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Apriority Seeks First Graded Stakes Win

Apriority made his presence known at the beginning of the year finishing second to Amazombie in the Sunshine Millions Sprint. Before that second place finish, the Grand Slam colt had required six attempts to break his maiden. Once he finally scored his first win, he reeled off three straight victories including his maiden.  Amazombie’s win and Apriority’s place propelled them both out of relative obscurity and into the big leagues, but they have taken different routes since then. Since January, Amazombie has scored a Grade 2, a non-graded stakes, and two Grade 1 stakes victories. Apriority, on the other hand, only managed to win an allowance optional claiming event while finishing 2nd in the G1 Carter Handicap and the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes. In his last three races, however, he finished completely off the board.


This Saturday, Apriority is back for his first race since finishing 6th in the G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint. After facing the nation’s top sprinters all year, trainer David Fawkes is backing his charge down to the G3 Mr. Prospector Stakes at Gulfstream Park. Though he is stepping back in level, the field he faces is anything but weak. His six rivals for the New Year’s Eve race are:

1.Apriority—4/C—L. Saez—D. Fawkes—118
2.Zero Rate Policy—3/G—P. Lopez—T. Pompay—118
3.Capt. Candyman Can—5/G—C. Borel—I. Wilkes—118
4.Indiano—3/C—J. Castellano—M. Wolfson—120
5.Immortal Eyes—6/G—J. Lezcano—J. Toner—120
6.The Hunk—4/C—E. Trujillo—B. Perkins, Jr.—118
7.Nathan’s H Q—4/C—J. Rocco, Jr.—C. Martin—118

Zero Rate Policy, Immortal Eyes, and Nathan’s H Q are all non-graded stakes winners and The Hunk is an allowance winner, but Indiano is a G2 winner while Capt. Candyman Can is a G1 winner. Capt. Candyman Can captured the G1 King’s Bishop Stakes as a three-year old but finished 8th in the 2009 edition of the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. After his disappointing performance in the Sprint, the Candy Ride gelding was out for 15 months due to an injury. His return in the Super Stakes back in February showed that his layoff did not hinder his winning ways, but his return to graded company has not been as successful. The bay gelding finished 4th in the G2 Churchill Downs Stakes, less than a length behind Apriority, and 3rd in the G3 Aristides Stakes. A seasoned runner familiar with winning, Capt. Candyman Can will make Apriority’s job on Saturday anything but easy.

Apriority’s last three races saw him tire, fail to contend after being bumped, and fail to respond in the stretch. If he is to capture his first graded stakes win, then he is going to need to recapture his form from earlier in the season. His three second place finishes were to three very good competitors: Amazombie, Morning Line, and Aikenite. The only competitor close to that level in Saturday’s field is Capt. Candyman Can, and Apriority has already beaten him. That is not to say that the race is Apriority’s to lose because he will have to be at his very best to repeat the effort against the Candy Ride gelding for a second time. The Grand Slam colt has the talent to win the Mr. Prospector Stakes, but only Saturday will tell if he is the winner we all think he can be.


What the Nation is saying about Apriority Seeks First Graded Stakes Win...

Tough win for a deserving horse!
I'm rather surprised that it took this long for him to get a graded win, but I'm happy he finally got it. Hopefully he will continue to improve from here.
I have always been fond of Apriority. Nice to see him make the grade.
I knew he could do it. And in style, too!
I'm giving him another chance, too. Hopefully it pays off.
I hope he gets it, too, because I really think I'm going to give this fast horse another chance.


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Meet Ashley Tamulonis

Despite growing up in a non-horse racing state, Ashley has been a fan of the sport since a young age. Her love for horse racing was fostered through the kids’ book series Thoroughbred by Joanna Campbell, and it was her love of reading and horses that led her to educate herself on the ins and outs of the sport. Since becoming actively involved in the industry just a few short years ago, Ashley has had the opportunity to meet many important players in the industry, attend the Eclipse Awards, see personal favorite Mucho Macho Man race twice in person, and get to personally meet and befriend many of the fantastic fans and horsemen involved in the sport.


Before joining Horse Racing Nation, Ashley created her own blog Wired with Ashley Paige. The idea to venture into the world of blogging came to her when she realized that she had much to say about horse racing and no one to say it to at the time. Since joining Horse Racing Nation as a contributing blogger, Ashley writes as frequently as possible as the Florida Filly. Though she mainly covers racing in South Florida, Ashley also blogs about nationwide racing, industry issues, and from time to time offers her opinion on how various changes could be beneficial to the industry as a whole. Most recently, Ashley was selected to participate in the NTRA Top Thoroughbred Polls.


An alumni of Macon State College, Ashley lives in Central Georgia with her husband Chris and their two sons Charlie and Michael. When she is not covering the races, Ashley works with insurance claims, a job she is able to do from home in order to spend as much time as possible with her family. Aside from horse racing, Ashley is passionate about football, reading, and history and hopes to someday author a historical work covering the Tudor period as well as biographies of horse racing’s stars, equine and human alike.