Top NY freshman sire Laoban relocates to WinStar

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020

Grade 2 winner Laoban, New York’s leading freshman sire in 2020, will relocated to WinStar Farm for 2021. NYRA Photo.

By Tom Law

Laoban, far and away this year’s New York’s leading freshman sire and fifth on the North American first-crop list, will relocate from Sequel Stallions in Hudson to stand the 2021 season at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky.

WinStar will offer a limited number of seasons to the 7-year-old son of Uncle Mo at $25,000 stands and nurses until the Breeders’ Cup, when the fee is subject to change pending the outcomes of the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf.

Laoban is expected to be represented in the Juvenile Fillies by Grade 1 Darley Alcibiades Stakes winner Simply Ravishing and in the Juvenile by Grade 1 Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity runner-up Keepmeinmind.

Laoban, who stood the 2020 season for $5,000 at Sequel, sired five winners and the earners of $615,400 through Monday. In addition to his rankings on the freshman sire lists, Laoban ranks eighth on New York’s general sire list through Monday.

“My phone lit up before the filly crossed the wire at Keeneland,” Sequel Stallions’ Becky Thomas said of Simply Ravishing, who improved to 3-for-3 with a 6 1/4-length romp in the Keeneland fall meet’s traditional opening day feature. “In the following days, we were overwhelmed with calls from all of the very top stallion farms in Kentucky.

“Laoban is stamping his foals and proving to be a cookie-cutter of the Uncle Mo style of stretch and athleticism. Since receiving the foals from New York, they certainly looked the part, but once we started training them at Winding Oaks, I knew that he was going to be something special. Talking with other horsemen in Ocala who were training his first crop of 2-year-olds and seeing them perform consistently, he was the buzz horse all season. Then, for him to become the first New York stallion to sire a Grade 1 winner in his first crop is absolutely incredible. It is truly a humbling experience to be a part of what is becoming such an important young stallion. WinStar is a great fit for him and he is sure to get a wide variety of nice mares coming from all their partnerships and support. We couldn’t be more excited about his future.”

Laoban has fared well at the sales the last two years, with 33 yearlings from his first crop selling for an average of $27,530 in 2019 before 17 sold for an average of $33,684 in 2020. Laoban’s 2-year-olds did even better in 2020 with 27 selling for an average of $40,841, including a colt out of the Henny Hughes mare One Look named Uno who brought $255,000 from bloodstock agent Steve Young at the OBS June sale.

A $260,000 yearling himself at the 2014 Keeneland September yearling sale, Laoban defeated Belmont Stakes and Arkansas Derby winner Creator and multiple graded stakes winners Mohaymen and Destin winning the Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes in 2016 at Saratoga Race Course. Laoban also placed in the Grade 3 Gotham and Grade 3 Sham during his 3-year-old season before retiring with a record of 1-2-1 from nine starts and $526,250 in earnings for owners Southern Equine Stable and McCormick Racing and trainer Eric Guillot.

Bred by Respite Farm, Laoban is out of the stakes-placed Speightstown mare Chattertown, a three-quarter sister to multiple Grade 1 winner and $2,354,454-earner I’m a Chatterbox.

“I have tremendous respect for Becky and her Sequel operation,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar’s president, CEO and racing manager. “We are excited to partner with her and the original shareholders and we are appreciative of the efforts of Siena, Taylor Made and Breeze Easy in bringing Laoban to Kentucky. Laoban is a beautiful son of Uncle Mo who might have three horses in the Breeders’ Cup and we believe Uncle Mo is an important sire line for the next generation.”

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