12/29/2011 1:25PM

Gulfstream Park: Apriority looks to rebound in Mr. Prospector

Email
Barbara D. Livingston
Apriority comes into the Mr. Prospector off a sixth-place finish in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Apriority will get a little class relief while returning to the scene of perhaps his finest hour when topping a field of seven sprint specialists set to go six furlongs in Saturday’s $100,000 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream Park.

Trainer David Fawkes will be trying to complete a unique double if Apriority can win the Mr. Prospector. Because the Gulfstream meet opened one month earlier than usual this season, the Grade 3 dash will be run for the second time in the same calendar year. Fawkes won the first Mr. Prospector back in January with Big Drama who established a track record of 1:08.12 in the process.

Apriority has made four of his last five starts against Grade 1 company, the most recent of which came in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs, where he finished a wide-running sixth and nearly nine lengths behind Amazombie. Earlier in the season, Apriority finished a troubled seventh in the Vosburgh, fourth in the Vanderbilt, and second behind Morning Line in the Carter Handicap.

Apriority nearly set a track record of his own winning a third-level optional claimer on March 5. His final time of 1:14.47 for 6 1/2 furlongs earned him a career-best 113 Beyer Speed Figure while falling a mere .03 of a second shy of Forest Danger’s mark. A homebred son of Grand Slam owned by Donald Dizney, Apriority also suffered two tough setbacks in stakes races during 2011, missing by a nose to Aikenite in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs and by a head to Amazombie after an unlucky trip in the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita.

“I think he was just a little overmatched in the Breeders’ Cup, although it didn’t help that he was forced to race wide the entire way,” Fawkes said. “He’s trained great since returning from Kentucky, he couldn’t be doing better, and we know he loves this track.”

Fawkes’s chief concern Saturday could be the fact Apriority must break from post 1 in the Mr. Prospector. His competition will include, from the rail out, Zero Rate Policy, Capt. Candyman Can, Indiano, Immortal Eyes, The Hunk, and Nathan’s H Q.

Zero Rate Policy is coming off a 1 1/4-length victory against Florida-breds in the Sunshine State Stakes on Dec. 4. The win was the second straight for the improving 3-year-old who also won Monmouth Park’s Rumson in late spring.

Capt. Candyman Can, a Grade 1 winner at 3, returns from a near-seven-month hiatus caused by some minor issues that flared up following his third-place finish in the Grade 3 Aristides on June 4 at Churchill Downs. Capt. Candyman Can also is fond of the local strip, having won two of his three starts at Gulfstream, including the Sir Shackleton overnight stakes in April.

Indiano joins Zero Rate Policy as the only other 3-year-old in the field. Indiano has been idle since finishing third behind Royal Currier who established a course record capturing Parx Racing’s six-furlong Gallant Bob on Sept. 24. The setback snapped a three-race win streak that included Calder’s Grade 2 Carry Back.

Immortal Eyes, a four-time stakes winner in 2011, makes his first start since being transferred to trainer James Toner following his second-place finish in Penn National’s Six Bits Handicap on Nov. 23.

The Hunk brings a four-race winning streak into the Mr. Prospector, but gets a class check stepping into stakes company for the first time in his career.

Nathan’s H Q did well to finish second after being forced to alter course to avoid an injured horse in Aqueduct’s Fall Highweight Handicap on Nov. 24. His lone win this year came locally under allowance conditions Feb. 12.

Mr. Prospector S. (G3), Post Time: 4:45 ET Saturday

Purse: $100,000; 6 furlongs

Post

Horse

Trainer

Jockey

ML Odds

1

Apriority

D. Fawkes

L. Saez

4-1

1

Zero Rate Policy

T. Pompay

P. Lopez

6-1

1

Capt. Candyman Can

I. Wilkes

C. Borel

5-2

1

Indiano

M. Wolfson

J. Castellano

3-1

1

Immortal Eyes

J. Toner

J. Lezcano

6-1

1

The Hunk

B. Perkins, Jr.

E. Trujillo

10-1

1

Nathan's H Q

C. Martin

J. Rocco, Jr.

6-1