JUST as the three-year-old pool started to clear, Laoban did a cannonball into the middle of it, winning a race named after Jim Dandy, a horse who upset Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox in the 1930 Travers.

Twenty-fours later, the pool didn’t exactly clear as Exaggerator rallied from last to win the Haskell Invitational at Monmouth Park. The long-striding son of Curlin won the Preakness, then flopped in the Belmont. Freshened up, he returned with a vengeance, rolling past American Freedom and the Derby winner Nyquist to score by one and a half lengths in the Grade 1 stakes race.