05/31/2002 11:00PM

Calder: Three in a row for Lord Juban


MIAMI - Lord Juban ($3.60) continued his dominance of the 3-year-old turf division at Calder with a convincing 3 1/2-length victory over Noble Jester in the $75,000 Simply Majestic Stakes.

Confidently ridden by regular jockey Cornelio Velasquez, Lord Juban saved ground while kept within several lengths of the dueling leaders, eased wide to take control in early stretch, then steadily edged away to his third straight stakes victory despite trying to lug in near midstretch. Noble Jester contested the pace and held gamely to finish second, three-quarters of a length in front of the fast-closing longshot Erv's Creek.

Lord Juban, carrying high weight of 122 pounds, covered 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.23 over a yielding turf course.

"We've brought him along slow and tried to let him develop against lesser caliber competition," said Tim Ritvo, who trains Lord Juban for the partnership of the Jon Stable and Gordon Racing Corp. "We also wondered how he'd handle a soft turf course and he answered that question today."

Ritvo said the plan is to point Lord Juban to the $500,000 Virginia Derby at Colonial Downs on July 13.