Lewis Mathews Jr.’s Ivan Fallunovalot, the even money favorite, also likes to win a lot and remained undefeated in four starts at Oaklawn with his 2 ¾-length victory in Saturday’s $100,000 King Cotton Stakes. The Texas-bred’s final time of 1:08 4/5 for the six furlongs was the fastest since 1998 when the race was increased from 5 ½ furlongs.
Ridden by Calvin Borel, Ivan Fallunovalot, a 5-year-old gelded son of all-time leading Texas stallion Valid Expectations, broke from the rail and settled into second as Brewing led through early fractions of :21 and :44 for the first half mile. The winner fell back off the leader early in the turn, bided his time and once steered to the outside for the drive, he finished full of run. Alsvid made a move around the turn, but had to settle for second in this race for the third straight year. Hip Four Sixtynine rallied for third and two-time defending King Cotton winner Apprehender was fourth.
“It was everything I wanted it to be,” said Borel. “He broke sharp and I figured they would put that other horse (Brewing) on the lead and let him go with just enough and kept my horse where he needed to be. When I asked him he gave it to me. He’s such a professional. He could be the fastest sprinter I ever sat on. He is so unbelievable.”
Ivan Fallunovalot, claimed for $25,000 by trainer Tom Howard last March at Oaklawn, has now won nine of 15 career starts and has earned $261,910. He was bred by Eileen Hartis out of the Horse Chestnut (SAf) mare Flashdance Missy.