10/25/2012 3:10PM

Belmont: Little Drama can make the grade in Bold Ruler


ELMONT, N.Y. – Little Drama won’t likely reach the heights of his champion older brother Big Drama, but he could very well earn his first graded stakes victory Saturday in the Grade 3, $150,000 Bold Ruler Handicap at Belmont Park.

Little Drama enters the Bold Ruler off a fourth-place finish in the Grade 1 Vosburgh, run at six furlongs, here on Sept. 29. An inside post position led trainer Michael Mareina to instruct jockey Rajiv Maragh to send Little Drama away from the gate and he got caught up in speed duel before fading in the stretch.

Saturday, Little Drama drew the outside post in a 10-horse field, which should enable him to work an off-the-pace type of trip in the seven-furlong race.

“I’d rather him be a stalker or pouncing-type horse,” Mareina said. “Also, I think he’s better at seven-eighths. He’s got speed, but he’s a horse that loves to sit if you got pace to run at.”

Spring to the Sky, Isn’t He Perfect, Associated, and Golddigger’s Boy are candidates to show early speed.

A fast pace would also enhance the chances of Caixa Eletronica, who finished second, two lengths in front of Little Drama, in the Vosburgh. Caixa Eletronica is 8 for 19 at seven furlongs and finished third to stablemate Calibrachoa in this race last year.

He will break from post 8 and is the 119-pound highweight under Javier Castellano.

Buffum has fired some races that are good enough to win the Bold Ruler. He has not, however, run since finishing sixth, 14 lengths behind Mucho Macho Man in the Grade 2 Suburban at 1 1/8 miles here on July 7.

Trainer Tom Albertrani said he decided to give Buffum a freshening after that race, then couldn’t find a suitable race for the 4-year-old colt.

Before the Suburban, Buffum won a second-level allowance by eight lengths here on May 28, coming off an eight-month layoff.

“I expect him to run well fresh,” Albertrani said.

Albertrani was not thrilled with Buffum drawing the rail.

“Naturally, I don’t want be stuck down in there, but we’ll just have to deal with it,” said Albertrani, who has Eddie Castro to ride.

Associate is 3 for 3 at Belmont, including a pace-pressing victory in a second-level allowance race here on Sept. 22. He is one of two horses entered by Richard Dutrow Jr., though his other entrant, Gallant Fields, finished third in a third-level allowance race Thursday at Belmont.

Isn’t He Perfect, trained by Dutrow for his last seven races, is now back with Doodnauth Shivmangal.