Law Professor best 98 BSF in Queens County  

January 8, 2023

Photo by Adam Coglianese

NYRA Press Office

OZONE PARK, N.Y. – Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ Kentucky homebred Law Professor earned a career-high 98 Beyer Speed Figure for his 7 1/2-length score in Saturday’s $150,000 Queens County at Aqueduct Racetrack for conditioner Rob Atras. 

“He came out of the race good, and he ate up this morning,” said Atras. “So far, all good.” 

Law Professor, a 5-year-old son of Constitution, pounced from just off the pace under the red-hot Manny Franco, who has won 10 races across the Friday and Saturday cards at the Big A, to take charge in the final turn and sprint clear down the stretch of the nine-furlong test for older horses. It was the dark bay gelding’s third career stakes victory, adding to a Grade 2 score in the off-the-turf 2021 Mathis Mile at Santa Anita Park and a victory over turf in the restricted Tapit in September at Kentucky Downs.

“I don’t want to say I expected it, because in this game you’ve got to roll with the ups and downs and can’t expect anything, but the way he had been training, we knew how much ability he has,” said Atras. “We were hoping for a performance like that.” 

The Queens County was the first win for Law Professor since a determined half-length victory over firm turf in the aforementioned Tapit. He followed with a strong runner-up effort to multiple graded stakes-winner Life Is Good in the nine-furlong Grade 1 Woodward on October 1 here and then finished his 4-year-old campaign with a closing fifth-place finish in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November at Keeneland. 

“The turf race was the owner’s idea and I had never run at Kentucky Downs, so I was a little hesitant, but he was training very well, so we went there, and it all worked out,” said Atras. “After that, we started talking about the Woodward and we knew we probably couldn’t beat Life Is Good, but it was a big pot and it looked like on paper we could be second. He didn’t run a bad race in the Breeders’ Cup, and maybe a mile isn’t his best distance.” 

Atras said he was concerned about waiting an extra week to run Law Professor after the Queens County, which was originally slated for December 31, was re-scheduled to January 7 due to dense fog. 

“That’s always a concern. We had him there and he was ready to run and then they canceled it. I said, ‘Oh my God, I can’t wait another week to run this horse,’” Atras said, with a laugh. “He can be a little tough in the mornings to train and he was just really ready to run.” 

Law Professor has been named on the reserve list of invitees to the Grade 1, $3 million Pegasus World Cup Invitational on January 28 at Gulfstream Park. Atras said he is still considering other options if he does not make a trip to the Hallandale Beach oval. 

“We don’t have any other spot in mind at the moment,” Atras said. “We’re on the reserve list and it is a little quick back, but I’m not going to say yes or no to it just yet.”

Heavenly Prize Battle Bling
Battle Bling winning the Ladies. (Susie Raisher)

Atras also recently sent out Michael Dubb and Gandharvi’s graded stakes-winner Battle Bling to a game runner-up effort to Falconet in the Ladies on New Year’s Day at the Big A. The daughter of Vancouver was defeated just two lengths, signaling a return to good form after an uncharacteristic off-the-board finish two starts back in the Grade 3 Go for Wand on December 3 at Aqueduct. 

Atras said it was good to see a strong performance from the 5-year-old dark bay, who has finished first or second in nine-of-11 starts since being haltered for $62,500 out of an optional claimer last December at the Big A. 

“She came out of the race good,” said Atras. “She ran a big race and I’m kind of relieved because she threw in a clunker the race before, which she has never done before. I don’t know what happened there. She didn’t have anything wrong with her bloodwork and had been doing everything normal. It’s just that day, she was flat in the paddock. She seemed more herself [before the Ladies]. I was happy.”

Battle Bling made the grade in November when scoring a gritty neck victory over Nostalgic in the Grade 3 Turnback the Alarm, notching the third stakes triumph of her career and second in-a-row after a tidy 1 1/4-length score in the October 1 Twixt at Laurel Park. 

Atras said he is still considering a next start for the six-time winner. 

“I don’t know where she’ll go next yet,” said Atras. “We’ve got her back galloping and so far, everything is good. There’s a race coming up at a mile that we’ll take a look at, and she’s run good out of town, too.” 

Atras’ recent stakes successes have come on the heels of a productive Aqueduct fall meet, where he finished third in the trainers’ standings with a record of 51-13-8-9. The 39-year-old native of Portage la Prairie, Manitoba has already posted impressive numbers just four days into the Aqueduct winter meet, hitting the board with 8-of-9 starters for a record of 9-4-3-1 as of Sunday morning. 

“We were real quiet at Saratoga and had a little bit of a tough meet there,” Atras said. “We came back here and were still quiet and couldn’t get the horses in the right spots. Now, it seems like they have been and a lot of them have been claimed, but they’ve been winning.” 

Nice score King! @jonathanstettin Well played with the 4 singled on one ticket. 2 times! Big congrats.

Michael R. Snow (@theWynnDough) View testimonials



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