06/09/2010 11:00PM

Big Drama primed for comeback


MIAMI - There may be four stakes races on Saturday's Summit of Speed Preview card at Calder, but there is only one marquee name - Big Drama, who will make his much-anticipated 2010 debut in the $65,000 Ponche Handicap.

The six-furlong Ponche serves as a prep for the Grade 2 Smile Handicap on the July 10 Summit of Speed program. The Summit of Speed has evolved into the premier attraction on the Calder stakes schedule and an important day on the national stakes calendar.

The Ponche will be the last of the four stakes on Saturday's 13-race card, which also includes the $85,000 Leave Me Alone for 3-year-old fillies, the $85,000 Unbridled for 3-year-olds, and the $65,000 U Can Do it Handicap for older fillies and mares.

Big Drama was the top 2-year-old in south Florida in 2008 after winning 5 of 6 starts, including all three legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes and the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot. His 3-year-old campaign began with an apparent victory in Gulfstream Park's Grade 2 Swale, but he was disqualified for interference. His lone win during the abbreviated campaign came in Charles Town's Red Legend. He also was second, beaten a neck, in the Grade 2 West Virginia Derby before closing out the year finishing sixth over a sloppy track in the Grade 1 King's Bishop.

Trainer David Fawkes has brought Big Drama along slowly, preparing for his return, with the Smile as his first main goal this season.

"He's doing super, super, super," Fawkes said. "The time off did a lot of good, and I can't ask for him to be doing any better. "

Big Drama has had six published works since April 26, including a sensational bullet gate drill in 1:00.78, according to Daily Racing Form, on May 23.

"I don't normally work out of the gate like that, but I wanted to make sure he's screwed down pretty tight," Fawkes said. "I wouldn't think he'll be short on Saturday."

Big Drama will carry high weight of 121 pounds in the Ponche, conceding his five rivals from four to eight pounds. Leading the competition will be defending Ponche champion How's Your Halo, who captured the event by four lengths a year ago and then finished fourth in the 2009 Smile. He has not started since.

The remainder of the field comprises the locally based trio of Trippbuster, Rusty Charlie, and Sincero, along with Kruger Park, who is based at Emerald Downs. Trainer Charles Moreno was attempting to secure last-minute transportation to get Kruger Park, a multiple stakes winner, to south Florida in time for the race.

The six-furlong U Can Do It is the final local prep for Calder's only Grade 1 race, the Princess Rooney Handicap, which highlights the Summit of Speed program. The U Can Do It field is dominated by trainer Marty Wolfson, who has entered five of the eight horses in the race, including the 119-pound highweight First Passage.

Just how many of the quintet will actually start may remain a mystery until early Saturday afternoon, although racing secretary Mike Anifantis said Wolfson assured him he planned to run at least three, if not all five, of his entries.

First Passage has yet to regain the form that saw her win the Grade 3 Azalea on the 2009 Summit of Speed card and finish fourth following a terrible trip in Saratoga's Grade 1 Test four weeks later. First Passage has started just twice this season, finishing far back in the Grade 2 Inside Information and third in the Harmony Lodge Handicap on April 2.

Pious Ashley, fourth in the 2009 Princess Rooney, has also made only two starts in 2010 and none since finishing a well-beaten third following a poor start in a high-priced optional claiming race at Gulfstream on Feb. 28.

Indy's Alexandra, Saintly Rose, and Saratoga Tango complete the imposing Wolfson contingent. They'll be challenged by Golden Mystery, who brings a two-race win streak into the race, Zip Trick, and Don'ttalktome.

The six-furlong Leave Me Alone is a prep for the Azalea and marks the return of Miss Delite, who has not started since winning the Catcharisingstar on turf here last August. Other top contenders include the improving Gorgeous Melody, in-form Trippi's Sailor, and promising but inexperienced Pica Slew.

The six-furlong Unbridled, the final prep for the Grade 2 Carry Back, lured seven 3-year-olds, topped by Wolfson's multiple stakes placed Mr. Green and his recently stakes-placed Coffee Boy. The remainder of the field comprises Dream of Atlantis, Black Diamond Cat, Peace at Dawn, Smoking the Field, and Rickyontherun.