06/11/2010 11:00PM

Big Drama, Pica Slew stand out on Speed Preview card


MIAMI - Big Drama delivered as expected Saturday at Calder when he captured his 2010 debut in the $65,000 Ponche Handicap. But Big Drama had to share the spotlight on the Summit of Speed Preview card with a promising 3-year-old filly named Pica Slew, who cruised to the easiest of possible victories in the $85,000 Leave Me Alone Stakes.

Big Drama, who had not started since finishing off the board in the King's Bishop Stakes more than nine months ago, forced a fast pace before asserting his superiority to register a 3 3/4-length decision over Sincero in the Ponche, which scratched down from six to only four starters.

Big Drama stalked a fast pace set by Rusty Charlie under jockey Luis Saez, readily took the lead approaching the stretch, gradually edged away to a commanding advantage, and was never seriously threatened in the final furlong. The win was the fourth on the card for Saez.

Big Drama ($2.40), a homebred son of Montbrook owned by Harold Queen, covered six furlongs in 1:10.74 over a fast track.

"I thought that was pretty impressive all in all," said trainer David Fawkes, who watched the Ponche from Churchill Downs, where he saddled Duke of Mischief in the Stephen Foster. "There was nothing in there but he just hand rode him. It was a great tightener for the Smile."

The Grade 2 Smile is the co-feature on the July 10 Summit of Speed program.

Pica Slew entered the six-furlong Leave Me Alone with only two previous starts under her belt and a maiden victory here earlier in the meet. But she dominated her six rivals from start to finish, leading every step of the way while kept under wraps by jockey Manoel Cruz the entire trip. Her final margin of victory was just 1 3/4 lengths over 24-1 outsider Hot Hot Mama, but could have been much more had she been allowed to run at any point of the race.

Pica Slew, a 3-year-old daughter of Pico Central, is trained by Joe Calascibetta for the Terra Di Sienna Stables.

"Manoel looked like he was water skiing on her going under the wire," said Calascibetta."She's the real deal."

Pica Slew ($3.80) completed six furlongs in 1:10.96, her final time faster than that run by 3-year-old males in the Unbridled and older fillies and mares in the U Can Do It.

Calascibetta said Pica Slew will return in the Grade 3 Azalea here on July 10.

Trainer Marty Wolfson accounted for the other two stakes on the Summit Preview card, winning the $85,000 Unbridled with Coffee Boy ($3.80) and the $65,000 U Can Do It with First Passage ($5.20).

Coffee Boy stalked and wore down Dream of Atlantis to register a three-quarter length victory in the Unbridled under jockey Jermaine Bridgmohan. He ran six furlongs in 1:11.05.

First Passage outfinished stablemate Saratoga Tango by a half-length to capture the U Can Do It. The pair was two of five horses Wolfson saddled in the race along with Saintly Rose (fourth), Indy's Alexandra (fifth), and Pious Ashley (seventh).

Golden Mystery, the 9-5 second choice, was never a serious factor and finished sixth in a field of eight older horses.

First Passage is likely to run back in the Grade 1 Princess Rooney Handicap on July 10.