Harold Queen’s homebred 4-year-old colt Big Drama scored an important stakes victory at Calder Casino & Race Course on Saturday at the Summit of Speed when he dominated the field of 12 in the $350,000 Smile Sprint Handicap (G2).
The Smile Sprint Handicap, along with the Princess Rooney Handicap, is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge ‘Win and You’re In’ program, whereby the winner of each race automatically qualifies for his and her respective division at the $26 million 2010 Breeders' Cup World Championships, to be run this fall at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky on November 5-6.
Trained by David Fawkes and ridden by jockey Eibar Coa, Big Drama stalked the early pace in the six-furlong Smile Sprint and made his move at the quarter pole, demonstrating full control of the event as he extended a comfortable lead in the stretch. Mambo Meister was gaining on Big Drama nearing the finish, but it wasn’t enough and the winner was 1 ½ lengths best at the wire. It was another 3 ¼ lengths back to How’s Your Halo in third place.
Big Drama ran the six furlongs in 1:10.93 and earned $210,810 for the victory, pushing his career earnings to $1,459,560. At the mutuel windows, Big Drama returned $5.60, $4.20, and $3.40 to his backers.
Earlier in the day, Big Drama’s younger half-brother, 2-year-old Little Drama, won the Frank Gomez Memorial Stakes. With the same connections, Little Drama is poised to follow his older sibling as he pursues the path to the Florida Stallion Stakes this summer at Calder. Big Drama swept the FSS series in 2008.
Winning trainer quotes:
David Fawkes — ““He’s grown up since last year. He’s a bigger, stronger horse. We’ll keep him sprinting and hope to get him to the Breeders’ Cup (Sprint). He’ll probably run once at Saratoga and we’ll see where we are at that time (whether to run again).”
Winning jockey’s quotes:
Eibar Coa – “He certainly ran the way I expected him to run today. That last race in the Ponche set him up perfectly and Mr. Fawkes has him right where he needs to be at this point. I know this horse quite well and he feels as good as ever.”