Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Ivan Fallunovalot Returns to Work Tab; Leads Count Fleet Works

Multiple stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot returned to the work tab Sunday morning at Oaklawn, breezing a half-mile in :48 after the renovation break under Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel. The move over a fast track was the first for the gelding since he developed a quarter-crack on the inside of his left front foot late last month, and first in preparation for the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10 at Oaklawn.

The injury forced Ivan Fallunovalot to miss the $100,000 Hot Spring Stakes March 5 at Oaklawn.

“He looked good,” trainer Tom Howard of Hot Springs said. “I was pleased. I’m trying to get him back on a regular schedule. That doesn’t mean he’ll work every week. He’s eight to 10 days sometimes.”

Ivan Fallunovalot won the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes Jan. 30 at Oaklawn in his 2016 debut. He ran second in last year’s Count Fleet.

Ivan Fallunovalot, in his final start last year, ran ninth in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Oct. 31 at Keeneland.

Hot Springs winner Subtle Indian breezed a half-mile in :47 Sunday morning at Oaklawn for trainer Robertino Diodoro in preparation for the Count Fleet. The time equaled the fastest of 71 works recorded at the distance. He is one of only two three-time winners at the meeting.

Defending Count Fleet winner and millionaire Alsvid recorded a 3-furlong bullet work (:35.60) Tuesday morning at Oaklawn for trainer Chris Hartman.

Hartman said Alsvid is “possible” for the Count Fleet.

“I need to win a race with him,” Hartman said.

Alsvid ran second in the King Cotton and third in the Hot Springs this year.

Thursday’s Feature

Thursday’s eighth race at Oaklawn, an allowance/optional claimer for older horses, could produce a starter, or starters, for the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10.

The 5-2 program favorite is W.B. Smudge, among about half-dozen horses training newcomer Matt Kordenbrock has this year at Oaklawn.

W.B. Smudge is eying the Count Fleet after running three strong races earlier in the meeting, including a third in the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes Jan. 30 and winning a March 3 allowance/optional claimer.

On behalf of Robert O’Hara Jr. and Gwyneth Gower, Kordenbrock claimed W.B. Smudge out of an Oct. 14, 2014, victory at Indiana Grand for $25,000. He set a 6-furlong track record that day (1:07.59).

“His chart caught your eye right off the bat,” said Kordenbrock, who won four races at the 2015 Turfway Park winter/spring meet. “He was running very, very consistently. We didn’t think he would turn out to be the way he is, but he just looked solid as a rock for $25,000.”

Under Kordenbrock’s care, W.B. Smudge has won two allowance/optional claiming races, run second in the $80,000 Bet On Sunshine Stakes Nov. 21 at Churchill Downs and third in the King Cotton.

“He just seemed to blossom when we got him,” Kordenbrock said. “He’s really moved forward.”

Overall, W.B. Smudge, a 7-year-old gelded son of Oaklawn Handicap winner Grand Reward, has won 11 of 47 starts and earned $364,702. He is scheduled to break from the rail Thursday under Carlos Marquez Jr.

Kordenbrock said Oaklawn’s rich purse structure and more quality in his barn lured him to Hot Springs. The trainer has a 3-4-3 record from 16 starts and purse earnings of $132,226 at the meeting.

Donita’s Ruler, also trained by Kordenbrock, finished sixth in the $100,000 American Beauty Stakes for older female sprinters Jan. 23 at Oaklawn.

“We’ve always looked at this place, but you have to have stock and form with them,” Kordenbrock said. “For a little outfit, we’ve got a pretty solid outfit.”

Kordenbrock said he hopes to make Oaklawn his winter base in the future.

“I love it here,” Kordenbrock said. “Stock dictates what you do. Looking ahead, if we have these same type horses, I’d love to be here. My plans are to be here every year.”

Kordenbrock saddled his first winner in 2006, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization.

Also entered in Thursday’s $80,000 feature race are Skip the Pinot, Bayerd, Helooksthepart, Brewing, Rise Up, Den’s Legacy and Storm Power. Rise Up, Bayerd, Brewing and Storm Power are multiple stakes winners. Rise Up, a millionaire, is scheduled to make his Oaklawn debut for 11-time Fair Grounds training champion Tom Amoss.

Probable post time for the 6-furlong race is 4:42 p.m. (Central).

Green Light

A day after working 5 furlongs in 1:00.80 at Oaklawn, trainer Brad Cox said Tuesday morning that unbeaten Dazzling Gem would make his next start in the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) Saturday at Fair Grounds.

Dazzling Gem was scheduled to run in the $900,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) last Saturday at Oaklawn, but came up with a minor foot problem (abscess) earlier this month. He was already entered in the Louisiana Derby, but Cox said he wanted to watch the Misremembered colt work again Monday before committing to the race.

“Breezed great,” Cox said.

Owned by prominent Arkansas automobile dealer Steve Landers, Dazzling Gem broke his maiden Jan. 18 before winning an entry-level allowance race Feb. 13. Both Oaklawn races were around two turns.

Dazzling Gem is scheduled to break from post 9 in the 1 1/8-mile Louisiana Derby and be ridden by Shaun Bridgmohan.

Sunday morning at Oaklawn, Cox watched Financial Modeling, a recent private purchase, breeze 5 furlongs over a fast track in 1:01. Cox said the 5-year-old son of Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense is being pointed for the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 16 at Oaklawn.

Previously with trainer Chad Brown, Financial Modeling won the $100,000 Queens County Stakes Dec. 19 at Aqueduct and was fifth in his last start, the $500,000 Donn Handicap (G1) Feb. 6 at Gulfstream Park.

Cox said Financial Modeling was privately purchased by Ten Strike Racing, a partnership that includes Marshall Gramm, a professor of economics at Rhodes College in Memphis. Gramm is the son of former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas.

Finish Lines

Runaway Oaklawn riding leader Ricardo Santana Jr. will continue to ride after receiving an injunction from Garland County Circuit Court, said his agent, Ruben Munoz. Santana was scheduled to begin a three-day suspension Saturday after the Arkansas Racing Commission voted unanimously last Saturday to uphold a stewards’ ruling. Santana appealed to the ARC after stewards cited him for careless riding aboard Class President at the top of the stretch of the seventh race March 5. The three-day suspension was originally scheduled to begin March 13. … Unbeaten Taxable “most likely” is headed for the $400,000 Fantasy Stakes (G3) for 3-year-old fillies April 9 at Oaklawn, trainer Steve Asmussen said. Taxable won her 2016 debut March 11 at Oaklawn and breezed a half-mile in :51.60 Sunday at Oaklawn. The Asmussen-trained Terra Promessa, winner of the $200,000 Honeybee Stakes (G3) March 12 at Oaklawn, is also pointing for the Fantasy. … Channing Hill ($1,047,348) became the fourth jockey at the Oaklawn meet to surpass $1 million in purse earnings Sunday. Hill is Oaklawn’s co-fourth-leading rider this year with 22 victories. Hill has established single-season Oaklawn bests this year for victories and purse earnings, eclipsing 18 and $1,043,245, respectively, in 2014, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. … Through 39 days of racing at Oaklawn, 361 claims have totaled $5,167,000.

 

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