Donald Dizney’s Apriority, runner-up in the Grade 3 Count Fleet Handicap at Oaklawn Park on April 14, worked a half-mile in :48 at Calder Casino & Race Course on Saturday in advance of a May 5 start in the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Handicap.
“He worked this morning and will board a plane to Louisville on Tuesday,” trainer Dave Fawkes said. “It was an excellent move; he did it well. And we changed the bit on him, so he didn’t drift out, which is good.”
The runner-up in last year’s running of the Churchill Downs Handicap, where the colt got out a bit in the stretch and was beaten a nose at the wire, Apriority last started in the Count Fleet where he was beaten a half-length when closing from last in the six-horse field.
“I was a little disappointed he was so far back in that race,” Fawkes said. “He really doesn’t like running from that far off, so I thought he should have been closer. I think he was the best horse and should have won.”
Following his upcoming appearance in the Churchill Downs Handicap, Fawkes reported that Apriority would return to his home base at Calder where he will be pointed towards a mid-season start in the Grade 2 Smile Sprint.
BAHAMIAN SQUALL BACK ON WORK TAB
Also on the Saturday work tab for Fawkes was the promising 3-year-old Bahamian Squall, who had his first morning move since a fifth-place finish in the $75,000 Sophomore Stakes at Tampa when covering five furlongs in 1:02.20, the second fasted of 19 at the distance.
A maiden winner in his career debut at Gulfstream on February 5, the son of Gone West returned to finish sixth in the Grade 3 Swale at Gulfstream before his failed attempt in the Sophomore Stakes.
“In the Swale, the winner (Trinniberg) just ran off, and there was nothing we were going to do about that,” Fawkes said. “Then, in the race at Tampa, I don’t think he got the best of rides. He checked four times, and I mean four times hard, and in the end he didn’t get beat much more than two lengths.”
Bahamian Squall is being prepared for an upcoming start at Calder, although the exact race remains in question.
“We nominated him to the In Summation (run May 12) but there’s an allowance race in the condition book (May 6) that I’m looking to run him in,” Fawkes said. “After he won his first race, we kind of threw him to the wolves, and right now he just needs to win a race; I want him to get his confidence back.
“If the allowance goes, he’ll run there. But the stake isn’t out of the question either.”
Tamarind Hall, last seen finishing 10th in the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint while under the tutelage of trainer Jeremiah Englehart, also made a morning workout appearance for the Fawkes barn on Saturday. The daughter of Graeme Hall covered a half-mile in :48.
Fawkes indicated that the 5-year-old graded stakes winner will steer on course towards a run in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney.
VITALI DOUBLES IN ADVANCE OF WEEKEND DEPARTURE
Trainer Marcus Vitali was a two-time winner on the Friday program at Calder, visiting the winner’s circle with Adela’s Song and Surf Road to improve his record to four wins from 11 starts during his brief April stop at Calder.
“We’ll head back north this week,” Vitali said. “We’ll go back to Boston and have our usual string at Suffolk. We’ll ship around a little to run at Delaware, Belmont, tracks like that. Then come back down here in the fall.”