Big Drama Better Than Last Year?

There was no doubt that Big Drama was the best sprinter in the country when last season ended. Despite getting most of 2011 off, he might be even better by the time he defends his title in this year's Breeders' Cup.

"I think he's a better horse now," said trainer David Fawkes. "He's grown more and filled out more. I think he's more mature now."

Big Drama won three of five starts in 2010, capped off by his wire-to-wire victory in the Breeders' Cup Sprint. He returned to his home track at Calder and picked up right where he left off when romping by four lengths in the grade III Mr. Prospector Jan. 15. That was the last time the 5-year-old son of Montbrook was heard from until Sept. 4 when making his comeback in the ungraded Whippleton Stakes at Calder, where he easily defeated a less-than-overwhelming field.

"He needed a break after (the Mr. Prospector)," Fawkes said. "He didn't have anything wrong (physically), but it was a really hard race. I think he ran a 123 Beyer.

"His comeback race was OK. There wasn't a lot in there, but he did what he needed to get ready for his next race."

That next race is going to be the Oct. 1 Vosburgh. And according to Fawkes, it is shaping up to be a Breeders' Cup-type sprint. Check out the list of horses tentatively slated to face Big Drama at Belmont Park:

Apriority (Big Drama's stablemate)

Calibrachoa (Toboggan and Tom Fool winner)

Dark Thunder (won four in a row for Pletcher including stakes at Saratoga)

Euroears (Baffert's Bing Crosby winner, second in Golden Shaheen)

Force Freeze (Dubai shipper who won Teddy Drone by four lengths in first U.S. race since 2009)

Giant Ryan (Won five straight including grade II Smile Sprint last out)

Hamazing Destiny (Breeders' Cup runner-up last year)

Justin Phillip (Woody Stephens winner)

Sunrise Smarty (Coming off recent optional claiming win at Saratoga)

Trappe Shot (True North winner by 8, lost by nose in Vanderbilt)

"It's going to be a great race," Fawkes said. "It's a Breeders' Cup race."

Despite spending much of the first-half of season at the farm, Fawkes said Big Drama rounded into form very quickly. The Vosburgh will be a good indication of where the champion stands going into his Breeders' Cup title defense, but if he is anything near what he was going into the 2010 edition, Fawkes will be confident.

"That was my first Breeders' Cup race, but I've never had so much confidence as I did with him," Fawkes said. "His last work before we left for Churchill, he breezed :46 at Calder. You just don't do that at Calder. He did it so easy I knew he was ready.

"Now, I was a little less confident when he draw the one post, but I still thought would run big."

The Breeders' Cup will be Big Drama's final race before being retired.

Fawkes is also hopeful that Apriority will prove that he's a Breeders' Cup-worthy horse in the Vosburgh. After missing by a head in the Sunshine Millions Sprint at Santa Anita Park in January, he rolled by 4 1/2 lengths in an optional claimer at Gulfstream to set him up for a big summer. But the Grand Slam colt went on to finish second in the Carter Handicap (gr. I) at Aqueduct and Churchill Downs Stakes (gr. II), then came up with a foot bruise that forced him to miss the Smile Sprint. He finished a disappointing fourth in the Vanderbilt last month.

"It's too bad he missed the Smile Sprint; he was doing great," Fawkes said. "He was used a little too much early in the Vanderbilt. I have to run him (against Big Drama) in the Vosburgh. There is nowhere else left to run."


Leave a Comment:


I think fawkes knows his horse is better,but in my mind untill he races The Factor I dont think he is the best sprinter.Btw if those two duel Calebs Posse can pick up the pieces.

22 Sep 2011 3:02 PM
Carlos in Cali

I see only Trappe Shot and Euroears being his biggest threat.Hamazing Destiny and Justin Phillip should get a piece of the purse.The others are totally outclassed in here.

Can't wait to see the Pa.Derby this weekend.I think To Honor and Serve and Arthur's Tale will battle it out down the stretch with Rattlesnake Bridge and JW Blue filling-in my exotics.

22 Sep 2011 3:20 PM

I hope he goes out a winner, I just love this horse.  Loved that they shortened him up so he could excel at what he does best.  The Vosburgh should be a good indicator of where he's at. Just hope he leaves enough in the tank for the BC.  

22 Sep 2011 3:46 PM
It aint easy being good!

Looks like there is alot of love for big drama and rightfully so he was and still is an awesome horse but there is a new sheriff in town his name is The Factor and he is the most exciting horse in horse racing in my personal opinion!  

