08/31/2016 10:20AM

Grade 1 winner Sheer Drama retired at 6

Barbara D. Livingston
Sheer Drama retires with three Grade 1 wins to her name.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Sheer Drama, a three-time Grade 1 winner who earned almost $1.7 million, has been retired.

David Fawkes, who trained Sheer Drama throughout her career, and the 6-year-old daughter of Burning Roma took the last of their many van rides together Tuesday. Fawkes, who personally chauffeured Sheer Drama to all of her out-of-town engagements from her regular base at Gulfstream Park, dropped off Sheer Drama at owner-breeder Harold Queen’s farm in Ocala, Fla.

Sheer Drama made her final start at Saratoga last Saturday, finishing a distant eighth in the Grade 1 Ballerina. Sheer Drama won the Grade 1 Personal Ensign here last summer. Her other Grade 1 wins came in the 2015 Delaware Handicap and the Madison Stakes this year, a race in which she defeated Breeders’ Cup winners Stopchargingmaria and Wavell Avenue.

“We had mapped out two more races for her, the Ballerina and the Breeders’ Cup, if she ran well here last weekend,” said Fawkes. “But she just didn’t run well enough to go to the Breeders’ Cup off that kind of effort. For whatever reason, she just started tailing off after the Madison. She’s certainly accomplished enough, and Mr. Queen doesn’t mind giving her the time off and letting her wind down before going to the breeding shed next season. The best thing is she retired 100 percent sound.”

Fawkes, who trained Sheer Drama’s older brother Big Drama to win more than $2.7 million, including a victory in the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint, said there were many memorable moments in her career.

“I think the first real highlight came when we ran her in the Sunshine Millions Distaff just to see how far she had come, and she finished second,” said Fawkes. “After that, it was great to go to Delaware to get her first Grade 1 and then to come right back and beat a filly like Untapable in the Personal Ensign. Then, to give her a long break like we did and have her come back the first time and beat two Breeders’ Cup champions in the Madison earlier this year was unbelievable.”

Fawkes said she’ll be hard to replace in the barn.

“Obviously, it’s always tough to retire one like her,” he said. “You never know when or even if you’ll get another of that kind. But she was also so much fun to be around. I’d just put her in the trailer, and we’d keep trucking along together. One thing you can always say about her, she traveled well.”