Big Drama, whose late August goal is the seven-furlong King’s Bishop Stakes (gr. I), breezed five furlongs in a bullet 1:00 4/5 at
Trainer David Fawkes said the decision where to run will be based on whether Rachel Alexandra runs in the Haskell.
With jockey Channing Hill aboard, Big Drama broke off slowly, getting his first quarter in :25 2/5. He cornered beautifully turning for home and then leveled off, coming home his final eighth in :11 3/5 before galloping out six furlongs in 1:14 1/5.
“To go off in :25 and change and then finish up in 1:00 and change... he came home very strong and he’s not even blowing,” Fawkes said back at the barn. “He has such a beautiful way of going.”
Hill added, “Oh man, that was effortless. You just tap him on the shoulder and he’s ‘OK, I’ll do it.’ He was just cruising; it was nothing for him. If I had thrown a couple of crosses on him, he would be gone in a minute easily.
Fawkes said if Rachel doesn’t run in this weekend’s Delaware Handicap (gr. I) he feels she’ll run in the Haskell, in which case he will send Big Drama to Mountaineer and run his Iowa Derby (gr. III) winner Duke of Mischief in the Jim Dandy (gr. II) the same day.
“I think (Jess Jackson) is supposed to make a decision today,” Fawkes said. “I would prefer to stay home and run in the Haskell. It’s not that I don’t think we can beat Rachel, but her running style conflicts with ours. So does Munnings', but I’m betting (Todd) Pletcher will take back with him and try to make a late charge.”
Big Drama has finished first in seven of his last eight starts. He was disqualified from first in the Swale Stakes, in which he set a new track record of 1:20 4/5 for the seven furlongs.