06/20/2009 11:00PM

Big Drama bounces back in Red Legend


Big Drama wasted little time returning to his winning ways, rebounding from a decent fifth-place finish in the Preakness Stakes last month to capture the $250,000 Red Legend Stakes on Saturday night at Charles Town.

Trainer David Fawkes ran Big Drama without blinkers in the Preakness, but the hood was back on Saturday night, with Big Drama also coming out wearing front leg bandages for the first time in a race. Big Drama broke from post 9, a somewhat dicey proposition going seven furlongs on a bullring track like Charles Town, but jockey Eibar Coa expertly guided Big Drama into perfect position before the first turn, dropping in behind early leaders Forty Thieves and Ju Jitsu Jax.

After a half-mile in 46.73 seconds, Coa was ready to move. He tipped Big Drama to the outside of the leading pair, and Big Drama quickly engaged them and went past. He took a clear lead into the stretch, and finished straight and strong, scoring by seven lengths over Bunker Hill while getting his seven furlongs in a fine 1:24.03. Big Drama paid just $3 to win, and was followed under the wire by Bunker Hill and Russell Road.

Racing for owner-breeder Harold Queen, Big Drama now has finished first in seven of nine starts, though he is credited with only six wins, having been disqualified from first to second in the Swale Stakes. The $144,000 first-place prize boosted Big Drama's bankroll over $1 million.

Trust or Bust wins fifth straight in Dash

It's quite possible that Trust or Bust could beat any horse in the world going 4 1/2 furlongs at Charles Town right now. That's speculation, but the fact is, Trust or Bust was much the best Saturday night in the $250,000 Charles Town Dash, winning by 2 1/4 lengths over Secretintelligence to post his fifth straight victory.

Trained by Paul McClelland for the Happy Hour Stable, 4-year-old Trust or Bust has won all four of his Charles Town starts. He has three recent local wins, and also captured a stakes at Mountaineer Park during his ongoing win streak.

Trust or Bust battled early with Sea Dubai, but shrugged off his early pace rivals at the top of the short Charles Town stretch, and surged to a clear win through the final furlong under jockey Gerald Almodovar. Sea Dubai held on for third, with tepid favorite Ikigai fifth in a field of nine. The winner was timed in 51.11 seconds, and paid $7 to win.

No Advantage scores in Wild and Wonderful

When No Advantage was moved into the barn of trainer Stephanie Beattie in January, he had won one of seven starts, his form apparently stuck in first gear. But since landing with Beattie at Charles Town, No Advantage had turned into a good thing. Saturday night, he won for the fifth time in his seven starts for Beattie, and took down his second straight stakes race by winning the $100,000 Wild and Wonderful Stakes by one length.

No Advantage, who won the William Donald Schaefer last month at Pimlico, got a favorable inside trip under Brandon Whitacre, coming through on the fence to wear down favored Acting Zippy, who held the lead at the stretch call. Acting Zippy was a half-length better than Eddie C., with the veteran Ah Day fourth.

No Advantage, owned by Suarez Racing, Joseph Besecker, and Kirk Wycoff, ran seven furlongs in 1:24.44, and paid $8.40 to win.

Juliet's Spirit grabs Lady Charles Town

Juliet's Spirit, who hadn't raced since November and hadn't won since August, swooped to the lead with a strong run off the turn and won the $100,000 Lady Charles Town by 1 1/4 lengths for owner Padua Stables, trainer Steve Asmussen, and jockey Larry Sterling.

Juliet's Spirit ($22) had never started on dirt before the Lady Charles Town, but she had no trouble with the surface, tracking the pace of Score One More and Hollywood Hills. Hollywood Hills blew the turn, leaving plenty of space for Juliet's Spirit to attack Score One More. She passed comfortably, and had plenty left to hold off all closers, stopping the timer in 51.35 seconds for 4 1/2 furlongs. Favored Onearmedbandit was up for second, with Score One More holding third.