22 Sep 2011 4:07 PM

I agree with Carlos in Cali, Trappe shot and euroears are top class horses at the top of their game right now. Giant Ryan is on the improve, but class is a question for him. Apriority seems to have lost a step, finishing a well beaten 4th behind sean avery and trappe shot.

The Factor is a beast.

22 Sep 2011 4:55 PM

If indeed Big Drama is better than he was last year, they'll all be running for second place in the BC Sprint.  The Factor is a very fast and classy sprinter but Big Drama has both speed and the heart of a champion.  In addition it has been proven time and again that it takes a very good 3YO sprinter seldom outruns an older sprinter of the calibre of Big Drama at weight for age conditions. 3YOs do not have a very good record in the BC sprint for that very reason.

I think that Bob Baffert will wise up and send The Factor to the Dirt Mile instead.

22 Sep 2011 6:09 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

The only pieces to be picked up when The Factor runs is the wreckage left behind him. I think that Baffert is pointing to the Dirt Mile but I don't know if anyone knows yet. Baffert may not even know. The Vosburgh will tell us a lot about Big Drama since he will have to be a monster to beat Euroears. I don't think he's as good as Euroears or The Factor, and if Big Drama is better than he was last year it does not make him champion sprinter this year facing a stronger group, with current entry projections. Last year the Pletcher horse, Discreetly Mine, was the top sprinter but injured before the BC, and I think there was another key injury too. Still, Big Drama is the champion until dethroned, and is a very strong sprinter. Das Vosburgh could be a humdinger. Trappe Shot is strong too. Can't wait to see what The Factor has up his sleeve next.

22 Sep 2011 9:37 PM
Bob from Boston

Who?  Who are you?  Ohh, ohh, ohh.

I will kill mz's first or second born if you ever pull that first post bs again.  Consider yourself warned.  And what about Dr. D throwing Ted from LA and Bob from Boston under the bus (under the bus... what a moronic phrase).

23 Sep 2011 12:39 AM

I think The Factor is going to the Mile.  He worked 6f again this week (another bullet at <1:12) so I don't think he's training for a 6f race.  

If Baffert for some reason enters him in the Sprint, game over.  The Factor's the fastest thing at a mile or less on the planet.

23 Sep 2011 12:43 AM

Jason, please tell me no one was crazy enough the mention The Factor in the same sentence as Big Drama.  The Factor couldn't hold his jock strap.

23 Sep 2011 12:50 AM
The Deacon

The winner of the BC Sprint will depend upon the condition of the racetrack. California horses as a rule don't normally perform at Churchill Downs that well and if the weather is cold that could be "The Factor" in who wins and who loses. I am not a fan of 3 year olds against older horses unless he is something special. Big Drama hasn't done anything wrong, lets see his next race first. ...........

23 Sep 2011 2:26 AM

I have always had a soft spot for Drama..he has shown us  that he does have the heart and talent to win..Big Drama..

23 Sep 2011 9:02 AM
The Rock

Post positions will tell the tale of this race. Euroears will be gunning, and if Big Drama is caught inside of him as it is a quick run to the far turn, he'll be in trouble and used up early 2nd off the layoff. Trappe Shot should get the trip in any scenario. However, if Big Drama breaks outside of Euroears, then that changes everything.

23 Sep 2011 9:40 AM
The Rock

Waiting for Hamazing Desitny to run back at Churchill and hoping for that 24/1 price like last year. Talk about a horse for course. And he seems to be doing better this year than last. This will be a good prep prior to coming back home to CD.

23 Sep 2011 9:42 AM
The Rock


I think 3 year olds have done really well at the Sprint. Big Drama, Silver Train, Cajun Beat, Squirtle Squirt, Reraise, Sheikh Albadou (GB), Very Subtle...7 for 27. Better than a 25% rate. And The Factor defeated Smiling Tiger, who is right up there with Big Drama coming off an injury/layoff while on the inside of that rival last time out.

I think The Factor fits the bill to challenge the Sprint Champ.

23 Sep 2011 9:57 AM

Jason, agree on Drama - take a  look at Sunrise Smarty- will go off at a huge number - Led the Carter for 6.5 f then bled and faded. Did 6f in 1:08 and change. Has run some big Beyers. Don't leave him out of your exotics.

