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Saratoga and Del Mar 2017

Little Drama Hopes to Beat the Heat at GP

Gulfstream Park
Photo: MEC

Little Drama was sent to post as the even-money favorite for the Sunshine State Stakes at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 2, but the Florida-bred gelding had a meltdown in the stretch. Trainer Michael Mareina expects Harold Queen’s homebred to handle the heat a lot better in the $150,000 Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint on Jan. 19.

“I told Mr. Queen, ‘You’ve got to have the only Florida bred that hates being in Florida. It’s funny, because it wasn’t that it was any hotter here than it was in New York in the Summer and at Saratoga. It’s nicer,” Mareina said with a chuckle. “But for some reason, he was dull a little bit. It took him a while for him to get back. He’s real sharp now.”

The son of Burning Roma had a most productive summer in New York, where he won a $90,000 allowance by three lengths, finished fourth in the Vosburgh (G1) and came in second in the Bold Ruler (G2).

Back with state-bred competition in the Sunshine State, Little Drama set a strong pace before fading to fifth in the stretch, beaten by more than six lengths by victorious Bahamian Squall, whom he is likely to meet again in the Florida Sunshine Millions Sprint.

“He was just a little flat for that race. I didn’t want him on the lead in there and he actually made the pace in 1:08-and-change. That’s not where I want him. The horse likes a target to run at,” Mareina said. “We should have a little more speed in the race, and he can sit and wait.”

A half-brother to 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Big Drama, Little Drama has earned more than $340,000 during his 19-race career.

“He had a great work the other day. He came home in :22 for fun,” said Mareina, who plans to make a jockey switch to Javier Castellano. “He’s brighter. When we first got here, he just wasn’t bright. Now, he’s bucking and squealing again.”

 

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