09/21/2010 10:36AM

Little Drama overcomes plenty of trouble in win

Jim Lisa
Little Drama, shown winning the Frank Gomez Memorial with a 90 Beyer Speed Figure in July, will make his next start in the In Reality Stakes on Oct.  16 at Calder.

MIAMI – Just about everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong for Little Drama before and during his race here Saturday, making the 2-year-old’s neck victory over Motin in the seven-furlong, entry-level allowance dash even more satisfying for trainer David Fawkes.

Little Drama was a handful in the post parade, acting up behind the gate and unseating jockey Jose Angel Garcia briefly just prior to post time. Once under way, he immediately found himself in trouble when buffeted about between horses after the break.

Things didn’t get much better for Little Drama once Garcia was able to extricate him from the bumping incident leaving the chute. Little Drama wound up trapped down near the rail, clearly the deepest part of the track throughout Saturday’s program. Shuffled briefly while just behind the early leaders entering the far turn, Little Drama remained in the boggy going on the fence through the stretch but still proved talented enough to overcome the bias and outfinish a wide-running Motin.

The victory was the second in four career starts for Little Drama, the baby brother of multiple graded stakes winner Big Drama.

Little Drama earned a 90 Beyer Speed Figure winning his maiden in the July 10 Frank Gomez Memorial – the highest Beyer Speed Figure of any 2-year-old stabled here this season – only to disappoint as the heavy favorite four weeks later in the Dr. Fager Stakes.

“I just think he came back a little too quickly in the Dr. Fager and bounced off his big effort in the previous race,” Fawkes said by phone from Monmouth Park shortly after Little Drama’s victory Saturday. “I hadn’t even planned on running in this race, but he worked so well earlier in the week I decided to put him in. Everything considered, I was very, very pleased with this performance, and it should set him up well for the next one.”

Fawkes was referring to the 1 1/16-mile In Reality, the final leg of the open division of the Florida Stallion Stakes, to be run Oct. 16.

“I could have run him this coming week in the Foolish Pleasure instead of the allowance race, but that would have put us only three weeks out from the In Reality and I’d really like to space his races as best I can,” Fawkes said. “Now, we have four weeks to get him ready for the big one.”

Fawkes reports that Big Drama will likely work for the first time since his second-place finish in the Grade 1 Forego over the weekend, weather permitting. Fawkes plans to train Big Drama locally while pointing him to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint on Nov. 6.

Division leaders skip stakes

Both the Foolish Pleasure and its filly counterpart, the mile-and-70-yard Brave Raj, will be decided Saturday without the local division leaders as trainers Peter Guylas and Stanley Gold have opted to await next month’s In Reality and My Dear Girl with the undefeated pair of Gourmet Dinner and Awesome Feather. Both Gourmet Dinner, unbeaten in three starts, and Awesome Feather, perfect after four tries, will seek to sweep their respective divisions of the Florida Stallion Stakes on Festival of the Sun Day here Oct. 16.

Awesome Feather began serious preparations for the 1 1/16-mile My Dear Girl by working an easy mile over a cuppy racetrack in 1:49.06 on Monday, going her first six furlongs in a very leisurely 1:23.99 before completing her final quarter-mile in 25.07 seconds.

With the big guns sitting this one out, both the Foolish Pleasure and Brave Raj attracted big fields. The Foolish Pleasure drew 11 colts and geldings, led by the unbeaten Too Experience, stakes winner Machisa, and speedy Rough’n Royal.

The Brave Raj lured 10 2-year-old fillies, with Blue Eyed Sweetie likely to go postward a heavy favorite.

The Foolish Pleasure and Brave Raj highlight Saturday’s Festival of the Sun Preview card that features five stakes.

* Buoyed by his four winners Saturday, Luis Saez has a six-victory lead over defending champion Manoel Cruz in the quest for the 2010 Calder riding title coming into Thursday’s program. The current session ends Oct. 17.

* Pink Gloss, who is a perfect 7 for 7 during the current meet, indicated she’ll be ready to extend that streak even further by breezing a half-mile in 48.60 here early Monday morning.
Pink Gloss, who is trained by Dave Vivian, has not started since proving a popular starter allowance winner on Aug. 27.