11/06/2010 3:04PM

Big Drama wires in Breeders' Cup Sprint

Alysse Jacobs
Big Drama (center) with Eibar Coa riding, wins the Breeders' Cup Sprint.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Trainer David Fawkes did his homework. Jockey Eibar Coa followed his instructions perfectly. And Big Drama did the rest.

Racing on the lead but well off the rail, Big Drama led throughout to register a 1 1/2-length victory over the 23-1 outsider Hamazing Destiny in Saturday's $2 million Breeders' Cup Sprint. Smiling Tiger pressed the pace and outlasted the fast-closing Supreme Summit for third.

The victory was the first for Coa, Fawkes, and Big Drama's owner-breeder, Harold Queen, in the Breeders' Cup. The win was also the second in as many days for a horse based at Calder Race Course in Miami, following Awesome Feather's triumph in the Juvenile Fillies on Friday.

Fawkes said in the paddock, after giving Coa a leg up on Big Drama, that he had instructed his rider to go to the front and float off the rail. And that's exactly the way the six furlong Sprint unfolded.

Coa hustled Big Drama up the inside to take the lead before going an eighth of a mile and then eased him about four paths off the inside fence midway down the backstretch. Big Drama, who had finished second in both the Grade 1 Forego and Alfred Vanderbilt Handicap in his last two starts, posted fast fractions of 21.34 and 44.55 seconds for the opening quarter- and half-mile, settled into the stretch with a two length lead and had more than enough left in reserve to remain well clear at the end.

Hamazing Destiny also eased outside in the run down the backstretch, angled five wide with his bid into the stretch and outfinished Smiling Tiger by a neck to be second. The latter attended the pace while racing near the inside and lacked a sufficient closing kick.

Girolamo, the tepid 4-1 favorite, was trapped along the deep rail from the outset and was never a factor, finishing eleventh in a field of 12 sprint specialists. Atta Boy Roy, who raced forwardly into the stretch, tired to finish 10th, and was vanned off. His injury was later diagnosed as a superficial wound to the right foreleg, and not a suspensory injury as originally feared.

Big Drama completed the six furlongs in 1:09.05 over the fast track and paid $12.40.

"I watched the races here yesterday and earlier today and realized the rail was deeper and decided our best chance was to go to the lead and float him off the rail," said Fawkes. "If we'd taken back it is likely he would have been pinned down on the inside like so many other horses breaking from the one post the last couple of days."

Fawkes also said training at Calder gave Big Drama a big advantage.

"The track at Calder is safe but deeper than here and it gets horses ultra fit," said Fawkes, citing Awesome Feather's victory Friday, "and you see lots of horses come out of there and go on to win all kinds of good races, like Blind Luck for example."

Dubai Majesty, who won the Filly and Mare Sprint on Friday, also began her career at Calder.

Fawkes said he plans to give Big Drama a little break and is undecided when or where he will run next.

"I'd like to take him to Dubai in the spring but we really haven't discussed it too much yet," Fawkes said.