Photo: Eclipse Sportswire - Aaron Haggart
Two years ago Apriority was the narrow victor of an
otherwise bad race for the son Grand Slam. The bay horse stumbled leaving the
gate, grabbing a quarter in the process. He injured himself so badly that he
bled heavily throughout the race, but spectators would never have known due to
the way he performed that day. He courageously gathered himself and stalked the
pace before finally wearing down the pacesetter in the final strides and
winning the head bob on the wire.
Since that effort and injury, Apriority has not been the
same. In the 13 starts he has made since December 2011, he has only hit the
board 4 times and recorded just one win, that one coming in his most recent
start. Sent off at 9-1 in a NW2$, Apriority stalked a quick pace before taking
over in the stretch and pulling away to win by 5. Fellow G3 Mr. Prospector Stakes entrant Travelin’ Man was the beaten
favorite that day. With that confidence boosting win in the books, trainer David
Fawkes and owner Donald Dizney hope that their former graded stakes winner can
reclaim his Mr. Prospector crown in this year’s edition of the race. He will
face a short but tough field, but bay son of Grand Slam has a proven affinity for
Gulfstream and appears primed to fire his best shot. Here's a look at the field:
or Better Farm’s Fort Loudon won the G3 Gulfstream Park Sprint Championship
back in February but has failed to find the winner’s circle since then. Should
he run in this spot, it will be his third race in 20 days. He has not done well
in listed stakes in his last two starts, but it is hard to ignore that this
will be a class drop for the son of Awesome of Course. The quick turnaround and
recent poor form are concerns here.
Trinni Heart—If Trinni
Heart sounds familiar, there is probably good cause. He hails from the same
barn as 2012 Sprint Champion Trinniberg
and was second best behind Zaikov in
a MSW back in March. That is about all the son of Lion Heart has going for him
as I find him to be grossly overmatched against this field. The fact that
trainer Bisnath Parboo supplemented the colt into this spot makes me wonder if
I may be missing something, but Parboo has also been known to take a shot even
when there appears to be no chance of success.
old Star Harbour has proven to be a good claim for new connections Bobby Dibona
and Marco Thoroughbred Corp. In his first start for his new connections, he ran
third behind New York stalwart Caixa Eletronica. In his most recent start, the son of the late Indian Charlie
beat a loaded field to become a stakes winner by just lasting in the Sunshine
State Stakes over this same track. This will be his first attempt at the graded
stakes level, but trainer Dibona seems to have figured out just what makes his
new charge tick.
Tomlinson trained Upgrade is an interesting entrant here as he has raced almost
exclusively on turf and synthetics. The couple of races he has had on dirt
indicate that he may race as well on that surface as the other two. He most
recently finished second on the dirt to multiple stakes placed Bull Dozer. I
feel that this is an ambitious spot for Upgrade, but a good price would make me
time graded stakes winner Travelin’ Man has had a very up and down career, but
one thing has not changed, namely his affinity for the Gulfstream course. He
hasn’t had much success lately, but he ran third behind fellow entrant
Apriority in his most recent start as the beaten favorite. Bettors would be
loath to ignore a Pletcher trainee, but Travelin’ Man’s recent races make me
in this year’s edition of the G3 Swale, Singanothersong has shown good form all
year. He was given some time off following a third in the Big Drama Stakes at
Calder and shows up in this spot third off the layoff. Since his return, he has
finished second and most recently first by 3 ¾ lengths in a NW2X. He relishes
the Gulfstream surface and proved that he can keep pace with quick fractions.
been a fan of Apriority for some time, and I believe that the drop in class and
subsequent win was just what the big guy needed. If he runs the same race he
ran last out, he will be tough to beat. Jockey Joe Bravo gets the repeat call,
and the duo gets a four pound break in weight to high weight Black Diamond Cat.
Apriority has not been particularly adept at the Mr. Prospector distance of 6
furlongs, but he does have 4 wins from 7 starts at Gulfstream and won the 2011
edition of this race.
Black Diamond Cat—This
gelded son of Wildcat Heir has been having a career year. He became a stakes
winner in 2011 but had not recorded a win since August of that year until he
upset the Ponche Handicap at odds of 13-1 back in June. He threw a clunker in
the G2 Smile Sprint Handicap but bounced right back to record two straight
stakes wins over the main track here at Gulfstream. He most recently finished 7th
in a $75,000 stake at Calder on December 14, but a return to Gulfstream will
likely be all he needs. This will be just his second attempt in a graded stake,
but he seems well-matched with the rest of the field.
Star Harbour and Singanothersong are the speedsters of the
field, but Star Harbour has the advantage of being the closest of the duo to
the rail. They both laid down quick fractions in their most recent starts and
came away winners. Interestingly enough, their final times were both excellent.
Singanothersong missed the track record for 6 furlongs by less than half a
second, and Star Harbour was just a little over a second off the track record
for 7 furlongs. I really like both their chances here, but I also believe that
Apriority is finally rounding back into top form. Black Diamond Cat and Fort
Loudon are hard to ignore, but the aforementioned three are my top picks.
Singanothersong, and Star Harbour
Contenders—Black Diamond Cat and Fort
Pretenders—Trinni Heart and Travelin’