Ivan Fallunovalot Makes Plans After Stakes Win
Ideally, Ivan Fallunovalot would run two more times this year following Sunday’s victory in the $150,000 David M. Vance Sprint Stakes at Remington Park, trainer Tom Howard of Hot Springs said Monday afternoon.
But, Howard said options for the multiple Oaklawn stakes winner are “very slim” for the remainder of 2016.
“There are several races that the timing is kind of bad right now,” Howard said. “But we’ll be looking around, you know.”
The $250,000 Phoenix Stakes (G2) Oct. 7 at Keeneland is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, but it comes up too quickly, Howard said. The trainer said Ivan Fallunovalot is under consideration for the $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) Nov. 19 at Laurel.
Gentlemen’s Bet, who won the $100,000 Hot Springs Stakes in 2015 at Oaklawn (Ivan Fallunovalot was second), won last year’s De Francis Dash via a race-related disqualification.
Howard said he doesn’t believe Ivan Fallunovalot will have enough points to secure a starting spot in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) Nov. 5 at Santa Anita because of a limited campaign this year.
“Really, we’re kind of looking other directions,” Howard said.
Ivan Fallunovalot, who finished ninth in last year’s Sprint, has raced only three times this year because of a quarter-crack in his left front foot. The Texas-bred gelding won the $100,000 King Cotton Stakes Jan. 30 at Oaklawn in his 6-year-old debut. He didn’t run again this year at Oaklawn because of the foot problem. He won his Sept. 1 allowance comeback race at Remington Park before claiming the David M. Vance Sprint Stakes for a third consecutive year.
Ridden Sunday by Lindey Wade, Ivan Fallunovalot was bottled up on the turn, but was able to slip through an opening along the rail in midstretch and beat Wings Locked Up, a powerful April 15 allowance/optional claiming winner at Oaklawn, by a length.
Ivan Fallunovalot ran 6 furlongs over a good track in 1:09.29 and paid $2.40 as the 1-5 favorite.
“Ivan comes through again,” Howard said with a laugh. “He overcame his human counterparts, I guess you could say.”
The victory was Ivan Fallunovalot’s 14th in 23 lifetime starts and increased his earnings to $650,808.
On behalf of owner Lewis Mathews of Bismarck, Ark., Howard claimed Ivan Fallunovalot for $25,000 at the 2014 Oaklawn meeting.
Ivan Fallunovalot has won six stakes races, including the King Cotton the last two years.
Eyes of Texas
Texas Chrome, who launched his 3-year-old campaign at Oaklawn, won the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) Sunday at Remington Park, his third consecutive stakes victory. Texas Chrome, who was ridden by C.J. McMahon, finished a half-length ahead of Sticksstatelydude in the 1 1/8-mile race.
Texas Chrome is owned by Danny Keene and trained by J.R. Caldwell, both Oaklawn regulars.
After finishing third in the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes April 15 at Oaklawn, Texas Chrome has recorded four stakes victories, including the $100,000 Prelude Aug. 6 at Louisiana Downs, $400,000 Super Derby (G3) Sept. 10 at Louisiana Down and the Oklahoma Derby.
Over a good track Sunday, Texas Chrome ran the distance in 1:48.94 and paid $6.60 as the 2-1 second choice. Overall, he has won 8 of 13 overall and earned $842,642.
In other stakes action Sunday at Remington, Oaklawn-raced Ready to Confess and Smack Smack ran second in the $200,000 Remington Park Oaks and $175,000 Governor’s Cup, respectively.
Oaklawn-raced Bold Conquest was third in the Governor’s Cup.
Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel, Oaklawn’s leading rider in 1995 and 2001, won the $100,000 President of the United Arab Emirates Cup (G1) Saturday night at Churchill Downs aboard Paddys Day. The 1 1/16-mile race was for older Arabian horses. … Israel Ocampo, who rode seven winners at the 2016 Oaklawn meeting, has 992 career victories, according to Equibase, racing’s official data gathering organization. … Trainer J.R. Caldwell, an Oaklawn regular, has set a career high for purse earnings this year, according to Equibase. Caldwell’s horses have earned $1,636,236, bettering his 2014 total of $1,201,829. Caldwell’s stable is headed by multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome. Caldwell saddled his first of 491 winners in 1995.