09/24/2017 8:25PM

Iron Fist has fourth stakes win of season in Governor's Cup


Iron Fist put the hammer down Sunday at Remington in the $175,000 Governor’s Cup Stakes.

Trading ground loss for a clean trip, Ricardo Santana Jr. looped wide on the far turn for the stretch run and Iron Fist ($4.20) took care of business. Code West, who had come under a drive more than a quarter-mile out, battled on bravely, but Iron First was a half-length best in the 1 1/8-mile dirt race for older horses.

The top two were more than five lengths clear of pace-setting third-place finisher American Dubai, who set splits of 24 seconds, 47.55, and 1:10.78 before coming under attack at the quarter-pole. Texas Chrome’s rail run flattened out before the furlong grounds, but Iron Fist, who was stuck behind horses at the three-furlong pole before Santana decided to go around, came home strongly on the far outside for his fourth stakes win of 2017.

Iron Fist, owned by Carrol Castille’s Whispering Oaks Farm, gave trainer Steve Asmussen his third stakes win on the card. Iron Fist delivered a top performance winning the Grade 3 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker on July 8, regressed slightly finishing second Aug. 4 in the West Virginia Governor’s Stakes, but came off a six-week break ready to run. In addition to the Cornhusker and Sunday’s stakes, Iron Fist also won the Maxxam Gold Cup and the Evangeline Mile earlier this year.

The 5-year-old ridgling, originally campaigned by Stonestreet Farm, is by Tapit and out of the Orientate mare Successful Outlook. His record stands at 8-5-4 from 22 starts, and Iron Fist is only about $16,000 short of $1 million in career earnings.

Ivan again in Vance Sprint

Ivan Fallunovalot has proven nearly unbeatable at Remington Park, and no one could touch him Sunday evening in the $150,000 David Vance Sprint.

Pressing the pace while three wide most of the Vance’s six furlongs, Ivan Fallunovalot won by three lengths over Wings Locked Up in a race where the outcome never really seemed in doubt.

It was Ivan Fallunovalot’s seventh win from eight starts at Remington, and his third straight win in the Vance, which was called the Remington Park Sprint when Ivan Fallunovalot won it in 2015.

Trained by Tom Howard for owner Lewis Matthews, 7-year-old Ivan Fallunovalot has been a win machine throughout his successful career, and Sunday’s was his 17th trip to the winner’s circle in 28 starts. Ivan Fallunovalot won the Grade 3 De Francis Dash last fall, wasn’t quite at his best in a pair of losses this past winter at Oaklawn Park, but returned from a layoff of more than five months with a decisive Remington score Sept. 2.

Sunday was more of the same. Jockey Luis Quinonez handled Ivan like the superior horse he is, and Ivan Fallunovalot stopped the timer in 1:08.19 for six furlongs on a very fast-playing dirt track. Wings Locked Up finished second to Ivan for the second year in a row in the Vance, while Counterforce came from far back to get third.

*** Gianna’s Dream won the $75,000 Ricks Memorial Stakes for the second year in a row. With Robby Albarado riding for trainer Mike Maker and owner Jordan Wycoff, Gianna’s Dream got a good trip near the pace, made the lead in midstretch, and crossed the finish 1 1/2 lengths clear of runner-up Strive. Joyous Thunder finished third. Heavily favored, Gianna’s Dream paid $3 to win while running 1 1/16 miles on firm turf in 1:41.52.

Gianna’s Dream, a 4-year-old by Twirling Candy, has won half her 16 starts. Wycoff and Maker claimed her for $25,000 about 13 months ago, and Gianna’s Dream since has won five races while earning back her claim price many times over.

*** Diva’s Rule was 0-1 in her turf career – until Sunday. Going straight to the front under Jareth Loveberry, she cruised to a four-length win in the $50,000 Bob Barry Stakes for Oklahoma-bred older fillies and mares. Sweetdreamstonight finished second, and favored Mischievous Misty was third. Francisco Bravo trains Diva’s Rule ($12), a daughter of Roman Ruler, for owner Michael Grossman.

*** Pacific Typhoon led all the way under David Cabrera to win the $50,000 Red Earth Stakes by 1 1/4 lengths, capping the stakes action Sunday at Remington Park. Pacific Typhoon set a solid pace in the 7 1/2-furlong turf race for Oklahoma-breds, but never was challenged. Favored Ibaka finished second. Trained by Veronica Griggs for Carol Nelson, Pacific Typhoon, a 4-year-old son of Don’t Get Mad, was timed in 1:28.35 and paid $6.40 to win.