"I just followed instructions, he did the rest," McKee said.
McKee said Holthus told him to get off the rail out of the first turn.
"He settled in real nice down the back side. I had three horses up ahead and while it looked liked like we were losing some ground around the turn I think the best part of the track was three or four lanes off the rail, which was exactly where Bob told me he wanted to see the horse.
"In the stretch he really kicked it in and gave me a big move," McKee said.Private Vow, the 2-1 second choice trained by Steven Asmussen, stalked the leaders for Shaun Bridgmohan into the stretch and appeared poised to move with Lawyer Ron in the stretch but tired to finish seventh. Private Vow made his first start since winning the Kentucky Jockey Club (gr. II) at Churchill Downs Nov. 26.Lawyer Ron, headed for the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) April 15, has now won four consecutive stakes races, earning $180,000 for his biggest victory Saturday. He now sports a record of 6-1-3 in 13 starts with earnings of $620,008.Lawyer Ron paid $5.60, $3.80, and $2.80. Red Raymond, who improved on his third-place finish in the Southwest, returned $11.80 and $4.80 with Luis Quinonez aboard. He finished a neck in front of Steppenwolfer."We were thinking about taking him to the Illinois Derby (gr. II)," Holthus said of Red Raymond. "But now I think we will keep both of them here for the Arkansas Derby." Steppenwolfer, looking to move up after his close second-place finish in the Southwest, never threatened the winner this time, finishing a neck in front of Well Said and paying $2.60 to show.Well Said was followed by Film Fortune, Nob Hill Deelite, Private Vow, Music School, Kip Deville and Travelin Leroy.(Chart, Equibase)