David Melin and Laurie Plesa’s Brave Dave, a two-time stakes winner at Calder Casino & Race Course last year that also prevailed in the Grade 3 Sapling at Monmouth Park, headlines a field of 10 sprinting sophomores that will gather for Saturday’s $55,000 Big Drama Stakes.
Trained by Eddie Plesa, Jr., Brave Dave began his career at Calder, winning at first asking in a late-June 2012 maiden special weight race before shipping north to finish fourth in the Grade 2 Sanford Stakes at Saratoga, one start prior to his Sapling Stakes score in New Jersey.
Following that graded stakes victory, the son of Put It Back returned to south Florida where he took down the $100,000 Birdonthewire Stakes and the $125,000 Jack Price Juvenile Sprint before closing out his 2-year-old campaign with a second in the $58,000 Inaugural Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.
Last seen finishing a disappointing sixth in the $150,000 Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream Park on January 1, Brave Dave will start from post four in the Big Drama and will be ridden by Elvis Trujillo.
When Brave Dave broke his maiden at Gulfstream in his first start, Herman Van Den Broeck’s Singanothersong was the second-place finisher, and those two rivals will renew acquaintances in Saturday’s six-furlong dash.
Stakes-placed at Calder, having finished third in last year’s Birdonthewire, Singanothersong was an allowance winner at Gulfstream Park in early January, and while his first foray to the world of graded stakes didn’t go well when sixth in the Grade 2 Hutcheson, the son of Songandaprayer fared much better in his follow-up attempt, a second in the Grade 2 Swale.
Conditioned by Ron Pellegrini, Singanothersong starts from post six in the Big Drama where he will have the riding services of jockey Manoel Cruz.
Dave Fawkes, the trainer of Big Drama, will look to win the race named for his star pupil when sending out Alex Lieblong’s unbeaten Value Trap in Saturday’s race.
A son of Value Plus, Value Trap was an impressive six-length winner in his debut at Calder last November and has returned to make just one start since, taking a local entry-level allowance on April 11 by 1 ¾- lengths.
Value Trap will be ridden from post 10 in the Big Drama by jockey Juan Leyva.
Other notables in the Big Drama field include Cloud Nine Lumoni’s City of Weston, winner of the $75,000 Sophomore Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in his last start; Lakshmi Rattan’s Trinni Heart, last seen an impressive maiden winner at Gulfstream; and Mel Paikoff’s Happy My Way, who has visited the winner’s circle following each of his last two outings.
Completing the field for the race is Natalie Hinson and Rowan Dixon’s Rockyshomerun, Hurricane Stables, LLC’s Cat Five Hurricane, Alex and Joanne Lieblong’s Defend, and Luis Duco Stables, Inc.’s Grand Bambu.
The $55,000 Big Drama Stakes is scheduled as the 11th race on a 12-race Saturday program from Calder with an approximate post time of 5:20 p.m. First race post time is 12:50 p.m.