02/04/2017 8:11PM

Storm Advisory makes King Cotton first stakes victory

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Storm Advisory paid $26.00 in winning the King Cotton.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. - Storm Advisory became a stakes winner Saturday, when he led throughout in the $125,000 King Cotton at Oaklawn.

He finished 2 3/4 lengths clear of Recount, while Ivan Fallunovalot, the 2-5 favorite in his first start since winning the DeFrancis Dash, finished fourth.

The King Cotton launched the sprint series at Oaklawn, which culminates with the Grade 3, $400,000 Count Fleet Sprint Handicap on April 15.

Storm Advisory ($26) broke well and proceeded to take the field through an opening quarter in 22.28 seconds and a half-mile in 45.29. In the stretch he shuttled clear, covering six furlongs on a fast track in 1:09.85.

“He’s showing signs of getting better and better, and he stepped it up today,” winning trainer Robertino Diodoro said.

Geovanni Franco was aboard Storm Advisory, who was the rider’s third winner on the nine-race program Saturday.

Ivan Fallunovalot broke from the rail following the scratch of Helooksthepart, and tracked the pace under Calvin Borel before finishing four lengths behind Storm Advisory.

“Calvin said it was deep and cuppy down there and he said the horse got tired on the end of it,” trainer Tom Howard said.

Storm Advisory earned $75,000 for the win, his eighth from 32 starts. He has now earned $301,275. Storm Advisory is a son of Weigelia; he races for River Ridge Ranch.

Diodoro said the horse will be considered for the next race in the local sprint series, the $125,000 Hot Springs Stakes on March 11. 

“One step at a time, [but] that would be the plan,” Diodoro said.

Apprehender finished third in the King Cotton. Mr. Z, who was scratched from the race, is entered in a Sunday allowance at Oaklawn.

Also on the card Saturday, Domain’s Rap ($4) won an allowance in his second victory at the meet, behind the $125,000 Fifth Season on opening day at Oaklawn.