The Tabulator entered Saturday’s $150,000 Iroquois (G3) a little under the radar following convincing wins at Arlington Park and Prairie Meadows, but he proved ready for a bigger stage by taking the first qualifying race in the Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Trained by Larry Rivelli and ridden by Jose Valdivia Jr., the unbeaten son of Dialed In repelled the late bid of 6-5 favorite Hollywood Star to score by about a length and received 10 points toward a berth in the 2018 Kentucky Derby starting gate.
The Iroquois also serves as “Win & You’re In” event and The Tabulator stamped his ticket for the November 4 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) at Del Mar.
Breaking from post 9 among 10 rivals, The Tabulator tracked pacesetter Smart Remark in second through fractions of :23.1 and :47.73. The dark bay colt took over nearing the completion of the far turn and drew off in upper stretch, reaching the mile mark with a 2 ½-length advantage. He appeared to get a little weary late, drifting toward the middle of the track, and Hollywood Star tried determinedly to reel in the clear leader before coming up a little short.
Off as the 4-1 third choice, The Tabulator completed 1 1/16 miles in 1:45.50 on the fast track at Churchill Downs. He is campaigned by Carolyn Wilson.
Hollywood Star wound up 2 ½ lengths clear of 3-1 second choice Ten City in third. It was another 5+ lengths to 65-1 outsider Ebben in fourth.
Bred in Kentucky by Extern Developments LTD, The Tabulator passed through the sales ring three times. He brought $15,000 as weanling, $92,000 as a yearling and was finally purchased by Wilson for $460,000 at the OBS March 2-year-old sale earlier this year. The Tabulator is out of the Giant’s Causeway mare Fly to the Stars and Grade 1 winner Bellamy Road can be found in the juvenile’s immediate female family.
He won at first asking by a nine-length margin over Arlington Park’s Polytrack on July 2 and was exiting a 2 ¼-length score in the July 28 Prairie Gold Juvenile. With Saturday’s $88,350 payday, The Tabulator has now earned $143,550.
JOSE VALDIVIA JR., jockey of THE TABULATOR: “It’s always exciting to get a win here at Churchill Downs. He’s still young as we know but now he’s proven around two turns. We’ve always thought highly of him and he’s always acted like a nice horse from the beginning. We won impressively in the debut but Larry (Rivelli) couldn’t get an allowance race to go at Arlington so he shipped to Prairie Meadows ($65,000 Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes). In both of these two starts he was still pretty green. Even in this race he still had a little immaturity. We inherited the lead a little before I actually wanted to. He broke so well and we got into a good position and relaxed early. When we turned for home in front he still looked around a little bit in the stretch but I’m just glad we were able to get there. With this being the kickoff for the ‘Road to the Kentucky Derby’ and a Breeders’ Cup ‘Win and You’re In’, it’s very exciting to have a horse of this quality.”
CAROLYN WILSON, owner of THE TABULATOR (winner): “I’ve never had a horse start off like this and I’ve been in the game for more than 15 years. Larry (Rivelli) is a wonderful trainer. He and his entire team do such a great job with our horses and it’s so exciting to have a horse like this. It’s really easy when I just write a check and this happens.”
DALE ROMANS, trainer of HOLLYWOOD STAR (runner-up): “I’m happy with the way he ran. He was second in a tough race and he ran well. He got off a little slow and he came running and galloped-out really strong. He showed he likes the racetrack, so we’ll move on to the next step.”
ROBBY ALBARADO, jockey on HOLLYWOOD STAR (runner-up): “He ran well. He broke a little tardy, a little sluggish. But he got an inside trip and came out nice turning for home. I’ll congratulate the winner – they have a nice horse. And Hollywood Star is a good horse. He ran well.”
JACK GILLIGAN, jockey on TEN CITY (third): “I thought he ran a real nice race again today. He didn’t show as much speed as I anticipated today. It was kind of the same deal as Ellis Park – he just showed enough to keep up with the pace. He’s a developing horse now and maybe early in the year he’d go :45 (for a half-mile) and stuff, but now he’s more mature and he’s real relaxed and everything. Overall I was happy with his run – I just wish that, in hindsight, we could have a little bit closer.”