23 Sep 2011 11:57 AM
The Rock

The Deacon,

Reraise, Kona Gold, Thor's Echo.  Smiling Tiger 3rd last year, Dakota Phone won the Mile. CA horses are alright @ CD.

23 Sep 2011 11:58 AM
Carlos in Cali

Rock,you're right.Speedy 3 yo's have held their own in the BC Sprint.BTW: Big Drama is a 5yo now.

If The Factor goes in the BC Sprint it's game over no matter who's in it.I don't think Baffert wants to run both of his speedsters(Euroears) against each other though,we'll see.

2 horses that will not win the BCC if they go:

Tizway- because of the setback he'll train up to the race..not good.

Uncle Mo- has never been more than 9f and his races leading up to it will be @ 7f & a mile... seriously?

Both if these horses are nothing like Ghostzapper who pulled it off.Then again,there is no world beaters out there pointing towards the Classic either...

Matt Kemp= MVP

Clayton Kershaw= Cy Young

23 Sep 2011 12:44 PM
Mary in VT

Big Drama has been on my radar since his Preakness duel with Rachel Alexandra. He was one of the few horses that tangled with her that year that wasn't done in by experience, whereas most were never quite the same horse again. While he couldn't beat her he did go on to great things. Summer Bird was another one that couldn't beat her but went on to great things of his own. To me, that right there says we are talking about a special brand of horse.

I've been in his corner for every one of his races, and as much as I admire The Factor, I do want to see Big Drama go out with the win. There will be time yet for The Factor to show what he is made of.

My two cents anyway. : )

23 Sep 2011 1:53 PM

Carlos & The Rock,

3YOs do not have a very good record in the BC Sprint: 6 winners out of 27 renewals of the event is less than a 25% strike rate (22.22%)...not good IMO.  Also Big Drama won the race as a 4YO.

Dr Drunkinbum,

I think that you are underating BD.  Take at look at his record on the track and you'll observe that he seldom loses a race. He's been a very consistent winning type of horse from his juvenile season. Last season he had legitimate excuses against both Majestic Perfection and Here Comes Ben in the Vanderbilt and Forego respectively. Euroears is a very good sprinter but Big Drama will put him away inside the final furlong like he did Custom For Carlos in the Mr Prospector in January.  

23 Sep 2011 2:09 PM

Broke the track record at Gulfstream, garnered a 123 Beyer?  Big Drama is a brilliant sprinter with the lengthy stride of a classic runner.  I was really missing him since January, and anxious for his return.  When he finally did return, he had no competition in the race...but he was still graceful...and very fast.

But this year, he'll have his hooves full when he is challenged by Jackson Bend.  To me, BD and JB are arguably 2 of the top sprinters in America.  And I love them both.  As far as The Factor goes, he's an excellent competitor, but I just don't think he has the muscle to outduel the older Big Drama and Jackson Bend. Euroears, on the other hand, has the speed and the muscle.  Caleb's Posse runs a second slower than the 4 I've already mentioned.  I think he'd be better suited to the dirt mile, along with Uncle Mo, who I think would best CP at a 2nd meeting.

23 Sep 2011 2:55 PM
The Rock

Carlos, as a Dodger fan, I guess that's all you can toot your horn about this year. haha.

I do agree with your racing analysis though..

23 Sep 2011 3:06 PM
Your Only Friend

Big Drama is something else......but until he goes head and head with Factor will wait and see.......remember ...Big Drama is one year older.

23 Sep 2011 3:07 PM
Jason Shandler

Kershaw will win Cy but they shouldnt give the MVP to Kemp. Not for a team that didnt make the playoffs. Braun.

23 Sep 2011 3:16 PM
Linda in Texas

Crazy about Big Drama, when i don't hear about him i go searching to see what he has been doing lately. So also do i love love love The Factor. If they participate in the same race i am in deep trouble but on the bright side i will be cheering for both and happy whichever wins.

Yes Draynay, some of us like some horses, just like we both like Winter Memories, but it does not make the one who likes a different horse inferior. I have been a Factor fan from the start. But i also like Big Drama.

And Ranagulzion is hardly never ever hardly wrong. Has one of the best records on the blogs for calling winners besides Jason of course.

The thought of Shackleford just popped into my thoughts and i hope the big fella is not pulling logs from the forests down to The Kennebec River to await the steam ships or log rollers!:)Instead i hope he is taking a well deserved rest in a nice green pasture.

