The centerpiece of today’s four Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup prep program is the storied Jockey Club Gold Cup, headed by racing’s newest star, Lawyer Ron (3-5).

While the tendency will be to think regression off two very fast, powerhouse efforts, it’s hard to envision what that regression will mean in terms of his bet-against-ability; especially if the crowd goes overboard for Preakness hero Curlin (5-2).

Triple Crown horses always attract a big following, sometimes creating good betting opportunities.

Thing is that Lawyer Ron is a Triple Crown colt, too, class of 2006. But he’s a better four-year-old for his new barn, a different training style and maturity obviously making the difference.

Lawyer Ron has reached full potential and he’s been nothing less than awesome, in the old school sense of the word. If he turns out to be a fad, an equine flavor of the month, it would be a surprise. But even if that’s what occurs, he has a least one more big one inside him. Taking Todd Pletcher at his word, the horse thrives on work.

On performance figures, Curlin’s Haskell was not as bad as it looks. And, of course, he’s fresher, sharper now, that enervating mile and a half now more than three months away. And he will get those four pounds of scale-weight in deference to his age.

Parenthetically, we believe the scale favors the three-year-olds at this time of year.

This being a very big race, we’re compelled to give The Chief, a.k.a. Allen Jerkens, a second look. His Political Force (8-1) loves Belmont, given his record on it and performance figures that are faster than over any over surface. And he’s 1-for-1 at 10 furlongs.

But it’s Lawyer Ron’s Jockey Club Gold Cup to lose. Taking him to win, boxing him in the exacta with Political Force and first in exactas with both listed contenders.

Running Totals: (112) 40-26-11. Dollar Return: $230.00 [win selections only] {Saturday’s results not included}