Ivan Fallunovalot kicks clear in De Francis Memorial Dash

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

November 19th, 2016

The wagering in Saturday's $250,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash (G3) suggested the six-furlong sprint would be a two-horse race between 1-5 favorite X Y Jet and 3-1 second choice Ivan Fallunovalot, but the latter turned it into a one-horse romp in the long Laurel stretch under Calvin Borel.

Pressing a half-length behind X Y Jet through splits of :22.34 and :45.79, Ivan Fallunovalot reached the favorite in upper stretch and drew off decisively to win by 4 1/2 lengths in a time of 1:10.07 over a fast track. Rockinn On Bye, a 14-1 chance in the field of six, edged X Y Jet for second by a neck.

Owned by Lewis Mathews Jr. and trained by Tom Howard, Ivan Fallunovalot returned $8.20.

This was the first graded stakes triumph for the six-year-old gelded son of Valid Expectations, who had previously taken the Remington Park Sprint Cup, three editions of the David M. Vance Sprint at Remington, and two runnings of the King Cotton at Oaklawn Park. The Texas-bred's best prior finish in graded company was a second in the 2015 Count Fleet Sprint H. (G3) at Oaklawn.

“We had to pass the Breeders’ Cup [Sprint (G1)] due to quarter cracks, but everything fell into place for this race," said Howard, who claimed the horse for $25,000 in March 2014. "This will set us up good for Oaklawn.”

Reared by the winning Flashdance Missy, a daughter of Horse Chestnut, the remarkably consistent Ivan Fallunovalot now boasts a mark of 24-15-3-1, $800,808.

(Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club)