And well wishes to Banned, i hope something can be done for his sesamoids. This is a shame.

Safe Racing and have a nice new fall week end ya'll.

And Carlos in Cali, did you get a new puppy?

23 Sep 2011 3:27 PM

Does anyone know if Baffert is shipping Euroears to NY for the Vosburgh? If he does he wins.

23 Sep 2011 3:46 PM
Carlos in Cali

Jason,we hear that argument every year.Braun has Fielder hitting behind him..big advantage.Kemp was the clean-up hitter until the past few weeks,w/out him they win no more than 45-50 games.For someone who has the most RBI's,most runs scored,2nd most HR's,3rd best BA,top 3 in steals & slugging percentage and the most doubles in the NL AND is 4 HR's shy of being only the 5th player in history to join the 40/40 club... you gotta' give it him.

Linda in Texas,

Not yet,we're not quite ready.Besides, our other 2 dogs and 10 month old cat are keeping us busy & happy.The cat thinks he's a dog.. fetches his toys and actually listens to commands.. odd.Thanks for asking.

23 Sep 2011 4:54 PM

With Tizway out the JCGC looks like it's going to be a walkover for Stay Thirsty. I hope he at least gets something out of it so he'll be fit for the Classic.

24 Sep 2011 1:17 AM
Dr Drunkinbum


   What do I know, I still think Dr. Richard Kimble is guilty, contrary to the general consensus. But I'm more likely to bet a longshot than a favorite. I may love The Factor but am unlikely to bet him. On a rare occasion I do underestimate a horse's relative ability and chances so you could be correct. I didn't see his last race so that could be the reason for my lack of confidence. Maybe he is better than last year and maybe that will be enough, but theoretically I'm betting against it. However before my final decisions I like to watch all replays, and devour all numbers in time to let them dwell in my subconscious along with other information before making a firm betting decision. Ideally speaking of course. I'd rather watch all of the races live rather than replays. It gives me a better sense of how they will do next time out. But I'm not always able to do that, so I have to often rely and replays and the numbers, and sometimes racetime looks and demeanor.

24 Sep 2011 3:15 PM
Carlos in Cali

We just saw the best 3yo in the land win the Pa.Derby. A healthy THAS will be tough to beat come BCC time.No doubt.

24 Sep 2011 7:16 PM

Great move around the turn by THAS.  I hope he can now live up to his potential.

24 Sep 2011 10:20 PM


Bernardini is now America's version of Galileo. I wonder what the stud fee will be next year.

25 Sep 2011 8:46 AM
Linda in Texas

Jason if you will allow me, I have 2 Wows for yesterday' races, the 24th. #1 Wow goes to To Honor and Serve, that was so smartly done by horse and jockey and i wasn't expecting it. Good boy To Honor and Serve now save a little energy, rest up and come back for the big one and sock it to 'em whoever those will be.

And the #2 Wow for me goes to Hansen, a simply magnificent 2 year old colt by Tapit winning by 12+ lengths and wire to wire in the Bluegrass Kentucky Cup Juvenile, Race 7. Loved it. The speed almost reminded me of Winter Memorie's big blast. And he is only 2 years old so perhaps a future one to watch for sure.

Alex'sBigFan, i hope you are reading this, he is a beauty, and a big healthy fella and a really bright light grey, almost looks white running with the bays, etc.

He resembled Silver, The Lone Ranger's Fiery Horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a Hearty Hi-Yo Silver! Away!:)

Couldn't resist that, sorry.

But back to Hansen's win, it was a nice race to watch, if you have time, check it out. has the video, of course. all of the races were good ones, just thought those 2 were extra special.

Have a nice Sunday. And where are Zen's Auntie, Mike Relva,Sherpa and Oldie, i miss their posts and many more?

Thanks Jason

25 Sep 2011 9:38 AM
Smoking Baby

 Last year the two best two year olds were clearly Uncle Mo and To Honor And Serve.  Say what you want about this season but it's nice that October is nearly upon us and a couple of last year's top two year olds remain among this year's top three year olds.  Aside from Lookin' At Lucky I don't think that has been the case recently.  To Honor And Serve is really waking up at the right time it appears.

 I still love Big Drama. When he won last year's Breeder's Cup the weights were equal but he was carrying an even heavier burden in that he was my win pick (kiss of death normally)and yet he still got the job done. I'll tell you...since Brave Raj years back I've learned to take a close look at these babies coming out of the Florida Stallion Series.  Ignore them at your own risk.

