Lawyer Ron, who finished second in the Super Derby (gr. II) in his last start, has been taken away from trainer Bob Holthus and turned over to Todd Pletcher, Holthus said Friday.
An interest in the son of Langfuhr
was sold by the Estate of James T. Hines Jr. to Stonewall Farms Racing Div. 1, just prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented byYum! Brands (gr. I). Stonewall Stallions, located near Versailles, Ky. is owned by Audrey and Richard Haisfield.
The move did not come as a shock to Holthus, who said right after the sale that it wouldn't surprise him if the new owners took the horse away from him. But as time went on, he began feeling more secure that he would keep the horse.
"That's the life of a horse trainer," Holthus said. "Ron Bamberger (executor of the Hines' estate) called me at 11 o'clock (Thursday morning) and told me they had decided to give the horse to Pletcher, and a van would be by to pick him up. Ten minutes later, the van arrived and took him away.
"It was tough, because I picked him out of a field of yearlings when he was 16 months old, and I broke him. He won six stakes with us and is the fifth leading money winner in the United States. You don't think about losing a horse you did that well with. All I can do now is I hope to find another one like him."
"We congratulate Bob Holthus for the job he's done and wish Todd the best of luck with him," said Bert Welker, general manager for Stonewall Farm Stallions.
Lawyer Ron has won eight of 16 starts for earnings of $1,370,008. Among his victories were the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and Rebel and Risen Star Stakes (both grade III).
The colt's breeder, James T., Hines Jr., drowned in his home swimming pool just days before Lawyer Ron won the Southwest Stakes. On May 4, it was announced that an interest had been sold to the Haisfields.