Hot Springs, Ark. (Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016) – Lewis Matthews, Jr.’s Ivan Fallunovalot, sent off as the even-money favorite, drew off from his competition late to win Saturday’s $100,000 King Cotton Stakes for the second year in a row. Alsvid, who eventually turned the tables on Ivan Fallunovalot last year in the Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3), finished second in the King Cotton for the fourth straight year.
With regular rider Calvin Borel in the irons, Ivan Fallunovalot settled into third as Lewys Vaporizer led through an opening quarter in :22. Alvsid, normally a closer, was in the mix from the start and took control before a half-mile in :45. The winner came five wide into the stretch, took the lead and drew off to win by two lengths in a final time of 1:09 1/5 over a fast track.
W.B. Smudge had a troubled trip from the start, but held on for third, while withstanding a claim of foul lodged against him and Alsvid by Ricardo Santana Jr., the rider of the fifth-place finisher Bayerd.
“He ran, he showed up,” said jockey Calvin Borel. “This horse is a super nice horse and honest. I didn’t know about the objection because we were clear when we came over. This horse ran a powerful race. He was much the best horse and he won.”
Ivan Fallunovalot, a 6-year-old Valid Expectations gelding, improved his Oaklawn record to five wins from seven starts and his overall record to 12 wins from 21 career starts. He has now earned $536,910. He returned $4, $3 and $2.60.
Live racing resumes Sunday at Oaklawn with a 1:30 p.m. first post.
King Cotton Quotes:
Winning owner Lewis Mathews, Jr. – “The 2nd time around is even sweeter than the first because it is hard to do, to repeat. He has been such an amazing horse. When Jan. 1st rolls around they get a year older and you get a little nervous about them like any athlete. It’s like being in a movie and he’s the star. He’s amazing. I’m very thankful. The race was perfect.
“It was like a movie script where everyone followed their parts. Last year’s race was the first time he showed he could lay off the pace. I guess it’s the patience he’s gained as he’s gotten older. We just have to be careful of the closers now.
Winning trainer Tom Howard – “It feels really good to win this race for the 2nd time. We are real confident in this horse and he ran amazing today. I’m not sure about this deal with him coming in. I’m super happy with this horse. We will regroup and get him ready for the next one.”
Winning jockey Calvin Borel – “He ran, he showed up. This horse is a super nice horse and honest. I didn’t know about the objection because we were clear when we came over. This horse ran a powerful race. He was much the best horse and he won.”
Jockey of 2nd place finisher Alsvid, Chris Emigh – “My horse ran big. I had a lot of horse turning for home, but when Calvin came up along beside us, my horse couldn’t keep up. He ran hard and I thought he ran a big race. He keeps getting stronger with each effort.”
State Steward Stan Bowker on the objections and their decision – “It was a tough call, but we felt the 3 horses finished exactly where they should have finished.”
Source: Oaklawn Park