Multiple graded stakes winner Texas Chrome remains on schedule to make his 4-year-old debut in the $750,000 Oaklawn Handicap (G2) April 15 at Oaklawn, trainer J.R. Caldwell said Sunday morning.
Texas Chrome has had three published workouts since returning to Caldwell’s barn in early February, the last a five-furlong bullet (1:01.20) over a fast track Saturday morning under four-time defending Oaklawn riding champion Ricardo Santana Jr. He has also breezed a half-mile the previous two Saturdays.
“We’ve got two more works for the Oaklawn Handicap,” Caldwell said. “If they all go good and he does what I think he’s going to do, then we’ll go in the race.”
Caldwell said Texas Chrome, in preparation for his 4-year-old campaign, was freshened at owner Danny Keene’s Hot Springs-area farm following a ninth-place finish in the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) Nov. 4 at Santa Anita.
Texas Chrome was named 2016 Texas Horse of the Year by the Texas Thoroughbred Association, the state’s official breed registry, after compiling a 4-1-2 record from eight starts and earning $659,900.
Following a third-place finish in his 3-year-old debut, the $150,000 Bachelor Stakes last April at Oaklawn, Texas Chrome won a division of the $75,000 Texas Stallion Stakes May 15 at Lone Star Park, $100,000 Super Derby Prelude Stakes Aug. 6 at Louisiana Downs, $400,000 Super Derby (G3) Sept. 10 at Louisiana Downs and the $400,000 Oklahoma Derby (G3) Sept. 25 at Remington Park.
Caldwell said Texas Chrome hasn’t missed a beat since beginning a regular breeze schedule this month.
“He has been spot on and handled everything we’ve thrown at him, just like he’s a pro,” Caldwell said.
Keene purchased Texas Chrome, a son of Valor Farm stallion Grasshopper, for $10,000 at the Texas Summer Yearling Sale. Texas Chrome, who was bred by Craig Upham, has bankrolled $842,807 off eight victories from 14 lifetime starts.
C.J. McMahon has ridden Texas Chrome in his last four starts.
Nominations to the 1 1/8-mile Oaklawn Handicap close Friday.
Ivan Fallunovalot, the 2015 Texas Horse of the Year, worked just after the track opened Sunday morning in advance of stakes races next month.
Ivan Fallunovalot, a son of Valid Expectations bred by Eileen Hartis, breezed a half-mile in :47.80 under Hall of Fame jockey Calvin Borel in preparation for the $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap (G3) for older horses April 15. Clockers caught the gelding’s last quarter-mile in :23.20 and galloping out five furlongs in 1:00.60.
Trained by Tom Howard of Hot Springs, Ivan Fallunovalot won Oaklawn’s $100,000 King Cotton Stakes in 2015 and 2016. He most recently finished second to Whitmore in the final major local prep for the Count Fleet, the $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes March 11. Whitmore is also pointing for the Count Fleet, co-owner/trainer Ron Moquett of Hot Springs said.
Ivan Fallunovalot finished second in the 2015 Count Fleet.
(from Oaklawn news release)