06/23/2007 12:00AM

Lawyer Ron odds on, neck short

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Lawyer Ron came looking for a path to the Breeders' Cup in the Grade 3, $150,000 Salvator Mile Saturday at Monmouth Park. And while he got in a useful race, he failed to win at 1-10.

Trainer Todd Pletcher is considering the newly created Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile for the classy 4-year-old when Monmouth hosts the Breeders' Cup for the first time in October.

The 2006 Arkansas Derby winner, Lawyer Ron made a strong late run but fell a neck short of catching a losse-on-the-lead Gottcha Gold.

A 4-year-old trained by Eddie Plesa Jr., Gottcha Gold lowered the Salvator Mile stakes record to 1:34.25 on the fast track, erasing the old mark of 1:34.40 set by Peanut Butter Onit in 1991.

Jockey Chuck Lopez sent Gottcha Gold ($22.20) right to the front in the five-horse field. Lawyer Ron, third last time out in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap, wound up between horses on the first turn before settling into fourth.

Up front, Gottcha Gold was sailing along on an uncontested lead, opening a five-length lead down the backstretch. He remained well clear entering the stretch.

John Velazquez, sensing time was running out, roused Lawyer Ron on the final turn and the colt kicked into gear with a quarter-mile to run.

Lawyer Ron kept eating into the Gottcha Gold's margin but fell a neck short.

"I never looked back," Lopez said. "The worst thing you can do on the lead is look to see where the competition is. I just made a dash for the wire."

Lawyer Ron, said Lopez, "arrived late at the party."

There was plenty to celebrate in the Gottcha Gold camp as the colt earned his sixth victory in 21 starts and his first graded win.

Lawyer Ron proved again the old adage about no sure things at a racetrack.

"Things just didn't work our way today," Velazquez said. "We tried to make a big run in the lane, but we didn't have enough ground."

Lawyer Ron did save the day for the bridge-jumping show bettors. Of the $484,077 bet to show, $464,509 was on Lawyer Ron, creating a $97,634 minus pool.

Indy Wind was third, followed by Chucker and Take the Bluff.

* Exchanging Fire ($61.80) posted a front-running upset in the $60,000 Without Feathers Stakes for 3-year-old fillies.

* In Summation ($5.60) rallied to beat Mr. Silver by one length in the $60,000 Sneakbox Stakes at 5o1/2 furlongs on the turf.