02/07/2015 6:43PM

Ivan Fallunovalot blazes to victory in King Cotton

Coady Photography
Ivan Fallunovalot wins the King Cotton by 2 3/4 lengths Saturday at Oaklawn Park.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Ivan Fallunovalot backed up the Beyer Speed Figure of 108 he earned last month at Oaklawn Park by winning the track’s $100,000 King Cotton in a meet-best six-furlong time of 1:08.94. He finished 2 3/4 lengths clear of the runner-up Alsvid, while it was another half-length back in third to Hip Four Sixtynine.

The King Cotton has been run at three different distances since 1948, mostly at six furlongs. The stakes record at that distance is 1:08 set by Rapid Gray in 1984. Ivan Fallunovalot’s time Saturday was the second fastest six-furlong King Cotton.

Ivan Fallunovalot ($4.20) broke well from the rail and raced on the pace with Brewing, through an opening quarter in 21.17 seconds. The eventual winner let that one go through a half-mile in 44.18, then angled out in the stretch and rallied.

“He relaxes and does his job,” said winning trainer Tom Howard. 

Calvin Borel was aboard the winner, one start after he teamed with the horse to capture an optional $50,000 claimer Jan. 22 at Oaklawn. Ivan Fallunovalot won that six-furlong race in 1:09.60 in what was his first start since September.

Ivan Fallunovalot races for Lewis Matthews Jr. He earned $60,000 for the win, which was his ninth in 15 career starts. Ivan Fallunovalot now has earned $261,910. He is a 5-year-old gelding by Valid Expectations, and he was bred in Texas by Eileen Hartis.

Howard said Ivan Fallunovalot is a long-term candidate for the Grade 3, $300,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap at Oaklawn on April 9. The next local race for his division is the $100,000 Hot Springs on March 7, and his status for that race is to be determined, said Howard.

“It depends on him,” he said. “He’ll tell us.”

The estimated attendance Saturday was 15,000.