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Tin Hat At The Ready

The Lawyer Ron legal kerfuffle (see this history here) has been settled for now, although everything is confidential. But it sounds as though both sides are happy at present:

Stonewall general manager Bert Welker said he is looking forward to the day Lawyer Ron officially joins the farm’s 12-horse stallion roster.

“I know we would sure like to have him here in 2008,” he said. “I don’t think he has anything left to prove. He has danced every dance we’ve asked of him this year.”

Granted, he’s started seven times this year (which is more than can be said for many G1 winners), but since he seems to be really coming into his own, wouldn’t you be curious to see exactly what that might be? What if he’s a monster at five? Alas, we’ll (likely) never know — after all, Stonewall’s lawyer put it a little more bluntly:

John Hamilton, the attorney for Stonewall Farm, would not disclose details of the settlement, but said Stonewall was hoping Lawyer Ron would be retired at the end of this year.

“The purpose of the purchase was to retire the horse to stud,” Hamilton said.

Speaking of stud deals, Pico Central has been sent to South Korea — it seems he didn’t make the cut when Padua moved from Florida to Kentucky; I’m sad to see him go since I think his sire, Spend A Buck, is seriously under-rated and wonder if it will turn into a Sunday Silence situation down the line — I hope for his sake that Korea strats turning out fabulous runners as a result. Forest Camp is also joining him at Jeju Stud Farm.

Take d’Tour has been retired with an injury (perhaps unsurprisingly after her last-place finish in the Beldame); it’s too bad, I would have liked to see her in the Distaff, but she’s had a good career.

But it’s not all gloom and doom — The Tin Man is back in action (right) in the Clement L. Hirsch this weekend, looking for a threepeat. If he performs at his usual high level, the Breeders’ Cup Turf could be on the horizon (and as I’d very much like to see him there, here’s hoping for a good effort).

Keeneland is opening tomorrow, of course — and the two year old fillies should kick things off nicely in the Alcibiades. So far I like Irish Smoke (who is up for sale, if anyone is looking for something to drop a little cash on) and Initiation, but it’s something of a preview of the Juvenile Fillies at this point.

The fillies and mares take to the turf at Keeneland as well, continuing to shake up an already packed division — the First Lady stakes features Precious Kitten, Lady of Venice and Vacare (among others). It’s another ‘Win and You’re In’ race, although most of these ladies should have no trouble getting in anyway.

Saturday at Keeneland features the Shadwell Turf Mile, always a fun race (even when Shadwell owns the favorite, in this case Shakis). Shakis and Cosmonaut may be the headliners, but I also like Purim — and he’ll be flying well under the radar.

Teuflesberg is entered in the Phoenix Stakes in what should be his 21st lifetime start, but with his recent record of entries and scratches, will he actually run this time? Here’s hoping whatever is going on behind the scenes is all good.

Finally, Superfecta is off to the non-specific Northwest today and will return to your regularly scheduled blogging on Tuesday — have a great weekend!

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