Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Ivan Fallunovalot Wins De Francis Dash Impressively

Multiple Oaklawn stakes winner Ivan Fallunovalot received a preliminary 99 Beyer Speed Figure for his powerful victory in the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Saturday at Laurel.

Under Hall of Famer Calvin Borel, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 1995 and 2001, Ivan Fallunovalot cruised to a 4 ½-length victory, the biggest of his 24-race career.  He ran 6 furlongs over a fast track in 1:10.07 and paid $8.20 to win.

The De Francis was Ivan Fallunovalot’s seventh career stakes victory – all since trainer Tom Howard of Hot Springs claimed the 6-year-old Texas-bred gelding for $25,000 at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting – and first graded event. He has won Oaklawn’s $100,000 King Cotton Stakes the last two years.

The son of Valid Expectations is 4 for 4 this year and won six of his last seven starts. The only loss during that span was a ninth-place finish in last year’s $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1).

Overall, Ivan Fallunovalot has a 15-3-1 record from 24 starts and earnings of $800,808. He is owned by Lewis Mathews of Bismarck, Ark.

Ivan Fallunovalot became the second consecutive Oaklawn stakes winner to capture the De Francis.

It was won last year (via a race-related disqualification) by Gentlemen’s Bet, who captured the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes in 2015 at Oaklawn. Ivan Fallunovalot finished second in the Hot Springs. Ivan Fallunovalot and Gentlemen’s Bet could meet again during Oaklawn’s series of sprint stakes at the 2017 meeting that begins Jan. 13.

Ricardo’s Rides

A triple Thursday at Churchill Downs pushed four-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. closer to a career high for victories in a year.

Santana, who turned 24 Saturday, has 145 victories this year, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. His highest win total since he began riding in the United States in 2009 is 152, which came in 2013, when he collected his first Oaklawn riding title.

Santana ($7,905,806) has already smashed his previous career high for purse earnings this year. His mounts earned $6,025,918 in 2013.

Santana recorded his biggest career victory to date aboard Creator in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16 at Oaklawn. He rode 80 winners in 2016 at Oaklawn and set a single-season meet record for purse earnings ($4,064,073).

Baby Talk

Three Oaklawn training regulars sent out 2-year-old maiden winners last week at Churchill Downs.

Silver Dust (trained by Randy Morse) was a 3 ½-length winner at a mile Sunday. Owner Tom Durant purchased the son of Tapit for $510,000 earlier this year.

Later on Sunday’s card, Untrapped (Steve Asmussen) was a sharp 5 ¼-length sprint winner under four-time Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. Untrapped, who is owned by Mike Langford of Jonesboro, Ark., is a son of Trappe Shot and a $125,000 purchase earlier this year.

Five Star Factor (Ron Moquett) won her debut by 3 ¾ lengths sprinting Saturday. A $50,000 purchase earlier this year, Five Star Factor is by The Factor, winner of Oaklawn’s $300,000 Rebel Stakes (G2) in 2011 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert.

Finish Lines

Oaklawn opened for training Monday in advance of the 2017 live meeting that begins Jan. 13. … Jon Court, Oaklawn’s leading jockey in 2000, has 3,998 career victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. Court is named on two horses Wednesday at Churchill Downs and three horses Thursday at Churchill Downs. … Jockey Israel Ocampo, an Oaklawn regular, has 999 career victories, according to Equibase. Ocampo is named on four horses Friday at Remington Park. … She’s a Bootsy Too, who won her first two career starts this year at Oaklawn, ran second in the $75,000 Mahoning Distaff Tuesday at Mahoning Valley. … Cash Control, fourth in the $100,000 Pippin Stakes Jan. 17 at Oaklawn, won the $100,000 Cardinal Handicap (G3) Saturday at Churchill Downs. Cash Control became trainer Brad Coxs first graded stakes winner that had never run for a claiming price by winning the $100,000 Mint Julep Handicap (G3) June 11 at Churchill Downs. Cox was Oaklawn’s fourth-leading trainer in 2016. … Dazzling Gem, fourth in the $1 million Arkansas Derby (G1) April 16 at Oaklawn, won a second-level allowance/optional claimer at 1 1/16 miles Saturday at Churchill Downs for Cox. Dazzling Gem is owned by Steve Landers, a member of the Arkansas Racing Commission. … Landers and another Arkansas owner, Michael Hui, both of Little Rock, have a meet-high three victories at the Churchill Downs fall meet that closes Sunday. Landers was Oaklawn’s second-leading owner in 2016 with 10 victories. Hui won three races in 2016 at Oaklawn. Recount, sixth in Oaklawn’s $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) April 10, won the $80,000 Bet on Sunshine Stakes Saturday at Churchill Downs. … Rivers Run Deep, who opened 2016 with an allowance/optional claiming victory at Oaklawn, won the $75,000 Cardinal Handicap Saturday at Mahoning Valley for Chris Hartman, Oaklawn’s leading trainer in 2015 and runner-up this year. Rivers Run Deep is 6 for 7 this year. … Oaklawn-raced Kathballu won the $75,000 Orleans Stakes Saturday at Delta Downs …. Oaklawn-raced Black Bear and The Truth Or Else ran second and third, respectively, in Saturday’s $75,000 Sam’s Town Stakes at Delta Downs. … Street Strategy, unraced since winning the $100,000 Fifth Season Stakes Jan. 16 at Oaklawn (leg injury), returned to the work tab this month at Churchill Downs for trainer Randy Morse. Street Strategy has breezed three times, including a half-mile in :50.60 Friday.

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