Harold L. Queen’s homebred colt Big Drama will seek a sweep of the Florida Stallion Stakes’ open division Oct. 18 when he faces 11 other juveniles in the $400,000 In Reality at Calder Race Course.
Big Drama, a son of Montbrookout of the Notebook mare Riveting Drama, won the $100,000 six furlong Dr. Fager by three lengths Aug. 16. He came back to win the $150,000 seven furlong Affirmed by 3 1/2 lengths three weeks later. In both races, Big Drama was extending his lead at the finish. He has won three of his four starts--all at Calder.
The 1 1/16-mile In Reality will be the first race around two turns for Big Drama and eight of his rivals.
“With his breeding, the way he ran his last race and the way he trains we are confident that he can go the extra distance,” said David Fawkes, Big Drama’s trainer.
Fawkes expects that several horses “running late” could be Big Drama’s biggest threats. Big Drama, who can be expected to stalk early leaders, drew the inside post position.
“The way things change day-to-day here with the weather it is hard to say what that will mean, but under regular conditions I see no disadvantage to the one hole,” Fawkes said.
Paco Lopez, who leads Calder jockeys in wins, will ride Big Drama. He was aboard the horse in the Dr. Fager and Affirmed.
Challengers with late-running potential include Shade Tree Farm’s Three Part Harmony, Gilbert G. Campbell’s This Ones for Phil and J. Robert Harris Jr.’s Edgemoor.
Three Part Harmony, trained by Jose Pinchin, finished second in the Affirmed. This Ones for Phil, trained by Kathleen O’Connell, won Calder’s $60,000 Seacliff at one mile Sept. 6 and finished second in its $78,000 Foolish Pleasure Sept. 27. The Eddie Plesa Jr.-trained Edgemoor broke his maiden Sept. 27 at Calder, winning by 12 1/2 lengths at one mile.
Frank Calabrese’s Casey’s On Call is among the formidable shippers. The Wayne Catalano trainee won a seven-furlong allowance at Keeneland Oct. 4.
The In Reality is the companion to the $400,000 My Dear Girl--the 1 1/16-mile final leg in the Florida Stallion Stakes’ division for 2-year old fillies.
The races will conclude the 27th renewal of the series, which Calder and Florida breeders restrict to offspring of nominated stallions in Florida. Owners nominate stallions each year for $2,500 and make sustaining payments over 19 months to keep their foals eligible.
The My Dear Girl has a 14-horse field, and two also eligibles. It is headed by Jennifer Harries and Brenda Tabraue’s La Chica Sensual, and Guido Delatorre and Angel and Pedro Maestre’s Aroma de Mujer.
On Aug. 16, La Chica Sensual won the $100,000 six-furlong Desert Vixen, with Aroma de Mujer finishing third. The two fillies staged a stretch duel in the $150,000 seven furlong Susan’s Girl Sept. 6, with Aroma de Mujer beating La Chica Sensual by a head.
La Chica Sensual, a daughter of Lightnin N Thunder, is trained by Pablo Andrade and will be ridden by Eddie Castro. Aroma de Mujer, a homebred daughter of Trippi, is trained by Walter Rosas-Canessa and will be ridden by Manuel Aguilar. They drew post positions 10 and 13, respectively.
The field includes Ian Parsard’s Trippi’s Greatstar and Rustlewood Farm’s Black Russian, who finished third and fourth in the Susan’s Girl.