01/07/2011 6:07PM

Sunshine Millions Sprint next for Apriority

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Apriority punched his ticket into the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita on Jan. 29 after outgaming 9-5 favorite Groomedvictory to capture Thursday’s featured eighth race, a second-level optional $62,500 claimer.

“I thought he was beat down the stretch but he really dug in to hold off that other horse,” said trainer David Fawkes. “I absolutely loved seeing that.”

Apriority will now join his stablemate Wildcat Frankie in the Sunshine Sprint.

“I hate to have them compete against each other, but fortunately they have different running styles,” said Fawkes. “Frankie is speed and should be in front while Apriority is more of a stalker. He was on the lead yesterday but that was going a mile. He sat off the pace the first two times he ran, and coming off this race, turning back to six furlongs, he should be really tough.”

Fawkes also plans to start Duke of Mischief in the Sunshine Millions Classic.

Dutrow’s top prospects work out
Trainer Rick Dutrow sent out both Boys At Tosconova and Amen Hallelujah to work five furlongs here over a fast track on Friday.

Boys At Tosconova went immediately after the first renovation break, breezing the distance in 1:00.68 under little to no urging from exercise rider Michelle Nevin. Amen Hallelujah and Nevin came out following the second break and drilled five furlongs in 59.98 seconds, covering the first three-eighths in 23.39 before tiring some near the end and galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.39.

Boys At Tosconova, runner-up to division leader Uncle Mo in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, continues to point for the Grade 3 Holy Bull on Jan. 30, while Amen Hallelujah is slated to launch her 2010 campaign one day earlier in the Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Sprint.

Fans embrace lower exotic bets
Gulfstream president and general manager Steve Calabro said he is thrilled with the early response to both the 50-cent pick five and 10-cent pick six wagers being offered here for the first time this winter.

“The customer response to both bets has been excellent, especially the interest we’ve had nationwide,” Calabro said shortly before wagering for the pick six closed on Friday. “Naturally, we were thrilled to have a carryover on opening day in the pick five and as a result had a handle of $122,000 and a payout north of $22,000 on Thursday.”

Calabro said the only downside thus far has been the failure of some tracks around the country to adjust their software to offer the 10-cent pick six.

“I think as people start to understand these bets, especially the concept of the pick six, they’ll take off even more,” said Calabro. “And I ultimately believe the pick six pool will grow to be a very large jackpot but one which the regular guy can get in there and play a lot of combinations and have a chance to hit.”

Calabro also said he was sweetening the pick six pool by doubling the original $5,000 seed money the track guaranteed on opening day to $10,000 beginning Saturday.

◗ Trainer Wesley Ward continued red hot on Friday, adding victories in the second and fourth races with the odds-on favorite Mine N Gems and longshot Kitten’s Caregiver to the three tallies he had already posted on the opening two cards of the meet.