05/09/2006 11:00PM

Lawyer Ron might still try Preakness


While Barbaro returned to light training Wednesday at the Fair Hill training center in northeastern Maryland, the trainer of one of the colt's possible challengers, Lawyer Ron, said not to forget about him.

Bob Holthus, trainer of Lawyer Ron, said the inflammation diagnosed in Lawyer Ron's hind ankle may not be serious enough to preclude a Preakness run. Holthus said Wednesday at Churchill Downs that further examination would determine whether Lawyer Ron will be able to make the May 20 at Pimlico. Holthus said if Lawyer Ron returns to training Thursday at Churchill, "that's probably a good sign we'll run."

Meanwhile, at Fair Hill, Barbaro jogged twice around the one-mile dirt track with exercise rider Peter Brette, while trainer Michael Matz accompanied them alongside a pony. Matz said he is very happy with the way Barbaro emerged from his 6 1/2-length Derby triumph.

Besides Barbaro and Lawyer Ron, at least five other 3-year-olds are expected to contest the 131st Preakness: Bernardini, Brother Derek, Like Now, Sweetnorthernsaint, and either of the Bob Baffert duo of Point Determined or Bob and John. Several more are under consideration but less likely to run.

Several of those possible challengers took the track Wednesday: Brother Derek walked the shed row at Churchill; Sweetnorthernsaint jogged an easy mile at Laurel Park; and Bernardini breezed five furlongs in 1:01.80 over a fast track at Belmont Park.

Also at Churchill, trainer Dale Romans said Sharp Humor, 19th in the Derby, was scheduled to undergo surgery Thursday morning at the Rood and Riddle equine clinic in Lexington to have a small knee chip removed. "Now we know why he ran like he did," said Romans.