10/30/2009 11:00PM

New Fandan finds form at Meadowlands


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - New Fandan rallied from last to pull off a 25-1 upset Friday night in the $60,000 John Henry Stakes at the Meadowlands.

The 1 3/8-mile race on the yielding turf course proved popular as 14 entered and only three scratched.

Eleventh through the first six furlongs, New Fandan kicked into gear on the last of the three turns, circling the field with a bold surge that carried the 6-year-old gelding to a four-length win over Giant Chieftan. It was the first U.S. win for New Fandan in eight tries this year. The import from Brazil had shown a preference for distance races, but had recently tumbled down the class ladder, running fourth earlier this month as a $16,000 claimer at Belmont Park going 1 1/16 miles.

The stretch-out in distance and barn change to trainer Joseph Russo sparked the revival as New Fandan got his fourth win in 28 starts.

It was also a satisfying experience for rider Maylan Studart, also a Brazilian native.

"The first time I rode this horse was at a mile and a sixteenth and it was too short," said Studart. "He has a very long move. I come from Brazil and have raced there, and the horses have a half-mile kick. So that's why I circled the field and hoped he'd be clear. He needed that long distance. I thought sitting last was the perfect position to watch what was going to happen and ride the race as it comes."

The winning time was 2:20.64

Picou, second in last year's John Henry, got third followed by My Man Lars, Southwest, Out at Night, Undisputed Point, Rockaby Bay, Independent George, Czar Alex and Dubai Review.