Law Professor shortly after the break in the 2022 Oaklawn Mile, in which he was ninth (Coady Photography)
NYRA Press Office
OZONE PARK, N.Y.— Twin Creeks Racing Stables’ graded stakes-winning homebred Law Professor is listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite in Saturday’s $150,000 Queens County to close out stakes action for 2022 at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Trained by Rob Atras, the 4-year-old Constitution gelding enters the nine-furlong route for 3-year-olds and up from a pair of difficult Grade 1 engagements when second to Life Is Good in the nine-furlong Woodward in October over a sloppy and sealed Big A main track and an even fifth last out in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on November 5 at Keeneland.
While Atras had initially considered the Grade 1 Cigar Mile presented by NYRA Bets on December 3 as a possible return for Law Professor, he elected to wait for added distance and the prospect of easier company.
“We gave him a couple weeks of downtime, but never really took him out of training,” Atras said. “We gave him a couple breezes and this seemed like a good spot. He’s already run at Aqueduct and run the mile and an eighth well.”
Law Professor tracked from sixth position through the final turn in the Dirt Mile and angled six-wide for the stretch run to finish 7 1/2 lengths back of the victorious Cody’s Wish.
In the Woodward, the dark bay tracked the pacesetting multiple Grade 1-winner Life Is Good throughout, looming large at the top of the lane and staying on strong to the wire, finishing just 1 1/4-lengths in arrears of his talented foe.
Atras said the added distance Saturday should benefit Law Professor after chasing rapid splits at the Breeders’ Cup.
“I think he handled two turns well before and the mile and an eighth allows him to get a little better position,” Atras said. “He can sit a little closer and be more forwardly placed than he was in his last race.”
Law Professor started his career on the West Coast with conditioner Michael McCarthy, taking an off-the-turf edition of the Grade 2 Mathis Mile last December at Santa Anita. The versatile fellow has made three starts for Atras, winning the Tapit over firm turf at Kentucky Downs in September ahead of his recent graded efforts.
And while he steps out of graded company in the Queens County, the 11-horse field does feature a number of tough competitors, including defending champ Forewarned and graded-stakes winners Ridin With Biden, Bourbonic, and Double Crown
“There’s some runners in there and you can’t overlook them. These are hard-knocking horses and the race actually came up tougher than I was hoping,” said Atras, with a laugh.
The Queens County is slated as Race 8 on Saturday’s nine-race program which closes out racing action on the NYRA circuit for 2022. There will be a mandatory payout of all pools. First post is 12:20 p.m. Eastern.