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Sep 06, 2007

Lawyer Ron demolishes the field to win Woodward Stakes

Saratoga Springs, NY (Sports Network) - Lawyer Ron, winner of the Whitney Handicap, ran away from the field to capture Saturday's $500,000 Woodward Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. It was the second victory for the colt this summer at the upstate New York track.

Trained by Todd Pletcher, Lawyer Ron put himself atop the handicap division with the dominating win in the Woodward. The retirement of 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor left the division wide open.

After a delay in the start of the 1 1/8 mile race, Wanderin Boy took the lead at the break and led the field around the first turn and into the backstretch. Lawyer Ron settled into second with Magna Graduate third and Sun King fourth in the eight-horse field.

Entering the far turn Lawyer Ron moved past the leader as Met Mile champ Corinthian advanced on the outside into second. Coming off the final turn Lawyer Ron, ridden by John Velazquez, accelerated away from the competition as he left no doubt who was the best horse.

The 3-5 favorite won by 8 1/4 lengths with Sun King finishing second followed by Diamond Stripes, Corinthian, Political Force, Brass Hat, Wanderin Boy and Magna Graduate.

The time for the 54th Woodward Stakes was 1:48.60 on a fast track.

Owned by Hines Racing, the win was worth $300,000 to bring the four-year-old's career earnings to more than $2.64 million. Lawyer Ron has won 12 of 24 lifetime starts.

"We've been focused on getting him to relax," Pletcher said. "I haven't been too concerned on how fast or slow he goes, but the fashion in which he does it. He can still be very headstrong. He's a talented horse, and if you're not careful, he'll go too fast. Throughout his career, he's a horse who has run consistently well. He's a tough, durable horse who may need more time in between races."

This year Lawyer Ron established a stakes and track record in winning the Whitney along with a victory in the Oaklawn Handicap. The Whitney time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:46.64. He also recorded a second place finish in the Salvatore Mile at Monmouth Park this summer and in May was third in the Met Mile.

Lawyer Ron is expected to make one more start leading to the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park on Saturday, October 27.

Lawyer Ron returned $3.50, $2.60 and $2.10. Sun King paid $7.70 and $4.70, and Diamond Stripes paid 3.50 to show.

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