10/01/2015 2:06PM

Tribal Drama will try to emulate sire in In Reality

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Lauren King/Coglianese Photos
Tribal Drama wins the Florida Sire Affirmed Stakes on Sept. 5 at Gulfstream.

HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. – Tribal Drama will try to make his pappy, the Eclipse Award-winning Big Drama, proud when going postward as the favorite in Saturday’s $500,000 In Reality, the final leg of the open division of the rich Florida Sire Series at Gulfstream Park.

The 1 1/16-mile In Reality will share top billing with its filly counterpart, the $500,000 My Dear Girl, while highlighting a 12-race program that brings to an end the highly successful summer-fall Gulfstream meeting. Racing on the local circuit resumes Wednesday for the next eight weeks at Gulfstream Park West.

Big Drama swept all three legs of what was then called the Florida Stallion Stakes at Calder in 2008, completing the feat by cruising to a five-length triumph in the In Reality. Big Drama eventually would go on to win the Breeders’ Cup Sprint and an Eclipse Award as the top sprinter in 2010 while banking more than $2.7 million for owner and breeder Harold Queen.

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Tribal Drama, who is owned by Hallmarc Racing and, like Big Drama, trained by David Fawkes, launched his career too late to have a chance at sweeping the Sire Series. He did not debut until Aug. 2, winning his maiden at first asking by nearly six widening lengths. He then stepped right into stakes company and showed the poise and gameness of a polished veteran, withstanding a long stretch duel to capture the Affirmed by a neck over Abercorn.

“He’s a smart horse, just like his daddy, which makes him easy to rate and which should help him stay a mile and one-sixteenth,” said Fawkes.

Both Abercorn and his stablemate Brighton Lane also have bloodlines leading back to horses who pulled off Stallion Stakes sweeps. Abercorn is by multiple stakes-placed Brooks ’n Down, who is a half-brother to champion Awesome Feather. She swept the 2010 filly division of the Stallion Stakes before capturing the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies later that year. Brighton Lane is a full brother to Jackson Bend, who won all three legs of the open division of the Stallion Stakes in 2009.

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Abercorn and Brighton Lane are homebreds owned by Jacks or Better Farm and trained by Stanley Gold. They’ll break adjacent to one another, with Abercorn in post 3 and Brighton Lane in post 2.

“I think both want to go two turns,” Gold said. “I’m just looking for good racing luck, which you always need, especially so when you have a crowded field of 14 2-year-olds breaking on the turn like we’ll have on Saturday.”

KEY CONTENDERS

Tribal Drama (Beyers: 65-74)

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: Fawkes owns a 20 percent success rate, with a profitable return on investment of $2.45, over the last five years with 2-year-olds making their first start in races at a mile or longer.

Abercorn (Last 3 Beyers: 64-50-46)

DRF FORMULATOR FACT: Gold has won at a 20 percent clip with 2-year-olds racing on Lasix for the second time over the last five years, with a whopping $3.30 ROI, a stat that applies not only to Abercorn but also to stablemate Brighton Lane in the In Reality.

Li’l Meatball (Last 3 Beyers: 63-54-NA)

◗ He showed big improvement with the addition of blinkers for the Affirmed, finishing willingly despite trouble at the break and again down the backstretch.

Brighton Lane (Last 3 Beyers: 58-56-47)

◗ He drew the rail in two of his three previous starts, a distinct disadvantage in sprints, but he should benefit from his inside draw considering the short run to the first turn in the In Reality.

“At least you get to save ground into the first turn with an inside post,” Gold said. “You just hope somebody doesn’t make a poor decision and drop over and crowd the field.”