11/19/2009 1:00AM

Fawkes's pair on fall break


MIAMI - Big Drama and Duke of Mischief knocked heads with some of the elite members of the 3-year-old division this past summer, both getting Grade 1 experience under their belts while banking nearly $700,000 between them in 2009. Currently, they are getting some rest and relaxation with trainer David Fawkes hoping to have both back in action as 4-year-olds this winter at Gulfstream Park.

Big Drama, who finished a game fifth after setting the pace in the 2009 Preakness, has not started since fading to sixth after forcing the pace over a wet track in Saratoga's Grade 1 King's Bishop on Aug. 29. Duke of Mischief last started on Oct. 11 at Remington Park, finishing seventh as the 2-1 favorite in the Oklahoma Derby.

According to Fawkes, Big Drama is resting on owner Harold Queen's farm in Ocala.

"I thought he had a great year even though he won only one race," Fawkes said. "He also finished first but was disqualified after setting a new track record in the Swale and ran well in several other races. But towards the end of the season it was obvious he needed a break.

"Fortunately, he took his break sound, should come back in good order, and hopefully we can have him ready midway through the Gulfstream meet."

Duke of Mischief burst onto the national scene with his five-length victory in the Iowa Derby. He subsequently finished fifth, beaten eight lengths by Rachel Alexandra and only 2 1/2 lengths behind runner-up Summer Bird in the Haskell, and closed out the campaign as the beaten favorite in both the Oklahoma and Pennsylvania derbies.

"He had an entrapped epigilottis following the race at Remington so we sent him to Ocala," where Dr. John Madison released the entrapment, said Fawkes. "He's been back at Calder jogging and might even breeze by Monday, although we'll probably scope him once more just to make sure everything is okay. I'd like to find a restricted, Florida-bred race to start him back and then maybe we'll take a look at the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream if he's doing okay.

Fawkes continues to run a split stable between Florida and New Jersey with a full contingent here at Calder and 15 more racing at the Meadowlands.

Cannonball heading to Tokyo

Trainer Wesley Ward, on hand to send out first-time starter Mission Mike Clark to a second-place finish in Thursday's opener, said he's ready to put Cannonball on a plane for Tokyo, where he will run on Nov. 29 in the Tokyo Turf Sprint.

Cannonball, who competed twice in England earlier this year, is coming off a third-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

Ward, who has 35 horses stabled at both Calder and Gulfstream, said he also tried to get stalls at Hialeah for the winter. Hialeah will run two consecutive 20-day quarter horse meets beginning on Nov. 28.

"I had an arrangement to lease some stalls at Hialeah for my young horses to train, but at the last minute the deal fell through," said Ward.