Last mission to repair the Hubble telescope Hubble space telescope discoveries have enriched our understanding of the cosmos. In this special report, you will see facts about the Hubble space telescope, discoveries it has made and what the last mission's goals are.
For their own good
Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
Fill out this form to email this article to a friend
Lawyer Ron, the asset, draws interest
Derby hopeful, sold by Hines estate, also gets vote of confidence from Lukas.
By DAWN REISS
Published May 5, 2006
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - To say D. Wayne Lukas knows thoroughbred racing is like telling someone John Wooden knows basketball.
Lukas has won more money than any trainer in the history of the sport - close to $245-million through 2005.
He's a four-time Kentucky Derby winner with Winning Colors (1988), Thunder Gulch (1995), Grindstone (1996) and Charismatic (1999), and although he doesn't have a horse in this Derby, Lukas has a favorite: Lawyer Ron.
"I think he's the most versatile horse," Lukas said Thursday. "He's got fast speed. I think he'll finish well. He's got the pedigree to get a mile and a quarter, and he's got good connections. I just think he's probably the one horse that fits all the parameters for me."
Later Thursday, in an unusual move during Derby week, Ron Bamberger, executor for the estate of Jim Hines and the man for whom the chestnut colt is named, announced the sale of partial interest and breeding rights to Audrey Haisfield, who owns Stonewall Stallions Farms near Versailles, Ky. Hines was an Owensboro, Ky., businessman who drowned Feb. 21 in the indoor swimming pool at his home. He was 69. Lawyer Ron will race Saturday under the blue and white silks of Hines Farm.
"A significant part of the reason behind selling the horse is to take some of the chips off the table," Bamberger said. "Horse racing is a gambling enterprise any way you look at it. The fiduciaries are not supposed to gamble with estate money so if I had been appointed executor and part of the estate had been stock in Caesars Palace, it would have been easy to decide what to do because the odds are with the house if you own stock in Caesars Palace. All you've got to do is look up on the board and see the odds are 4-1 against. A fiduciary can't expose the assets of an estate to that type of risk."
Still, Bamberger said, it's not what Hines would have done.
"Jim Hines would have never ever have sold one small percentage of this horse," Bamberger said. "But I didn't have any choice. I can't gamble with estate money."
Bamberger said it was the right thing to do.
"If the testator had told me to give this horse to the heirs, I would have given this horse to the heirs," Bamberger said. "But what the testator told me was to give the heirs the money of the estate. To have an asset like this is worth so much. To risk it is not the proper thing to do."
History may favor Lawyer Ron, the 4-1 co-second favorite. War Emblem was sold for $900,000 after his Illinois Derby victory and less than four weeks later won the 2002 Derby at 20-1 odds for trainer Bob Baffert. In the past 26 years, only two favorites have won the Derby: Smarty Jones in 2004 at 4-1 and Fusaichi Pegasus at 2-1 in 2000.
Brother Derek, the 3-1 favorite, has won four consecutive races, three in the past year - San Rafael, Santa Catalina Stakes and the Santa Anita Derby - and Lawyer Ron has won six in a row, including the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park four days after Hines' death, the Rebel Stakes on March 18 and the Arkansas Derby on April 15. They are in the 18 and 17 posts, respectively, creating an interesting start for the headstrong duo.
In addition to the many Lawyer Ron story lines, his 71-year-old trainer has been battling the flu this week, a year after being hospitalized with congestive heart failure.
Bob Holthus has been training horses for more than half a century and is the all-time winningest trainer at Oaklawn in Hot Springs, Ark., with nine titles. In 2000, he was inducted into the Arkansas Hall of Fame. He has won training titles at Arlington Park in Illinois, Ellis Park in Henderson, Ky., and Hawthorne in Chicago. He has started four horses in the Derby: Our Trade Winds (13th in 1972), Proper Reality (fourth in '88), Pro Prado (13th in '04) and Greater Good (13th in '05).
"Proper Reality had a lot of talent, but the trouble with him was he was very unsound," Holthus said. "This horse is just the opposite. He's very sound, and you can do what you really want to do with him. I had to nurse Proper Reality from race to race. Because he's sound, it makes Lawyer Ron a lot better prospect for the Kentucky Derby."
Lawyer Ron, a son of Langfuhr who has earned $1,220,008 from seven victories in 14 starts, is by far the most experienced horse in the Derby and Holthus said the sale won't affect preparations to maximize his potential.
"The horse, he don't know anything about it," Holthus said, joking, "and I'm not going to tell him."