HALLANDALE, FL – After going winless in the first six starts of his career, Apriority collected his third straight victory Thursday at Gulfstream Park.
The David Fawkes-trained 4-year-old colt dueled with longshot Riversrunrylee early before taking over the lead midway through the backstretch. The son of Grand Slam, ridden by Eibar Coa took clear lead into the mid-stretch before holding on by a head over Groomedforvictory, the 9-5 favorite ridden by Javier Castellano. Dueling Alex finished another half-length back in third under Edgar Prado.
Although he didn’t get the money in the feature, Castellano rode three winners on Thursday’s card: New Member ($5) in the fourth, Honeymoon Girl ($17.60) in the seventh and Dagney Darling ($16) in the ninth. Rajiv Maragh rode two winners: Cenizo ($7.60) in the second and Let’s Do It ($12.60) in the sixth.
Todd Pletcher, last year’s leading trainer, made his first visit to the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle following Thursday’s third race, won by impressive first-time starter Travelin Man. Ridden by John Velazquez, the 3-year-old son of Trippi scored by 7-1/4 lengths while running six furlongs in 1:09.
The E Paul Robsham Stables’ homebred colt paid $7.20 as the third choice in a five-horse field. Ninja Blade finished second, nearly two lengths ahead of beaten favorite Ballyclough.
Trainer Wesley Ward saddled his third winner of the young meeting in the fifth race, but he had to share the spotlight in the winner’s circle. The Ward-trained Grand Cash ($8.60) hit the finish line at the exact same time as the Danny-Miller-trained Exchanging Kisses ($9.20) in the 1-1/16-mile turf race for $50,000 claimers.
The Rainbow 6, a pick-6 wager with a 10-cent minimum wager, wasn’t hit Thursday, when tickets with five of six winners paid $284.33.
The 50-cent Pick-5 was hit and paid $22,832.40.