Thursday, December 22, 2016

Stakes Winner Warrior’s Club Pointing toward Smarty Jones Stakes

Warrior’s Club, popular winner of the $300,000 Spendthrift Stallion Stakes last fall at Churchill Downs, will make his 3-year-old debut in the $150,000 Smarty Jones Stakes Jan. 16 at Oaklawn, Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas said Thursday morning.

Warrior’s Club is one of two horses Lukas trains for the Churchill Downs Racing Club, a non-profit social club formed last spring to give fans a low-cost, low-risk glimpse into thoroughbred ownership. The club is limited to 200 members, each paying a one-time fee of $500.

Privately purchased for $55,000, Warrior’s Club, a son of Warrior’s Reward, broke his maiden in the Oct. 30 Spendthrift Stakes, a 7-furlong race restricted to 2-year-olds sired by any active or non-active Spendthrift stallion, including all Spendthrift-owned stallions standing regionally in North America.

Warrior’s Club returned to finish third to undefeated McCraken in the $200,000 Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (G2) Nov. 26 at Churchill Downs.

“Just got better every time we ran him,” Lukas said. “We don’t have any grandiose ideas that he’s going to beat up on the 3-year-old division or anything, but he’s a very competitive horse.”

Warrior’s Club finished fifth in his June 16 career debut at Churchill Downs, then ran third, third, ninth and second in four other maiden special weights events in Kentucky. Before winning the Spendthrift Stakes, Warrior’s Club ran second to Speedmeister, a $650,000 2-year-old purchase, Oct. 9 at Keeneland.

Overall, Warrior’s Club has bankrolled $126,296 off a 1-1-3 record from seven career starts.

Spendthrift Stallion Stakes runner-up Cool Arrow returned to win the $300,000 Springboard Mile Dec. 11 at Remington Park.

“I don’t know who is going in the Smarty Jones, but he won’t embarrass us,” Lukas said.

Nominations to the one-mile Smarty Jones, a race Lukas won in 2013 with eventual 3-year-old champion male Will Take Charge, close Jan. 6.

Lukas said Churchill Downs Racing Club’s Dial Me, a 2-year-old Dialed In filly, is pointing for an entry-level allowance/optional claimer Jan. 20 at Oaklawn.

Ivan the Great

Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot is scheduled to return to the track early next week, trainer Tom Howard of Hot Springs said Thursday morning.

Howard said Ivan Fallunovalot, who arrived in Hot Springs in early December, has had a minor illness, but the recent setback shouldn’t prevent him from his scheduled 2017 debut in the $125,000 King Cotton Stakes Feb. 4 at Oaklawn, a 6-furlong race the gelding has won the last two years.

Ivan Fallunovalot completed a perfect 2016 campaign (4 for 4) in the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Nov. 19 at Laurel.

“I guess that trip kind of knocked him out, Maryland, then down to here, and the weather has been up and down,” Howard said. “He picked it up somewhere in his journey.”

Howard said Ivan Fallunovalot has walked the shedrow for approximately a week, but should return to the track Tuesday.

Following the King Cotton, Howard said he hopes to run Ivan Fallunovalot in two other races at Oaklawn, the $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 11 and $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 15.

On behalf of Lewis Mathews of Bismarck, Ark., Howard claimed Ivan Fallunovalot for $25,000 at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting. The 6-year-old son of Valid Expectations has won 15 of 24 starts and $800,808 in his career.

Finish Lines

Oaklawn had 1,079 horses on the grounds Thursday morning. … Following a recent arctic blast that played havoc with training, Oaklawn returned to normal hours Thursday (7 a.m.-10:30 a.m., Central). … Super Saks, who is scheduled to make her 2017 debut in the $125,000 American Beauty Stakes Jan. 28, went a half-mile over a fast track in :48.60 Thursday morning for Hall of Fame trainer D. Wayne Lukas. Super Saks won the $150,000 Carousel Stakes last April at Oaklawn. … Lukas said millionaire Mr. Z, who breezed 5 furlongs in 1:01.60 Thursday morning, is scheduled to make his 2017 debut in the $125,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 13. … Lukas said promising 2-year-old Royal Copy, from the first crop of 2012 Arkansas Derby winner Bodemeister, is scheduled to resume light training Jan. 10 and could resurface toward the end of the meeting in April. Royal Copy (ankle chip) hasn’t started since running second, beaten a neck, in the $350,000 Hopeful Stakes (G1) Sept. 5 at Saratoga. … The track will be closed for training Sunday in observance of Christmas. 

 

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