Trainer David Fawkes said
Thursday that he was likely to work probable Grade 1 Whitney contender Duke of Mischief in company with Grade
1 Alfred G. Vanderbilt hopeful Apriority Sunday morning at Saratoga
“Duke was going to breeze
tomorrow, but if it rains like it’s supposed to this afternoon, I’m probably
going to breeze him and Apriority together on Sunday,” Fawkes said. “I do that
sometimes – it gives them something to do and adds a little competition. They’ve
only been here a couple of days, but so far everybody’s happy and eating well.
They left Calder Monday, they got here Tuesday and went to the track, Thursday,
Friday, and today.”
Apriority exits a nose loss in
the Grade 2 Churchill Downs Stakes on May 7 and prior to that was defeated 1 ½
lengths by Morning Line in the Grade 1 Carter Handicap at Aqueduct on April 9.
Duke of Mischief was fourth, beaten just two lengths in the Grade 1 Stephen
Foster on June 18 at Churchill Downs following an impressive victory in the
April 15 Grade 3 Charles Town Classic.
“They’re both tough races, but my
horses both fit in,” Fawkes said. “We had a little bounce last time with Duke; I
don’t think he wants that long of a stretch. I made a bad call – I told him
[jockey Joe Bravo] to move early. He only got beat two lengths and he ran a
great race, he just flattened out a little. Bad trainer, good horse.”
This summer is the first that the
Florida-based Fawkes has brought a string to Saratoga, though he has run stakes
horses here in the past, most recently 2010’s Champion Male Sprinter Big Drama,
who finished second in both the Vanderbilt and the Grade 1 Forego here last year
before going on to take the Breeders’ Cup Sprint.
“It’s nice,” Fawkes said of
Saratoga , where
he has approximately 27 horses. “I’ve never stabled here before, I’ve just come
in and run and left. Big Drama last year and [in 2006] Take D’ Tour. I actually
kept her here for about a month over at Oklahoma with Tim Hills .”
Take D’ Tour, who won the Grade 1
Ogden Phipps Handicap at Belmont
Park in both 2006 and 2007, ran once at
finishing fourth in 2006’s Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap.