Apriority Returns to Winning Ways in Sunday Feature Race
Apprentice Jonathan Gonzales Takes Riding Title With Three Wins
Bon Accord, who finished fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Santa Anita; Yes I’m Lucky, a multiple-stakes winner; and Storming Inti, a recent stakes winner at Belmont Park; top a field of nine entered Sunday for the $100,000 Pulpit Stakes.
Chad Brown, the trainer of Storming Inti, entered two fillies for the $100,000 Wait a While –.Ready to Act, who prompted the pace in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G1) before fading to sixth, and Hillhouse High, a recent maiden race winner at Belmont Park.
Bon Accord, who broke his maiden in slop in June, captured a $75,000 stakes in his turf debut in his third lifetime race. The Antonio Sano-trained ridgling ventured to Kentucky for his next start, in which he closed from far back to finish third in the Bourbon (G3) at Keeneland. The son of Showing Up raced evenly while running four-wide in the Juvenile Turf to pick up fourth-money.
The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained Yes I’m Lucky, the winner of four of five lifetime starts, will seek his third stakes victory on turf in as many starts on grass. The son of Yes It’s True is coming off a 6 ½-length triumph in the $100,000 Laurel Futurity.
Ready to Act will be seeking her first stakes victory in the Wait a While, which attracted a field of 11. The daughter of More Than Ready appeared on her way to the winner’s circle in the Natalma (G2) at Woodbine in September before veering suddenly to unseat her rider. A debut winner at Saratoga in July, Ready to Act raced without Lasix at Santa Anita last time out due to Breeders’ Cup regulations.
Hillhouse High is set to make her stakes debut in the Wait a While after setting the pace on her way to victory in her third lifetime start at Saturday’s distance of one mile on turf.
Post Time for the start of Saturday’s 10-race card is set for 12:40 p.m.
Apriority Runs Like Old Self in Sunday Feature
Apriority, winless since capturing the Mr. Prospector Stakes (G2) on Dec. 31, 2011, surged to the lead at the top of the stretch and drew off to a commanding five-length victory in Sunday’s featured seventh race, a $41,500 optional claiming allowance.
Donald Dizney’s 6-year-old homebred ran six furlongs in 1:09.45 under jockey Joe Bravo.
“I saw the horse in the paddock and he looked phenomenal. I see the horse every day, but he walked into the paddock and presented himself well. He showed himself today,” said trainer David Fawkes said.
Fawkes credited the work of blacksmith Mark Dewey and assistant trainer Todd Acker with helping to return Apriority to his winning ways.
“I did some shoe changes on him. I have to give the blacksmith a lot of credit,” Fawkes said. “My assistant really worked diligently on his feet, and I think that’s what we’ve been fighting.
A Florida-bred, Apriority is eligible for the $100,000 Sunshine State at Gulfstream on Dec. 8.
“I don’t know if we have time to make the Sunshine race, but we’ll see,” Fawkes said.
Apriority paid $21.20 to win. Duty Blues, a 57-1 shot ridden by Jose Garcia, finished second, a nose ahead of 6-5 favorite Travelin Man and jockey Edgar Prado. Reveron, making his first start since finishing second in the 2012 Florida Derby, raced wide in a sixth-place finish.
Who's Hot: Apprentice jockey Jonathan Gonzales rode three winners – Indy Breeze ($10.60) in the second, Strongbaksteeltoes ($10.60) in the third and Lexington Pearl ($6.60) in the fourth – to edge past fellow apprentice Edgard Zayas to take the jockey’s title for the summer meeting. Gonzalez prevailed, 53-52.
Trainer Bill Kaplan and jockey Juan Levya teamed for two victories with Celtics Stride ($4.50) in the first and East Hall ($9.80) in the sixth.
Rainbow 6 Payoff: $1,902.77