- It was a useful prep for Lawyer Ron, and that’s high praise for his trainer Bob Holthus. The Beyer of 95 indicates that the colt took a step back from his breakthrough in the Risen Star, likely just what he wanted with two more preps left to crank him up. This time he rocketed right to the front, where John McGee had a real handful. The trainer explained: “If he had been going a mile and a sixteenth, a mile and an eighth, we probably couldn’t have done that. But going a mile into that [first] turn, we kind of took advantage of that post position.” [Arkansas Democrat Gazette] More importantly, he showed that can fight off a challenge. He also came back a little tired. "That was the first time in his last three races that he came back and was blowing.” [DRF]. It was his first race in six weeks and he needed it. I’d look for him to be really tough in the Rebel, where he may face some interesting new faces like Keyed Entry, Private Vow, and perhaps even Strong Contender. I really don’t know if Lawyer Ron will get a mile and a quarter, I have my doubts; but I think he’s going to make a lot of noise at least up until then.
Dan Peitz, trainer of Steppenwolfer, was understandably pretty happy. “I am not only happy, I am thrilled....Going a mile, I didn’t know if we could handle everything. Our horse wants to run farther.”
- John Ward is even more optimistic.....smug?......about Strong Contender than we thought. "I could probably run him just once more before the Derby, but I have to make sure we have some graded money..” That would make the Derby his 4th career start. Ward said of his allowance win that “he was more seasoned than expected for only the second start of his career.” [Daily Racing Form] And the really good news is that he’s leaning towards the Gotham as his next start.
- It’s hardly a surprise to read that the Jockeys’ Guild is planning to file a suit against Wayne Gertmenian and his Matrix Capital. The Guild’s counsel Barry Broad said he has never seen a more corrupt union management team than the Guild's former managers.
"I've never seen anything this crazy...It was done in such a straight-forward manner. In unions, I've seen some specific accusations of corruption, usually over one specific matter or one person, but this occurred on so many levels. The degree of this, in my experience, is totally unprecedented." [Thoroughbred Times]What is surprising is that it took this long to decide to file suit; what’s even more surprising is that there have been no criminal charges filed (though the FBI is investigating); and what’s most surprising of all is that Pepperdine University STILL has his phony bio posted as fact on its website, chief detente negotiator in Moscow and all! Hello?