Lawyer Ron

Lawyer Ron (March 1, 2003 – July 11, 2009) was an American thoroughbred race horse.

Lawyer Ron
Lawyer Ron.jpg
DamsireLord Avie
CountryUnited States
BreederJames T. Hines, Jr.
OwnerJames T. Hines, Jr.
Stonewall Farm (May, 2006)
TrainerBob Holthus
Todd Pletcher (October 2006)
Record24: 12-4-4
Major wins
Risen Star Stakes (2006)
Southwest Stakes (2006)
Rebel Stakes (2006)
Arkansas Derby (2006)
St. Louis Derby (2006)
Oaklawn Handicap (2007)
Whitney Handicap (2007)
Woodward Stakes (2007)
American Champion Older Male Horse (2007)
Last updated on July 11, 2009


Lawyer Ron was bred and owned by James T. Hines, Jr., an entrepreneur who started his first company, Premium Allied Tool, in Owensboro, Kentucky, in 1966 and turned it into a multimillion-dollar business. Hines became involved in thoroughbred horse racing in 1995 but died at the age of 69 in a drowning accident in his home swimming pool on February 20, 2006, just before Lawyer Ron's victory in the Rebel Stakes. The estate and Lawyer Ron's racing career were both managed by Mr. Hines' lawyer, Ron Bamberger, for whom the horse was named.

Stonewall Farm of Midway, Kentucky, bought a majority interest in Lawyer Ron in the week preceding the 2006 Kentucky Derby. He raced as a 4-year-old in 2007 under the banner of Hines Racing LLC, and stood at stud for Stonewall Stallions Farm after he retired.

Racing careerEdit

Lawyer Ron broke his maiden on October 10, 2005, in a maiden race at Keeneland Race Course. It was his first race on a dirt track, and he won by 3 1/2 lengths. On December 9, 2005, in an allowance race at Louisiana Downs, Lawyer Ron drew away from the field to win by ten lengths. He then won the Diamond Joe Stakes at Evangeline Downs on December 31, 2005, by eight lengths.

Although Lawyer Ron dominated in races on the dirt, his performances on the turf and polytrack surfaces were mediocre. Overall he was 0-7 away from the dirt, finishing in the money only four times. However, he won nine of his next twelve races (and placed second in one) on dirt.

In the 2006 Grade III Risen Star Stakes held at Louisiana Downs on January 14, Lawyer Ron broke well and was second heading into the first turn. He stayed just to the outside of the leader, Mark of Success, before passing him early on the backstretch. Lawyer Ron and Mark of Success battled down the backstretch and into the final turn with Mark of Success on the inside and Lawyer Ron on the outside. Mark of Success continued to press Lawyer Ron for the lead early in the stretch until Lawyer Ron opened up and pulled away to an 8 length victory.

The 2006 Southwest Stakes was held on February 25 at Oaklawn Park featuring Lawyer Ron as the odds-on favorite. He broke strongly to take an early lead. Heading down the stretch, Steppenwolfer made a strong challenge for the lead, but Lawyer Ron held him off to win by 3/4 length.

In the 2006 Grade III Rebel Stakes held at Oaklawn Park on March 18, Lawyer Ron got a poor start and was trapped against the rail in fifth. Coming out of the first turn, he moved to the outside but remained in fifth down the backstretch. Under jockey John McKee, he made his move at the start of the second turn. Moving strongly up the field, he took the lead by the time he came out of the turn and won by three lengths.

The 2006 Arkansas Derby was a $1 million Grade II stakes race run at Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, on April 15, 2006. Lawyer Ron was the odds-on favorite. Early in the race, he was bottled in between horses in fourth but moved up on the rail coming out of the first turn to gain the lead. Lawyer Ron was then challenged by Private Vow coming out of the second turn but pulled away and won by 2¾ lengths over a late-surging Steppenwolfer.

Past PerformancesEdit

In most of Lawyer Ron's victories, he jumped out to an early lead and set the pace. All of his wins were characterized by a strong driving finish. In the 2006 Rebel Stakes, Lawyer Ron demonstrated the ability to come from the back of the field as well. His ability to both start and close a race made him a favorite to win the 2006 Kentucky Derby, according to many experts. He left the gate in 6th place in the Derby but after the first turn moved quickly to 2nd place, where he remained down the long back side. He tired at the top of the stretch and finished 12th.

