01/17/2011 9:33AM

Big Drama's Heady Beyer Speed Figure

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Big Drama was absolutely brilliant winning the Mr. Prospector Stakes last Saturday at Gulfstream. In his first start since his decisive score in last fall's Breeders' Cup Sprint, Big Drama whipped a very good horse in Custom for Carlos by four lengths, with there being another huge bulge of 13 lengths back to the third finisher. And Big Drama sped the six furlongs in a track record 1:08.12. By contrast, solid Grade 2 to Grade 3 type mares went the same distance two races later in the Sugar Swirl Stakes in 1:09.75, and that after a comparable early pace.

For his efforts, Big Drama earned an eye-catching Beyer Speed Figure in the Mr. Prospector of 119. Not surprisingly, that Beyer is among the best of recent seasons.

In the five years from 2006 through 2010, only three horses earned a higher Beyer Figure than what Big Drama was assigned Saturday. They were:

Midnight Lute - 124 Beyer in the 2007 Forego Stakes at Saratoga.

Quality Road - 121 Beyer in the 2010 Donn Handicap at Gulfstream.

Commentator - 120 Beyer in the 2008 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga.

In the same five year period from 2006 through 2010, there were only seven other performances fast enough to earn the 119 Beyer that Big Drama matched Saturday. Those performances were engineered by Commentator (again), Benny The Bull, Corinthian, Curlin, Lawyer Ron, Bordonaro, and Fabulous Strike.

Considering all the opportunities for a horse to Beyer 119 or higher over the last five years and the few times that it actually occurred, it's clear Big Drama's performance Saturday was indeed special.