Big Drama proved over the summer and fall that he could win big at Calder Race Course. He now has proved he can win big outside the friendly confines of the South Florida track.
Big Drama held on to win the Boyd Gaming’s Delta Jackpot Stakes (gr. III) (VIDEO) Dec. 5 for 2-year-olds at Delta Downs for his fifth win in six starts. Trained by David Fawkes and ridden for the first time by E. M. Coa, the son of Montbrook unleashed a big move approaching the far turn after racing with the early leaders and went on to win by a length over West Side Bernie. The latter outlasted the fast-closing Stimulus Plan by a half-length.
The Delta Jackport was worth $750,000 in total value, and the $450,000 in first-place money boosted Big Drama’s bankroll to around $860,000 for breeder/owner Harold L. Queen. Last year’s running was worth $1 million, with $400,000 each in first-place money going to the deadheated duo of Z Humor and Turf War.
Big Drama’s earnings from the Delta Jackpot figure to go a long way in getting the colt’s a spot in next year’s Kentucky Derby (gr. I). Z Humor contested the 2008 Run for the Roses, and finished 11th.
The time for this year’s running of the 1 1/16-mile race over a fast track, 1:44.72, was slightly faster than last year’s clocking of 1:45.43.
Big Drama, who is out of the Notebook mare Riveting Drama, was well prepared for the Delta Jackpot distance. He won the restricted Florida Stallion In Reality Stakes at 1 1/16 miles by five lengths. He earlier took the other two races in the Series, the Affirmed and Dr. Fager divisions, both of which are sprints.
The Delta Jackpot attracted three Breeders’ Cup contestants, and one of them, Terrain, was sent off the 5-2 Delta Jackpot favorite. A good fourth in the Bessemer Trust Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I), Terrain weakened badly in the stretch in the Delta Jackpot and finished fifth.
Following Stimulus Plan across the finish line were Retap, Terrain, Kick On, Skipadate, Valid Message, and Trinity Magic. Three Part Harmony did not finish. There was no scratches.
Big Drama paid $9.80, $5,00, and $4.20. West Side Bernie returned $4.60 and $3.60, and Stimulus Plan paid $6.80.