08/13/2010 3:15PM

Big Drama resting up for final push to Sprint


MIAMI – Big Drama is in line for a much-deserved rest, although his younger brother Little Drama could swing back in action in as little as two weeks, trainer David Fawkes reported on Friday.

Big Drama has returned home from Saratoga where he finished a game second behind division leader Majesticperfection in the Grade 2 A.G. Vanderbilt Stakes on Sunday. Big Drama chased the even-money Majesticperfection from the outset and appeared ready to be overtaken by a couple of rivals for second money in late stretch before reaching down and finding a little more in the tank to salvage the runner-up spot by a half-length over Bribon.

“He came back in good order,” Fawkes said of Big Drama. “We were very pleased with his race on Sunday. He caught a monster – that winner is a very nice horse – and I thought he turned in a very gallant effort to be second.”

Fawkes said he’ll now wait six to eight weeks before looking for another race for Big Drama, who earlier this summer captured Calder’s Grade 2 Smile Sprint Handicap.

“It’s a long, hot summer and he’s had three hard races, so I think he deserves some time off right now,” said Fawkes. “We’re pointing him for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and he’ll have one more start before then.”

Unlike his older brother, Little Drama did not fire his best shot last weekend, finishing far back after contesting a fast pace over a wet track as the odds-on favorite in the Dr. Fager division of the Florida Stallion Stakes. Little Drama cruised to a nine-length victory four weeks earlier in the Frank Gomez Memorial.

“I don’t think he liked the racetrack the other day,” said Fawkes of Little Drama’s effort in the Dr. Fager. “It looked to me like he was jumping up and down and I also didn’t like that fact he went 21 and change on the front end. Even though he won wire to wire the previous time, I don’t know if that’s his best running style.”

Fawkes said if all goes well over the next couple of weeks, Little Drama will wheel back in the second leg of the Stallion Stakes, the seven-furlong Affirmed, on Aug. 28.

Fawkes also reported that Duke of Mischief remains on target for the Iselin Stakes next week at Monmouth Park. Duke of Mischief, runner-up behind Gone Astray in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile in his previous start, is already a two-time graded stakes winner this season, having captured the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale at Gulfstream Park and the Grade 2 Oaklawn Handicap.

“I really wanted to win the Salvator Mile because that was a Win and You’re In race for the Breeders’ Cup,” said Fawkes. “It looks like it’s going to be a small field in the Iselin and pretty much the same as the Salvator Mile except for the addition of I Want Revenge.”

Stewards give Saez three-day suspension

The stewards have handed jockey Luis Saez a three-day suspension for careless riding aboard Swift Warrior in Thursday’s sixth race. Swift Warrior lugged in to bump Shankopotamus near the eighth pole before rallying to finish third in the maiden special weight dash. Swift Warrior was not disqualified since the stewards ruled the incident did not effect the outcome of the race.

Saez was also involved in an inquiry in the previous race after his horse He’s Alright lugged in front of the tiring Kings Cove, forcing that rival to steady near midstretch. He’s Alright won the race and that result was also allowed to stand.

According to the stewards, Saez, second in the standings behind Manoel Cruz, has several earlier suspensions on appeal.