Saratoga Report #2: Laoban Pulls off Jim Dandy Shocker

Laoban Jim Dandy - NYRA

Three Stars of the Week

– 1st Star: FLINTSHIRE – He’s just a brilliant race horse.  Saturday’s four horse Grade 2 Bowling Green was not supposed to be much, but the pace of the race was an absolute crawl, and the jockey’s tried to really get Flintshire off his game on the turn.  None of it worked…he’s just two brilliant and too powerful running down the stretch.  It’s hard to envision this horse getting beat this year the way he’s running now.  Chad Brown has him better than ever, and the sky is definitely the limit with this horse.  Look for him to run in all Grade 1 races the rest of the year.

– 2nd Star: LAOBAN – He’s a maiden no more!!  The racing world sat in stunned silence as the maiden Laoban went wire to wire to win the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes on Saturday.  Shocked or stunned isn’t even the best words to describe this upset.  While thousands of horses have pulled off bigger upsets from a odds perspective this one could be one of the biggest I’ve even been associated with while covering racing for the simple element of surprise.  Laoban took advantage of a pace that ended up being a crawl as he had plenty in the tank in the end while putting away solid horses such as Governor Malibu and Destin.  His tactical pace advantage made all the difference in the world…now can he do it again?  That is still a major question mark.

– 3rd Star: A. P. INDIAN – How good has this horse gotten?  Saturday’s Grade 1 Vanderbilt Handicap win was his second big victory in a row, and this time he smoked his competition.  I was skeptical that he could match his last effort where he beat a great horse in Marking, but I am no longer questioning his talents.  With that kind of a performance he can make an impact in a sprint division that is a little light on paper right now.  Lord Nelson and him going head to head might be something amazing to see.  Both have similar running styles that will be beneficial in the bigger sprint races.

Flop of the Week

CREATOR – The Jim Dandy was a complete head scratcher, and perhaps the dead last effort by Creator was the biggest shock of the race.  The Belmont Stakes winner made no run whatsoever and was never ahead of one horse the entire race.  Total disaster.

Trainer Standings Jockey Standings
1. Chad Brown – 9 1. Irad Ortiz Jr. – 17
1. Todd Pletcher – 9 2. John Velazquez – 12
3. Kiaran McLaughlin – 7 3. Jose Ortiz – 10
4. Jason Service – 5 4. Javier Castellano – 9
5. Graham Motion – 4 5. Joel Rosario – 8
6. Jeramiah Englehart – 4 6. Manny Franco – 6
7. Steve Asmussen – 3 6. Luis Saez – 6
7. Mark Casse – 3 6. Junior Alvarado – 6
7. Four others tied at 3 9. Two tied at 5

Preview to Next Week

Wednesday, Aug 03 Shine Again $100,000 F&M 3&UP 7 Furlongs
Thursday, Aug 04 A. P. Smithwick Memorial (Steeplechase) I $125,000 4&UP 2 1/16
Thursday, Aug 04 Quick Call $100,000 3YO 5 1/2
Friday, Aug 05 National Museum of Racing Hall Of Fame II $200,000 3YO 1 1/16
Saturday, Aug 06 Fasig-Tipton De La Rose $100,000 F&M 4&UP 1 Mile
Saturday, Aug 06 Fasig-Tipton Lure $100,000 4&UP 1 1/16
Saturday, Aug 06 Fasig-Tipton Waya III $200,000 F&M 3&UP 1 1/2
Saturday, Aug 06 Whitney I $1,250,000 3&UP 1 1/8
Saturday, Aug 06 Test I $500,000 F3YO 7 Furlongs
Sunday, Aug 07 Alydar $100,000 4&UP 1 1/8
Monday, Aug 08 NYSS Cab Calloway Division $100,000 3YO 1 Mile


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