Thursday, November 17, 2016
Ivan Fallunovalot Heads East for De Francis Dash
Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot drew post 2 for the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Saturday at Laurel in Maryland. Trained by Tom Howard of Hot Springs, he will be seeking his first graded stakes victory in the De Francis Dash, which has drawn a field of nine.
Ivan Fallunovalot has won six stakes races, including Oaklawn’s $100,000 King Cotton the last two years under Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel.Borel will be reunited with the 6-year-old Texas-bred gelding in the De Francis Dash, won last year (via a race-related disqualification) by Oaklawn stakes winner Gentlemen’s Bet.
After winning the King Cotton Jan. 30, Ivan Fallunovalot (quarter-crack) didn’t run again until a Sept. 1 allowance victory at Remington Park. He won the $150,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes Sept. 25 at Remington Park in his last start.
Ivan Fallunovalot (5-1 on the morning line) will represent the first starter at Laurel for Howard, who claimed the gelding on behalf of Lewis Mathews of Bismarck, Ark., for $25,000 at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting.
Ivan Fallunovalot has won his six stakes races under Howard’s care and also ran second to Gentlemen’s Bet in the 2015 $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes and second to Alsvid in the 2015 $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3).
Ivan Fallunovalot has won five of his last six starts, the only loss coming with a ninth-place finish in last year’s $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1). Overall, he has a 14-3-1 record from 23 starts and earnings of $650,808.
Also entered in the 6-furlong De Francis Dash are top East Coast-based sprinters X Y Jet (9-5 program favorite) and Stallwalkin’ Dude (5-2).
Probable post time for the De Francis Dash is 2:35 p.m. (Central).
Betting on Sunshine
The projected field for the $80,000 Bet on Sunshine Stakes Saturday at Churchill Downs has an Oaklawn feel.
The 8-5 program favorite is Holy Boss, winner of Oaklawn’s $100,000 Bachelor Stakes in 2015. The early 3-1 second choice is Alsvid, winner of Oaklawn’s $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) in 2015.
Holy Boss and Alsvid are trained by Oaklawn’s top two trainers in 2016, Hall of Famer Steve Asmussen and Chris Hartman, respectively.
Alsvid has been ultra-consistent in the 10 starts of his 7-year-old campaign which include a pair of victories at Churchill Downs in the June 4 Aristides (G3) and July 2 Kelly’s Landing Overnight Stakes. Since the latter, Alsvid stepped up against some of the country’s top sprinters in Del Mar’s Bing Crosby (G1) where he was third beaten 7 ¼ lengths behind Lord Nelson and fourth behind A.P. Indian in the Stoll Keenon Ogden Phoenix Stakes (G2) at Keeneland.
“We’re hoping for a win but it’s not an easy race,” trainer Chris Hartman said. “No race is a given, right? It came up real tough. It’s a real tough overnight stakes but it’s still a horse race. You got to go out there and get the job done. There are some pretty tough horses in there.”
Chief rivals include Holy Boss, who will step outside of graded stakes competition for the first time in nine starts, and Lewy’s Vaporizer, who recently joined the stable of Tom Amoss and will go for his fourth victory this year.
Following Saturday’s race, Alsvid will get some time off after an aggressive campaign to prepare for what Hartman hopes is a successful meet at Oaklawn Park in the winter.
“He’s going to get a little break after this one,” Hartman said. “He’ll get a little freshening to get him ready for Hot Springs next year and start all over again. God willing, he comes back in good order.”
Also entered in the 6-furlong Bet on Sunshine are Oaklawn winners W.B. Smudge and Den’s Legacy and Oaklawn-raced Recount and Lewys Vaporizer.
Probable post time for the Bet on Sunshine is 4 p.m. (Central). Nine horses are entered.
Oaklawn opens for training Monday in advance of the 2017 live meeting that begins Jan. 13. … Jon Court, Oaklawn’s leading jockey in 2000, has 3,997 career victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. Court is named on two horses Thursday at Churchill Downs. … Jockey Israel Ocampo, an Oaklawn regular, has 998 career victories, according to Equibase. Ocampo is named on two horses Thursday at Remington. … Cash Control, fourth in the $100,000 Pippin Stakes Jan. 17 at Oaklawn, is entered in the $100,000 Cardinal Handicap (G3) Saturday at Churchill Downs. Cox was Oaklawn’s fourth-leading trainer in 2016. … The Cox-trained Dazzling Gem, fourth in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16 at Oaklawn, is entered in Saturday’s eighth race at Churchill Downs, a second-level allowance/optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles. Also entered are Cherry Wine, fourth in this year’s Rebel, and Goats Town, runner-up to future Arkansas Derby starter American Pioneer in a March 19 maiden special weights race at Oaklawn. … Rockshaw, who broke his maiden Oct. 15 at Keeneland, is scheduled to make his stakes debut in the $100,000 James F. Lewis III Stakes for 2-year-olds Saturday at Laurel for Ron Moquett of Hot Springs, Oaklawn’s third-leading trainer in 2016. Four-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. is named to ride. … Santana is also scheduled to ride three-time Oaklawn winner For Greater Glory for Moquett in the $100,000 Richard W. Small Stakes Saturday at Laurel. The 1 1/8-mile race is named for the late Richard Small, trainer of 1994 Arkansas Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Concern. … Oaklawn-raced Rated R Superstar and Morning Fire are entered in the $100,000 City of Laurel Stakes Saturday at Laurel.