5-year-old Big Drama, North America’s 2010 Eclipse champion sprinter, worked a
‘bullet’ five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 Saturday morning at Calder Casino & Race
Course for trainer David Fawkes as a final tune-up before being flown to New
York early next week.
Big Drama will run
in the $350,000 Vosburgh Stakes (G1), a race that his connections hope will
move him forward to defending his title in the $1.5 million Breeders’ Cup
Sprint (G1) at Churchill Downs on Sat., Nov. 5. Jockey Ramon Dominguez will be
aboard for the first time.
Big Drama has raced
only twice this year since the Breeders’ Cup last fall, winning the $100,000
Mr. Prospector Stakes (G1) at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 15 in track record time
for six furlongs and returning from a 7 ½-month layoff to capture the $75,000
Whippleton overnight stakes at Calder on Sept. 4 by 2 ¼ lengths going 6 ½
homebred by Montbrook, Big Drama was developed at Calder as a 2-year-old,
sweeping the three ‘open’ divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes series in
2008 before going on to the national stage as a 3-year-old in 2009. He launched
his Eclipse Award campaign last season here winning the $75,000 Ponche Handicap
in June and $350,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (G2) on Summit of Speed day
Fawkes also plans to
run Donald Dizney’s 4-year-old Florida homebred colt Apriority in the Vosburgh
and he, too, could earn a chance in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint with a good
effort. The son of Grand Slam has been with Fawkes’ division in New York this
summer and worked five furlongs Friday in 1:00 3/5 at Aqueduct.
Apriority was a
late-bloomer, breaking his maiden at Calder last November and posting an
impressive allowance score in December after beginning his career with five
starts in California, finishing second three times on synthetic surfaces.
fourth last out in the A.G. Vanderbilt Handicap (G1) at Saratoga on Aug. 7 in
his first start since a heart-breaker nose defeat when second in the Churchill
Downs Stakes (G2) on Kentucky Derby Day, May 7 following another top effort
when second in the Carter Handicap (G1) at Aqueduct in early April.
Another stakes star
with major Calder history bidding for a Breeders’ Cup berth next Saturday at
Belmont will be Robert LaPenta and Jacks or Better Farm’s 4-year-old Jackson
Bend running in the $250,000 Kelso Mile (G2) for trainer Nick Zito with the
hope of going to the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile (G1) at Churchill Downs
on Nov. 5.
A Florida homebred
by Hear No Evil for Jacks or Better, Jackson Bend swept the three ‘open’
divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes in 2009 for trainer Stanley Gold
before his rise to the national stage in 2010 when his credits included a
close-up third in the Preakness Stakes (G1) at Pimlico, beaten less than a
length by Lookin at Lucky. Jackson Bend won the $250,000 Forego Stakes (G1)
last out at Saratoga on Sept. 3.