Grade I winner Lawyer Ron, the leading candidate for champion older male, has been retired from racing and will enter stud for a fee of $30,000 at Audrey Haisfield's Stonewall Farm near Versailles, Ky.
A 4-year-old son of Langfuhr , Lawyer Ron ranked right up there with the leaders on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association poll starting in April. At Saratoga, he set a track record of 1:46.64 for 1 1/8 miles in winning the Whitney Handicap (gr. I), breaking a 33-year-old track and stakes record. He next won the Woodward Stakes (gr. I) by 8 1/4 lengths at the Spa, then finished a neck behind Curlin in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (gr. I) at Belmont Park.
Earlier in the year, Lawyer Ron captured the Oaklawn Handicap (gr. II) by four lengths, ran third in the Metropolitan Handicap (gr. I) at Belmont Park, and was beaten a neck in the Salvator Mile Handicap (gr. III) at Monmouth Park.
Bred by the late James T. Hines Jr. and named for Hines' longtime friend and advisor, attorney Ron Bamberger, Lawyer Ron raced solely for his breeder until an interest in the colt was purchased by Stonewall Farms Racing Div. 1 prior to last year's Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).
"It is just the right time, and timing is everything in the Thoroughbred industry," said Bamberger. "Lawyer Ron is 100% sound and at his peak. He's won the big older race, set a track record, and is the top older horse in the country right now.
"As executor of James Hines' estate, I think it is the best interest of all parties involved that Lawyer Ron begins his successful stud career at Stonewall Farm Stallions in 2008."
Lawyer Ron went into the Kentucky Derby off a six-race win streak that started as a 2-year-old and included triumphs in the Arkansas Derby (gr. II) and Rebel (gr. III), Risen Star (gr. III) and Southwest (gr. III) Stakes. In the Run for the Roses, he was well placed early, but weakened in the stretch and ran unplaced to winner Barbaro. Following a rest, he won the St. Louis Derby at Fairmount Park, then ran second in the Super Derby (gr. II).
Lawyer Ron raced in the last two Breeders' Cup Classic - Powered by Dodge, but ran unplaced both times. He retired with a dozen wins and eight placings from 26 races and earnings of $2,790,008. He was trained first by Robert Holthus and then by Todd Pletcher. His dam, Donation, is by Lord Avie.