Cup races this year at Monmouth Park. This is part of the new "Win and You're In" program.

Breaking from post 11, Lawyer Ron was forced to race wide around the first turn as Wanderin Boy set the pace. Running second was Fairbanks with Papi Chullo third and Flashy Bull fourth in the 11 horse field.

Heading up the backstretch Wanderin Boy continued to set the pace followed by Fairbanks, Lawyer Ron and Papi Chullo. Nearing the far turn Wanderin Boy maintained the lead with Fairbanks still second followed by Lawyer Ron and Diamond Stripes in fourth.

Around the final turn Lawyer Ron moved into second place drawing closer to Wanderin Boy. Coming out of the turn Lawyer Ron drew along side the leader and took command nearing the furlong pole.

The four-year-old increased his advantage while Wanderin Boy held on to second place. Lightly-raced Diamond Stripes finished third for the second straight start and 13-1 long-shot Fairbanks was fourth.

Completing the order of finish was Dry Martini, Magna Graduate, Flashy Bull, Brass Hat, Papi Chullo, Sun King and Awesome Twist. Student Council was a scratch.

The final time of 1:46.64 broke the track record of 1:47 set by Tri Jet in 1974. Last year Invasor won the Whitney in 1:49.06.

Owned by Hines Racing, Lawyer Ron registered his 11th career victory in 23 starts. The $450,000 brings his lifetime earnings to more than $2.34 million.

This year the chestnut colt also won the Oaklawn Handicap to go along with last year's Arkansas Derby and St. Louis Derby. Last month he was second in the Salvatore Mile at Monmouth Park and in May was third in the Met Mile.

Lawyer Ron returned $13.00, $7.70 and $5.30. Wanderin Boy paid $25.20 and $14.00, and Diamond Stripes paid $5.30 to show.

In Saturday's supporting stakes races, My Typhoon won the Diana Stakes for fillies and mares on the grass. The six-furlong Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap went to Diabolical. The Go for Wand Handicap for fillies and mares was won by Ginger Punch.

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