04/23/2011 2:40PM

Parx: Little Drama looks tough in Philmont


Trainer David Fawkes won a career-best seven stakes races during 2010, but barring misfortune, that mark won’t last long. Already in 2011, Fawkes has sent out four stakes winners – three in graded competition – and Fawkes has an excellent chance of adding to that total on Tuesday, when Little Drama starts as the favorite in the $75,000 Philmont Stakes at Parx Racing.

Little Drama, the younger brother of the Fawkes-trained champion sprinter Big Drama, is set to face four foes in the seven-furlong Philmont. The competition looks decent, but nothing like the horses Little Drama has recently met.

In his 2010 finale, Little Drama faced the likes of Gourmet Dinner and Decisive Moment, two of the best 2-year-olds in Florida last season. Little Drama made his first start this year in the Hutcheson Stakes, where he was a distant third to the sharp sprinter Flashpoint and highly regarded Travelin Man. Last time out, in the April 3 Swale, Little Drama was beaten just two lengths by victorious Travelin Man while only a nose out of the runner-up spot in that Grade 2 race. Fawkes got an April 18 work at Calder into Little Drama, a Burning Roma colt. before shipping him north, and Little Drama, Kendrick Carmouche named to ride, appears well drawn in post 4 on Tuesday.

The outside horse, Unstoppable Mick, looks overmatched, but the other three have a chance. Rail-drawn Royal Currier finished sixth in the Hutcheson but most recently was a close fourth in the Bay Shore at Aqueduct, that despite breaking through the gate before the start. Royal Currier tracked the pacesetters in his last three starts, but those tactics were employed when Royal Currier had an outside draw. Breaking from the rail Tuesday, expect jockey Stewart Elliott to use Royal Currier’s speed at the start.

Rush Now has made the lead in two recent one-turn miles at Laurel, but doesn’t look as quick as Royal Currier or, perhaps, Poseidon’s Warrior. Poseidon’s Warrior is an interesting prospect in his first start of 2011. He ran one big race last year, capturing the Sept. 26 NATC Futurity at Monmouth by seven lengths. So, the talent is there, as are appealing workouts for his first start since Oct. 31. And as for the long layoff, trainer Robert Reid has won with 7 of his last 16 starters coming back from a similar break.

Still, if the on-paper form holds Tuesday at Parx, the Philmont should unfold with Little Drama.