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Duke of Mischief, Apriority to Work Sunday

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 Race Course.


“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 Saratoga , finishing fourth in 2006’s Grade 1 Go for Wand Handicap.



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