Holthus changes Lawyer Ron's status

X-rays are due today

Hemingway's Key to compete in Preakness

Horse Racing

May 11, 2006|By SANDRA MCKEE | SANDRA MCKEE,SUN REPORTER

Trainer Bob Holthus, who only a day before said it was unlikely that Lawyer Ron would compete in the May 20 Preakness, backed off - slightly - yesterday.

"We're going to take some further X-rays today," Holthus said. "He's got a little something in his right hind ankle that the new owner's veterinarian is a little bit concerned about. My veterinarian and myself feel it's probably been there a long time. But we do have to respect their opinion because they now own 80 percent of him."

Three days before the Kentucky Derby, in which Lawyer Ron finished 12th, the majority interest in the horse was sold to Audrey Haisfield, who also owns Stonewall Stallions.

"If you see us going to the track [this morning], I think they had him out of the Preakness a little early," Holthus said, indicating if Lawyer Ron can go to the track today, he should be able to compete in the Preakness.

The race did gain another horse yesterday, as trainer Nick Zito announced Hemingway's Key would compete.

Barbaro's 6 1/2 -length Derby victory was so impressive that it has persuaded trainer D. Wayne Lukas, whose horses have won the Preakness five times, to decline to run Simon Pure (fourth in the Arkansas Derby) in the second leg of the Triple Crown.

"I think I'm going to pass," Lukas said. "I think [Barbaro] should scare a few horses away - me included."

In New York, trainer Rick Violette said he is considering entering High Finance. And Maryland breeder Mike Pons said the Malibu Moon Partnership "will ponder a few more days" over whether to put up the $100,000 supplemental fee to enter Tesio Stakes winner Ah Day.

smm2me@aol.com

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