LAUREL -- Few could have predicted just how yesterday' $60,000 Native Dancer Handicap developed. Long shot Hooliganisim was off to a big lead, while the likeliest front-runner, Flaming Emperor, was 10th and last.
But at the finish, many horseplayers at Laurel Race Course and Pimlico inter-track had the correct solution: Jet Stream, the favorite, had surged to victory, holding off an all-out bid by Reputed Testamony, the second choice.
Flaming Emperor stumbled badly at the start of the 1 1/8 -mile race, altering its complexion.
"I should have been on the lead," said his rider, Clarence "Jo Jo" Ladner.
Hooliganisim (49-1) zipped to the front from the outside post, and when jockey Paul Nicol gave his mount a breather, the field suddenly bunched together. Edgar Prado, riding Jet Stream, moved his mount closer.