03/07/2012 5:31PM

Oaklawn: Apprehender back to sprinting

Coady Photography
Apprehender wins his maiden race by seven lengths, earning a Beyer Speed Figure of 98.

HOT SPRINGS, Ark. – Trainer Ingrid Mason will be making some key changes with Apprehender for the featured eighth race Friday at Oaklawn Park. He will be returning to both the overnight ranks and a sprint distance for the first-level allowance for 3-year-olds. Apprehender will also add blinkers, equipment he wore when he won his career debut in January.

Apprehender was a notable winner of a maiden special weight sprint at Oaklawn, storming to the lead at the start and drawing clear by more than seven lengths to earn a Beyer Speed Figure of 98. The performance earned him a shot at Oaklawn’s first graded route stakes for 3-year-olds, the $250,000 Southwest, a race in which Apprenhender stalked the leaders and regressed, finishing ninth in the field of 10.

“I just don’t think the mile suited him,” Mason said. “He may be one of those kinds of horses that don’t like to be taken off the pace. I just think he didn’t like a mile. I think he’s a sprinter.

“I tried to cram a square peg in a round hole. A lot of horses train like they’ll go long, and in a race it’s very different. He got really tired in that race, and got a little colicky after that race.”

Apprehender returned to the morning work tab on March 3, with a half-mile move in 48.60 seconds. The work was the third fastest of 45 at the distance. The race Friday is over six furlongs, and Apprehender might be tough to contain if he runs back to his debut Beyer, which is one of the highest for a 3-year-old in North America. The horse, who races for Dream Farm LLC, is a son of Posse and the multiple Grade 1 winning mare Missy’s Mirage.

Apprehender will break from post 7, under regular rider Inosencio Diego.

“Plan B is to go back to what worked,” Mason said of the cut back in distance Friday.

The field of eight also includes J C’s Dream, who invades from Fair Grounds for trainer Tom Amoss. He will be moving back to dirt, site of his maiden win, after running fifth in a turf sprint in his last start Feb. 17. In his final prep for Friday, J C’s Dream breezed five furlongs in 1:00 at Fair Grounds on March 3. Calvin Borel has the mount on the horse, who races for Deborah Isaacs.