04/02/2011 2:39PM

Calder: Apriority, Duke of Mischief work in company

Barbara D. Livingston
Duke of Mischief will ship to West Virginia for the $1 milliion Charles Town Classic.

Apriority, who may be as good as any sprinter in the country right now, including his Eclipse Award-winning stablemate Big Drama, breezed five furlongs in 1:01.60 in company with no less a workmate than multiple graded stakes winner Duke of Mischief after the renovation break Saturday morning at Calder.

Luis Saez, who sustained a minor leg injury in a spill here at Gulfstream Park on Thursday, was aboard Apriority while Joe Bravo worked Duke of Mischief.

Apriority missed Forest Danger’s 6 1/2-furlong track record by just .03 of a second winning an optional claiming race here on March 5. He earned a 113 Beyer Speed Figure for the performance, the second best of any older horse in the country at races up to a mile this season behind only the 120 posted by Big Drama for his record-setting win in the Mr. Prospector early in the meet.

“The work was excellent, phenomenal,” said Apriority’s trainer, David Fawkes. “In fact they both worked great. They stayed together the entire way and finished the final quarter in 24 and one over a deep track.”

Apriority will ship to New York on Tuesday, where he will make his next start on Saturday in the Grade 1 Carter. Duke of Mischief will have one more work next week before heading to West Virginia for the $1 million Charles Town Classic.

“You always have to be careful with a horse who runs as fast as Apriority did because they can bounce in their next start, but so far he looks great and seems to have come out of the race fine,” said Fawkes.

Saez, who has ridden Apriority to four of his last five victories, took off all his mounts on Saturday and Sunday’s card at Gulfstream while recuperating from his injuries but is expected to be back in time for the Carter.

Fawkes also reported that Big Drama, who has been in only light training since his huge win in the Mr. Prospector, could have his first work within the next week or so.

“It’s a long year and we’re in no rush with him,” said Fawkes, who mentioned the Smile Sprint on Calder’s big Summit of Speed card in early July as perhaps his next major goal for Big Drama.

The Fawkes duo weren’t the only notable workers on Saturday’s Calder tab that included a 47.80 half-mile by Sunshine Millions Classic and Gulfstream Park Handicap winner Tackleberry, who is expected to join Duke of Mischief at Charles Town on April 16 for the Classic.