Big Drama, disqualified winner of the Swale Stakes (gr. II), was the only contender for the Preakness Stakes (gr. I) to post a workout at Pimlico on Monday, May 11.
The Florida-bred colt by Montbrook trained by David Fawkes breezed four furlongs in :50 under jockey John Velazquez. The pair galloped out five furlongs in 1:02.60.
“He did everything very, very easy," Velazquez said. "I just wanted to get a little feel for him. He was going to the pole a little bit strong, so I wanted to be a little cautious with him. The race is pretty close right now.
“The reason I started slow was because he was going strong to the (half-mile) pole. I didn’t want him to do too much. If I let him go too fast the first part, I’d have no control of him. I wanted to have control of him to have him do what I wanted him to do, not him controlling me."
Big Drama, who made a little jump over a spot in the track at the top of the stretch that had different harrow marks than the rest of the track, otherwise appeared to move well over the Pimlico racing surface.
“He didn’t want to leave his race on the track. I’d rather have (50 seconds) than go out there and go 46 (seconds) and get sick to your stomach,” Fawkes said. “He galloped out good. He’s fit. It was just maintenance.”
After finishing third in his career debut, Big Drama went on a streak in which he finished first six times in a row, capped by his Swale triumph, in which he sizzled seven furlongs in 1:20 4/5 before being disqualified to second for bumping in the stretch. Included in his victories were three restricted Florida Stallion Series stakes – Dr. Fager, Affirmed, and In Reality. He also won the Delta Jackpot (gr. III) to close out his 2-year-old campaign, and then won the Swale in his only 2009 start.
A homebred racing for Harold Queen, Big Drama has five wins, a second, and a third from seven starts and earnings of $890,250.