12/17/2010 4:16PM

Big Drama looking ready to go again

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Barbara D. Livingston
Big Drama, Eibar Coa up, wins the BC Sprint.

MIAMI – Since Big Drama’s triumphant return to south Florida last month following his victory in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, trainer David Fawkes has targeted the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita on Jan. 29 for the speedster’s 2011 debut. But Big Drama has done so well over the past several weeks, those plans could change.

“He’s been working steadily for a few weeks now and Eibar said he doesn’t know how we’re going to hold this horse for another month after breezing him last weekend,” Fawkes said, referring to jockey Eibar Coa, whose perfectly judged ride helped contribute to Big Drama’s winning performance on Breeders’ Cup day. “His last work went really nice, and he’ll come back again and work either Sunday or Monday depending upon the weather. They are calling for some rain here Saturday night, so if the track’s no good Sunday morning I’ll just wait another day.”

Fawkes said he will keep his options open regarding Big Drama’s next start by nominating him to both the Sunshine Millions Sprint and the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector, which will be run at six furlongs at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 15.

“The Sunshine Millions is more money, but the race is ungraded and it means having to ship all the way out to the west coast,” said Fawkes. “The Mr. Prospector is only $100,000 but it is a graded race and it’s right here. I’ll just nominate to both spots then see how he’s doing before making a final decision.”

Originally Fawkes had also considered the Dubai Golden Shaheen as an option for Big Drama this spring, but he and owner Harold Queen have had some second thoughts about making the demanding trip.

“Mr. Queen is just a little concerned what effects a trip like that might have on him the rest of the year,” said Fawkes. “And our major goal in 2011 is returning to Churchill Downs to defend our title in the Breeders’ Cup.

The Eclipse Award voting is right around the corner, and the battle for top honors in the Sprint division is strictly a two horse affair between Big Drama and Majesticperfection.

“I know he beat us the only time we faced each other in the Vanderbilt, but my horse got bumped pretty good leaving the gate that day, allowing Majesticperfection to get an easy lead,” said Fawkes. “Who knows what would have happened if we were able to pressure him right from the start or if we got another shot at him in the Breeders’ Cup, on a day when Big Drama ran the best race of his career.”

Fawkes also believes his horse had the better overall campaign of the two.

“We not only won the Breeders’ Cup but the Grade 2 Smile and were second in two other Grade 1 races,” said Fawkes. “Hopefully the voters will recognize Big Drama for his overall body of work during the course of the year and not base their vote solely on one race.”