One should never underestimate the value of a good start. That's what the owner and trainer of Ivanavinalot advise, after seeing their 2-year-old filly dominate the Susan's Girl Division of the Florida Stallion Stakes Saturday at Calder Race Course. In her previous race, the Desert Vixen Division of the FSS at six furlongs, Ivanavinalot hit the gate upon the break and then had to check in behind one of her rivals, thus comprising her chances to get in a good position early. She was the heavy favorite in that race, but finished fourth after two impressive victories at Calder.Under jockey Manoel Cruz, Ivanavinalot had a clean break Saturday, vied early for the lead with Heavenly Miss and Hummel, but assumed command quickly and set all the fractions in the seven-furlong race. She was a driving winner down the stretch, finishing 10 lengths ahead of Heavenly Miss in 1:24 2/5. Arriving in third was Desert Vixen winner Fortunate Card.
Ivanavinalot was bred and is owned and trained by the team that secured Florida Stallion Stakes wins with Blazing Sword in 1996. Gilbert G. Campbell is the owner/breeder and Kathleen O'Connell trains the daughter of West Acre. "It was really bad last time (in the Desert Vixen)," said O'Connell. "She was standing fine in the gate. Then a couple of horses got upset, and she was still fine, but just as they took the start, she turned her head and banged into another horse (broke last of 10). They ran fast fractions up front and there was just too much to overcome going six furlongs. It was amazing she only got beat five lengths."(Chart, Equibase)