The Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash will snap open its gates this coming weekend from Laurel Park. A field of nine will be piloted from the outside with Stallwalkin’ Dude and X Y Jet set to go head-to-head from the start.
Stallwakin’ Dude will challenge from the outermost post as the 5/2 favorite after a win at the Bold Ruler Stakes. The six-year-old gelding has been a strong threat all year long with a record of 3-1-1 in seven starts. David Jacobson and his team are excited to see what their contender can accomplish in what’s expected to be his final contest of the year.
“Any graded race is huge but when you’ve competed so hard for so many times against all these great horses, to finally win one of those was a little extra special,” Jacobson said of Stallwalkin’ Dude. “To be able to campaign for as long as he’s been campaigning at this level is very impressive.”
It’s worth noting that the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash will be the eighth race for Stallwalkin’ Dude, but he seems to be in strong form heading in. “It’s one race at a time, and right now it looks like he’s right there at the top of his game and we’re going to take advantage of it.”
X Y Jet will post up next to the favorite as the 9/5 second choice, but is coming off a poor showing at the 2016 Vosburgh which was perfectly explainable by his trainer. “We did surgery on him and he was out for three months. He came back in training again and it was another three months, but he’s ready,” trainer Jorge Navarro said. X Y Jet was essentially caught in an unexpected drag race at the Vosburgh, but a lighter pace will benefit him in the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash. “I watched the races at Belmont for the last two months and there was nothing even close going that fast. He came out of the last race really good. He’s ready.”
The flier play for the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash is Ivan Fullanovalot, who made his season debut at the David M. Vance Stakes in a romping triumph. At 7-2-0 in 10 starts, his only falter was at the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Problematic feet have held him back for the entire year, but when he’s always a worthy play at his peak.
“Once we got ready to roll again, there’s not that many kinds of races around there where we’re at, so we headed off this way,” stated his trainer. “He comes back good. He knows his job and he tends to business. He doesn’t get worried about much. He’s pretty relaxed and on race day he knows what he’s doing.”
Overall, the Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash has the makings of a three-horse battle. An exacta box on X Y Jet and Stallwalkin’ Dude is the most logical play.
Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash – Saturday, November 19th at Laurel Park (6:35pm EST)
6 Furlongs – 3+ Year Olds – $250,000
|1||Sonny Inspired (MD)||Jevian Toledo||118||Phil Schoenthal||20/1|
|2||Ivan Fallunovalot (TX)||Calvin H. Borel||118||W. T. Howard||5/1|
|3||Pomeroy’s Package (FL)||Hector Caballero||118||Mario Serey, Jr.||20/1|
|4||Weekend Hideaway (NY)||Paco Lopez||118||Philip M. Serpe||6/1|
|5||Life in Shambles (KY)||Ricardo Santana, Jr.||118||Steven M. Asmussen||8/1|
|6||Final Prospect (MD)||UNKNOWN||118||Gary Capuano||20/1|
|7||Rockinn On Bye (MD)||Taylor M. Hole||118||Stephen M. Casey||15/1|
|8||X Y Jet (FL)||Emisael Jaramillo||118||Jorge Navarro||9/5|
|9||Stallwalkin’ Dude (FL)||Joe Bravo||118||David Jacobson||5/2|