09/03/2015 10:20AM

Tribal Drama talented new face in Affirmed cast

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Dream of Me will face five of the horses he defeated in the Dr. Fager Stakes in the second leg of the Florida Sire Stakes series Saturday in the Affirmed..

No fewer than the first six finishers from the Dr. Fager Stakes will be rematched when a second leg in the 2015 Florida Sire Stakes series, the $300,000 Affirmed Stakes, is run Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

But wait, that’s not all. A promising colt named Tribal Drama will add to a deep lineup of 2-year-olds in the Affirmed, a seven-furlong race that ends a 12-race card when co-featured with its filly counterpart, the Susan’s Girl.

Tribal Drama, trained by David Fawkes, looked sensational in winning his career debut Aug. 2 as a 3-5 favorite and figures among a core of favorites in what shapes up as a wide-open 34th running of the Affirmed.

“He’s done nothing wrong since he’s been here,” said Fawkes. “When you work him, he’ll rate, he’ll sit. When you ask him to go, he has plenty of finish.”

Tribal Drama will be ridden by Eddie Castro when breaking from post 10 in a field of 12 Florida-bred colts and geldings. Aside from him, the Affirmed essentially reprises the Aug. 8 Dr. Fager, which was won by Dream of Me (post 6, Eddie Nunez) over Mr. Kisses (post 5, Manny Cruz) and Brighton Lane (post 7, Jesus Rios). Li’l Meatball (post 2, Mario Vasquez), fourth as the 9-5 favorite in the Dr. Fager, also is among the returnees.

The Saturday card marks the return of standout jockey Edgard Zayas, who has Biggest Drama (post 1) in the Affirmed as his last of five mounts. Zayas has been out since fracturing his collarbone in a July 17 spill.

:: Gulfstream: Get PPs, watch Saturday’s card live

Five other stakes are on the card, which marks the second of three installments of the annual Florida Sire Stakes (the first was Aug. 8, and the third is set for Oct. 3). The other stakes are the $150,000 Jewel Princess (race 4), the $75,000 The Vid (race 7), the $75,000 Wasted Tears (race 9), the $300,000 Susan’s Girl (race 10), and the $150,000 Prized (race 11).

First post is 12:45 p.m. Eastern, a half-hour earlier than normal, with the Affirmed set for 6:35.

:: Bet Affirmed Stakes with DRF Bets and get FREE access to this article and all of DRF Plus, including Gulfstream selections, video, and real-time analysis.The Saturday weather forecast calls for a 60 percent chance of showers and temperatures peaking in the high 80s.

As of Thursday, it had not been announced how much Gulfstream would guarantee Saturday in its jackpot for the 20-cent Rainbow 6 (races 7-12), which last weekend surpassed the $500,000 mark.

Affirmed, Race 12

Key contenders

Tribal Drama (Last Beyer: 74)

◗ Fawkes, who won the Grade 1 Personal Ensign last Saturday at Saratoga with Sheer Drama, was happy to see this colt confirm suspicions with the 5 3/4-length debut romp six days before the Dr. Fager. “I even thought about running him in the stake first out but thought it’d be best to get a race in him,” he said.

Dream of Me (Last 3 Beyers: 65-61-51)

◗ Gray colt has done very little wrong and comes into this off one work (Aug. 26) for trainer Anna Varsi since his 7-1 score in the Dr. Fager.

Li’l Meatball (Last 2 Beyers: 54-NA)

◗ For those who like playing the beaten-favorite angle, here you go, as this one was fairly well pounded before coming up short in the Dr. Fager.