On August 25, 2006, Lawyer Ron won the inaugural running of the St. Louis Derby at Fairmount Park Race Track in Illinois.

Ridden by John Velazquez and hard to handle in the early part of the race, on September 30 Lawyer Ron lost to Curlin by a neck in a stretch duel in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup at Belmont Park. Early in the race, he ran in second place behind the early fractions of 24:26, 47:88, and 1:11:66 set by Brother Bobby.


Through his early racing career, while Bob Holthus was trainer, Lawyer Ron was ridden by John McKee, who called the colt one of the best horses he had ever ridden. McKee was the primary rider for Lawyer Ron's trainer, Bob Holthus. Prior to the 2006 Kentucky Derby, McKee had two Derby mounts: Greater Good in 2005 and Pro Prado in 2004.

Beginning in October 2006, Lawyer Ron was conditioned by multiple Eclipse Award winning trainer Todd Pletcher. On February 11, 2007, Lawyer Ron, who continued to be rank throughout his career (probably contributing to his loss in the 2006 Breeders' Cup Classic which went to Invasor), was ridden by jockey John Velazquez for an optional/allowance claiming race at Gulfstream Park. Velazquez kept control of the headstrong colt, forcing him to settle and then steady behind the field until finding his opening for the win.

In the $500,000 Oaklawn Handicap on April 7, 2007 Lawyer Ron was ridden for the first time by Edgar Prado. Although previously a headstrong horse, he settled early and moved to the lead on the outside passing the three-eighths pole and entered the stretch with a clear advantage. He pulled away to win by 4 lengths. Prado never used the whip on him.

John Velazquez rode him to a track record time of 1:46.64 in the 2007 Whitney Stakes and then again a few weeks later, in the Woodward Stakes, which he won over a fast track by 8¼ lengths in a time of 1:48.60. In late October, he finished seventh in the 2007 Breeders' Cup Classic at Monmouth Park Racetrack on a sloppy track.


In November 2007, Lawyer Ron retired with an initial stud fee of $30,000 at Stonewall Farm in Versailles, Kentucky. On July 11, 2009, he died from complications after colic surgery. At the age of six, he was standing his second season. His first crop of foals arrived in 2009.


Finish Race Distance Track Condition
7th Breeders' Cup Classic One and one-quarter miles Monmouth Park Sloppy
2nd Jockey Club Gold Cup One and one-quarter miles Belmont Park Fast
1st Woodward Stakes One and one-eighth miles Saratoga Race Course Fast
1st Whitney Stakes One and one-eighth miles Saratoga Race Course Fast
3rd Salvator Mile Handicap One mile Monmouth Park Fast
2nd Metropolitan Handicap One mile Belmont Park Fast
1st Oaklawn Handicap One and one-eighth miles Oaklawn Park Fast
1st Optional/Allowance Claiming One Mile Gulfstream Park Fast
9th Breeders' Cup Classic One and one quarter miles Churchill Downs Fast
1st St. Louis Derby One and One-Sixteenth Miles Fairmount Park Race Track Fast
12th Kentucky Derby One and One-Quarter Miles Churchill Downs Fast
1st Arkansas Derby One and One-Eighth Miles Oaklawn Park Fast
1st Rebel Stakes One and One-Sixteenth Miles Oaklawn Park Fast
1st Southwest Stakes One Mile Oaklawn Park Fast
1st Risen Star Stakes One and One-Sixteenth Miles Fair Grounds Race Course at Louisiana Downs Fast
1st Diamond Jo Stakes One Mile Evangeline Downs Fast
1st Allowance Opitional Claiming One Mile Fair Grounds Race Course at Louisiana Downs Fast
4th Grand Canyon Handicap One and One-Sixteenth Miles (Turf) Churchill Downs Firm
3rd Allowance One and One-Sixteenth Miles (Turf) Churchill Downs Firm
1st Maiden Seven Furlongs Keeneland Race Course Sloppy (Sealed)
5th Maiden Six and One-Half Furlongs Turfway Park Fast
2nd Maiden Claimer Six Furlongs Turfway Park Fast
7th Maiden One Mile (Turf) Ellis Park Racecourse Firm
3rd Maiden One Mile (Turf) Ellis Park Racecourse Firm


External linksEdit