10/27/2011 4:33PM

Breeders' Cup: Big Drama's trainer heeds storm warnings

Jim Lisa Photos
Big Drama had his travel plans changed because of Tropical Storm Rina.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Trainer David Fawkes has changed travel plans and, as a result, the final workout plans for defending Breeders’ Cup Sprint champion Big Drama. The switch is in large part because of the possible effects Tropical Storm Rina might have on the south Florida area this weekend.

Fawkes had originally penciled in Big Drama’s final work for this weekend at Calder before shipping the Eclipse Award winner to Churchill Downs on Monday. That was the same formula that helped propel Big Drama to his 1 1 /2-length victory in the 2010 Sprint.

But Fawkes, who is also sending Apriority to Churchill Downs for the Sprint, is fearful he could have a problem not only working, but shipping his two Breeders’ Cup candidates to Kentucky especially if the storm were to strengthen and make a direct hit on Miami.

Big Drama and Apriority are now scheduled to board a flight for Louisville early Friday morning, arrive at Churchill Downs later that day, gallop over the track Saturday and Sunday, and have their final works here on Monday.

“I just can’t take a chance we won’t be able to work or, worse, not be able to ship if the storm does hit us here at Calder,” said Fawkes.

Fawkes said he is yet undecided whether Big Drama and Apriority would work in company, as they did last Saturday at Calder, or breeze alone on Monday. His wife, Celia, who is the regular exercise rider for both horses, and his assistant Don Stetler will accompany Big Drama and Apriority to Churchill Downs on Friday with Fawkes not scheduled to arrive until later next week.

Fawkes also confirmed that he has secured the services of Joel Rosario to ride Apriority in the Sprint. Ramon Dominguez will be aboard Big Drama.

While Fawkes has chosen to fly his Breeders’ Cup duo to Louisville on Friday, his Calder-based colleague Stanley Gold will van his two BC contenders, Fort Loudon and Awesome Belle, down on Saturday.

Fort Loudon swept all three legs of the Florida Stallion Stakes, completing the feat with a 2 1/2-length victory in the 1 1/16-mile In Reality. He’ll compete in the BC Juvenile. Awesome Belle ran the best race of her career when cruising to an easy win in Calder’s 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl and will attempt to give Gold and owner-breeder Fred Brei a second straight victory in the Juvenile Fillies. Gold and Brei won the race a year ago with ultimate Eclipse Award winner Awesome Feather.

“I’m not too worried about the weather, since both my horses got their final works in earlier this week,” said Gold. “Awesome Belle worked a good five furlongs on Tuesday and Fort Loudon five-eighths on Wednesday. Originally we weren’t going to send Awesome Belle, but she’s doing well and Fred and I decided she deserved the chance to go.”

◗ With Liquidity Trap buried five-deep on the preference list for the Juvenile Turf, trainer Chad Brown said he would not ship that horse to Louisville with the rest of his Breeders’ Cup contingent on Saturday. Instead, Brown said he would point the 2-year-old colt to either the Stream Cat Stakes at Aqueduct on Nov. 17 or the Dania Beach at Gulfstream Park on Dec. 18.

– additional reporting by David Grening