01/30/2016 7:04PM

Ivan Fallunovalot survives objection to repeat in King Cotton

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Ivan Fallunovalot, ridden by Calvin Borel, wins the King Cotton for the second time.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Ivan Fallunovalot defended his title in the $100,000 King Cotton on Saturday in his first start since the Breeders’ Cup, but he had to wait a while before the race went official at Oaklawn.

There were an initial objection against the second- and third-place finishers in the race, Alsvid and W.B. Smudge. Following the winner’s circle picture, the objection sign lit against Ivan Fallunovalot. It was announced Ricardo Santana Jr., aboard fifth-place finisher Bayerd, had filed a foul claim against the first three finishers Saturday.

But after deliberation by the stewards, no change was made to the order of finish.

“It was a tough call, but we felt the three horses finished exactly where they should have finished,” said state steward Stan Bowker.

By the time the race went official, Ivan Fallunovalot was well on his way to the test barn, just like he was well on his way to another King Cotton victory by about the sixteenth pole Saturday.

Ivan Fallunovalot ($4) was clear at that point, shuttling home in front by two lengths while covering six furlongs on a track rated fast in 1:09.21. Alsvid finished a length ahead of W.B. Smudge. The race was Ivan Fallunovalot’s first since finishing a troubled ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Oct. 31 at Keeneland.

Ivan Fallunovalot broke well in the King Cotton, and battled between Lewys Vaporizer and Alsvid through an opening quarter in 22.04 seconds. He was steered out of the trap by jockey Calvin Borel and restarted quickly to advance around rivals on the turn. Ivan Fallunovalot proved best through the lane, while drifting back toward the inside in the later stages.

“This horse is a super nice horse and honest,” Borel said. “I don’t know about this objection because we were clear when we came over, but this horse ran a powerful race. He was much the best horse and he won.”

 

Tom Howard trains Ivan Fallunovalot for Lewis Matthews Jr. Ivan Fallunovalot earned $60,000 for the win Saturday. He has now 12 of 21 starts and $536,910. Ivan Fallunovalot is a 6-year-old by Valid Expectations. He was bred in Texas by Eileen Hartis.

Attendance at Oaklawn on Saturday was an estimated 15,000. Handle on the nine-race card from all sources was $4,521,757.