04/06/2010 11:00PM

Rest served Duke of Mischief well


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Duke of Mischief is back at his Calder base after Saturday's impressive 2 1/2-length victory over Win Willy in the . The victory came in Duke of Mischief's first start since he finished eighth, 20 lengths behind Quality Road, in the Grade 1 Donn here two months earlier.

"I expected him to run well on Saturday, but the way he did it and as easily as he won kind of surprised me, to be honest," trainer David Fawkes admitted Wednesday. "I definitely ran him back a little too quickly in the Donn. He does better with more time between races, but the Donn was here, it was a Grade 1, and he'd been doing excellent at the time."

Duke of Mischief entered the Donn off a victory four weeks earlier in the Grade 3 Ft. Lauderdale.

"We freshened him up after the Donn, which really helped," Fawkes said. "And there were no Quality Road's at Oaklawn."

Fawkes said he's nominated Duke of Mischief to the Grade 3 Alysheba at Churchill Downs on April 30 but had no definite plans for his next start.

Fawkes also confirmed that Big Drama, the pacesetter in the 2009 Preakness, should be returning to the track from owner Harold Queen's farm before the end of the month.

Big Drama, winner of the Grade 3 Delta Jackpot at 2, was disqualified from an apparent victory in the Grade 2 Swale here last spring. He has not started since finishing sixth in the Grade 1 King's Bishop.

"We just gave him some R and R after his last start," Fawkes said. "He's already in training on the farm and hopefully we'll have him ready to go for the summer."

Homeboykris back on the work tab

Homeboykris, who is expected to make his next start in the Kentucky Derby, worked six furlongs in 1:12.15 here Wednesday. It was the first officially recorded work for the 2009 Champagne winner in nearly three weeks. Homeboykris, who has not raced since finishing second behind stablemate Radiohead in a one-mile allowance race here on Feb. 17, worked in company with Diamond Stripes and went in splits of 24.20 seconds, 35.80, and 48, according to track clockers, before readily pulling away from his stablemate through the final sixteenth of a mile.

Lopez takes off Wednesday mounts

Leading rider Paco Lopez took off all his mounts on Wednesday's program due to a family emergency. Lopez flew home to his native Mexico earlier this week but was expected to return in time to resume riding Thursday. Lopez has won 57 races at the meet, seven more than his closest pursuer, Javier Castellano.

Wolfson's handicap runners work

Trainer Marty Wolfson had his two top handicap horses, You and I Forever and Motovato, out for easy workouts Wednesday. You and I Forever covered four furlongs in a leisurely 51.40, while Motovato breezed the same distance in 52 seconds over a racetrack that continues to be slow and cuppy at Calder.

You and I Forever and Motovato finished first and second in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Handicap here March 13. You and I Forever, who was purchased privately prior to the race, is expected to make his next start in the Grade 1 Metropolitan Handicap.