Hot Springs, Ark. (Thursday, April 8, 2015) – Black Hawk Stable’s Alsvid finally got his breakthrough win Thursday when he came flying down the lane to overtake Ivan Fallanovalot for the victory in the $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3). It was the second straight win for the 6-year-old Officer gelding, who had finished second in six previous starts at Oaklawn including this same race last year.
Alsvid broke on top, but settled into third as Picko’s Pride set the early tempo through an opening quarter mile in :21 1/5 and :44. Ivan Fallanovalot took over entering the stretch and appeared to be on his way to an easy victory before Alsvid collared him late for the win by three-quarters of a length. His final time of 1:08 1/5 was the fastest six furlongs of the meet and the fastest in the Count Fleet since Bonapaw won it in 1:08 in 2001.
“He literally broke a length in front,” Hartman said. “Chris (Landeros) rides this horse really good - knows him well. He tucked him in third, saved some for the end, and he came running down the middle.”
The Count Fleet was Hartman's meet-high 30th winner and placed him four victories ahead of Steve Asmussen heading into the final two days of the meet.
“I would love to be leading trainer at Oaklawn,” Hartman said. “It would be a highlight of my career, for sure. But this win is very gratifying, especially for the horse.”
Gentlemen’s Bet, the 4-5 favorite, never fired and finished last.
“It wasn't quite the race I was hoping for, but that's horse racing,” said trainer Ron Moquett. “You win a few you don't think you will, and then sometimes you don't run as well as you think you could have. As long as the horse is alright and the rider is okay, we'll rack 'em up and do it again.”
The Count Fleet Sprint Handicap win improved Alsvid’s record to 12 wins from 29 victories and he has now earned $933,465.
Live racing resume Friday at Oaklawn with the $600,000 Apple Blossom Handicap (G1) and $100,000 Bachelor Stakes among the 10 races that begin at 1:30 p.m. The meet concludes Saturday with the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) and three other stakes.