09/28/2011 2:24PM

Breeders' Cup: Big Drama back to defend his title in Sprint, preps in Vosburgh

Tom Keyser
Big Drama is the defending Breeders' Cup Sprint winner.

Big Drama vaulted to the top of the nation’s sprint division following his victory in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, and despite having made just two starts over the next 11 months, the champ remains at the head of the class heading into Saturday’s Grade 1 Vosburgh, his final prep for a defense of his title in the 2011 Sprint on Nov. 5.

The Vosburgh is one of three Breeders’ Cup Challenge Win and You’re In races for the Sprint to be decided over the next week, along with Keeneland’s Grade 3 Phoenix on Oct. 7 and Santa Anita’s Grade 1 Ancient Title the following afternoon. Giant Ryan won the only Win and You’re In race that has already been decided, capturing Calder’s Grade 2 Smile on July 12.

Big Drama’s perch at the head of the division is tenuous at best, especially considering he has started just once since opening the year with a track-record performance in Gulfstream Park’s Mr. Prospector in mid-January.

Among those who could be poised to challenge the reigning Eclipse Award winner for his championship is The Factor, who put on a powerful display returning from a layoff of his own to capture the Grade 1 Pat O’Brien last month at Del Mar. He is expected to make his next start in the Ancient Title, although trainer Bob Baffert has yet to confirm whether The Factor will run in the Sprint or Dirt Mile on Breeders’ Cup Day.

The Dirt Mile also is likely to lure away several other prominent members of the sprint division, such as Jackson Bend, Jersey Town, and Caleb’s Posse.

Despite the imposing presence of Big Drama, a surprisingly large and competitive field will contest the Vosburgh, including his stablemate Apriority, Trappe Shot, West Coast invader Euroears, Force Freeze, and Calibrachoa.

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