02/09/2007 1:00AM

Lawyer Ron plunges into allowance

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HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - The last time Lawyer Ron competed under allowance conditions was during December of his 2-year-old campaign at Louisiana Downs. He won the race by nearly 11 lengths.

Lawyer Ron returns to the allowance ranks for the first time in 14 months on Sunday at Gulfstream Park. And if he runs his best race, the final result may be about the same.

Trainer Todd Pletcher has found a sweet spot for Lawyer Ron's 2007 debut, a one-mile, $57,500 race written for older horses who have not won $18,000 twice other than maiden, claiming, or starter at a mile or longer since Sept. 15. Also eligible are horses entered for a $150,000 tag, although none of the nine entrants will race for the optional claiming price.

Pletcher will run horses in his own name for the first time Sunday after serving a 45-day suspension.

Lawyer Ron holds a decided class edge over his eight rivals. All five of his victories last season came in stakes races, including the Grade 3 Risen Star and Rebel as well as the Grade 2 Arkansas Derby. Those performances established him as one of the leading contenders for the Kentucky Derby, where he finished a well-beaten 12th after encountering traffic problems in the run down the backstretch.

Lawyer Ron missed nearly four months when he came out of the Derby with a small bone chip in his right ankle. He returned for trainer Robert Holthus to win the St. Louis Derby and finish second in the Grade 2 Super Derby, then was suddenly transferred to Pletcher's barn. Lawyer Ron concluded his roller-coaster 3-year-old campaign finishing a tired ninth in the Breeders' Cup Classic after racing rankly chasing a swift early pace.

If Lawyer Ron runs as expected, the best battle may be for second money with Istan, B.oB. Best, Whos Crying Now, and Supervisor among the leading contenders.

Sunday's card also features a talent laden field of potential Derby candidates who will go a mile under entry-level allowance condition. Among the 11 3-year-olds are the impressive maiden winner Came to Pass, the Grade 3 stakes-placed Sightseeing, King Alliance, and Chelokee.

Came to Pass overcame a very slow start to win his maiden in impressive fashion for trainer Thomas Albertrani and will get Lasix for his initial try against winners.

"I think he's got a lot of talent and this should be a good test for him," said Albertrani, who trains Came to Pass for the Darley Stable.