10/22/2011 10:32AM

Breeders' Cup: Big Drama turns in improved five-furlong workout


MIAMI – Defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion and Eclipse Award winner Big Drama looked sharp working five furlongs in 1:00.41 seconds at Calder on Saturday morning in company with stablemate Apriority who covered the same distance in 1:01.02. Both horses are candidates for the BC Sprint on Nov. 5.

Big Drama, with jockey Daniel Centeno aboard, broke off at the five-furlong pole approximately a length and one-half behind Apriority and dropped about 2 1/2 lengths behind after travelling his opening three furlongs in 36.26 seconds. Apriority, who was ridden by exercise rider Madeleine Sciametta, fanned about four paths wide while Big Drama cut the corner entering the stretch but both had to alter course a bit when running up behind another team working in front of them approaching the eighth pole.

Big Drama drew even with Apriority at midstretch, pulled nearly two lengths clear while under some urging at the wire, then drew away while continuing on strongly into the turn, galloping out six furlongs in 1:12.61 over a fast but somewhat cuppy racetrack. Apriority, who was under little pressure to finish, galloped out three-quarters of a mile in 1:14.10.

"After talking to my assistant and the two riders I am very pleased with both works," trainer David Fawkes said from Keeneland. "Danny [Centeno] said Big Drama went much better than he did last week. Apriority went wider, was not really asked to finish, and is not a great work horse to begin with, so for him I thought it was a very good effort as well."

Fawkes said he would speak to owner Donald Dizney but at this point is leaning towards pre-entering Grade 1 stakes-placed Apriority for the Sprint along with Big Drama on Monday.

Fawkes said Big Drama would work again at Calder next Saturday and if all goes well van to Churchill Downs following training the following morning.