25 Sep 2011 10:39 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

I was more impressed with Ruler On Ice, on a speed favoring track, and projected to 10f than I was THAS. I loved Bernardini but I'm having a little difficulty getting behind Stay Thirsty and THAS for some reason. I'm seeing Stay Thirsty as the stronger of the two Bernardini's.

25 Sep 2011 11:36 AM

JerseyBoy- he has a ways to go yet, but he is off to a great start.  Stud fee will probably jump considerably.

25 Sep 2011 11:56 AM

Does anyone know if Baffert is shipping Euroears to NY for the Vosburgh? If he does he wins.

TB 23 Sep 2011 3:46 PM

These horses are listed as possible starters (as of 9-23).


Big Drama

Caixa Eletronica



Force Freeze

Giant Ryan

Hamazing Destiny

Justin Phillip

Sunrise Smarty

Trappe Shot

25 Sep 2011 12:09 PM

Big drama is the defending champion but if the factor and or black caviar(aus)ever race him under a mile  I hope he goes off as the favorite(big drama)

25 Sep 2011 12:45 PM

I love how Draynay is always a day late and a dollar short... Maybe you should of been on BIG DRAMA last year in the BC Sprint... Not saying that Big Drama can't win it again but there is an old saying "didn't go to the wedding don't go to the funeral" You really are like the biggest band wagon, chalk loving homer I have ever seen in my life!! I look forward to the Breeders Cup as always and since its in my backyard again at Churchill I am super excited! Will be in Section 315 right on the 3rd Floor rail with no one in front of me, just past the finish line with a great view of the entire stretch run!! Life is good!

25 Sep 2011 1:28 PM
Dr Drunkinbum

Do you think that either THAS or Stay Thirsty could beat Hansen? The galloping ghost 2yo phenom has won his first two races by over 25 lengths total. And he's already won a stakes at 8.5f. Derby Fever is already so bad that I am using ice packs, and I'm drinking plenty of fluids. I'll Have Another. Hansen doesn't top my list but he sure is exciting. I wouldn't think his pedigree is that great for 10f but you never know.

25 Sep 2011 1:36 PM

Linda in Texas

Thanks for the info on Hansen.  I did watch the replay.  It was great!  The comparison to Silver was right on!  I will be hoping we see more of this horse in the future.

25 Sep 2011 2:42 PM

Linda in Texas,

I'll agree with you that Hansen looks like something special. He's sharp out of the gates, runs strong early fractions, opens up on the far turn and keeps rolling down the stretch, going further away from the competition while apparently on a canter.  Very impressive indeed.  Tapit has thrown another one with great promise: hope that he stays sound.  I figure that some Derby prospectors with long pockets may want to snatch him up ...I hope that he isn't sold to Godolphin (he looks like he'd be a veritable monster on the Tapeta in Dubai).  Anyway my tip for top juvenile at this point is Union Rags.  In terms of sheer class, his pedigree is a lot deeper than Hansen, although the latter may have less stamina limitations.  I think that Union Rags may not turn out to be a Belmont horse but the Kentucky Derby should be right up his alley.  I hope that these two stay healthy and on the continent.

I would appeal to my blog friends who are going rabid about Bernadini's prowess as a sire, since Stay Thirsty and To Honor and Serve have come to hand (after the Derby), to stay thirsty and not overindulge (LOL).  The evidence sugests that Tapit, from the Pulpit branch, of all the sons/grandsons of AP Indy has shown the greatest propensity to throw a special one, NOT Bernadini.  

Jersey Boy & Carlos in Cali,

I think that after enduring another Derby-winnerless-season by AP Indy, you guys will tweak your handicapping angles when the Triple Crown season comes around next year.  THAS is a bit more explosive than ST but I firmly believe that both will play second fiddle to Uncle Mo in the Breeder's Cup classic and that all 3YOs will have to answer to the BIG horse Tizway on that day.  Fare ye well my friends.  

25 Sep 2011 4:49 PM
Matthew W

Smiling Tiger, third last year, will be overlooked--he prefers 6fur--I will box him with Big Drama out of respect--will play Tiger win--will take the 8-1 all day....

25 Sep 2011 5:13 PM

The only 3-year-olds with a chance to win the Classic are Stay Thirsty and Ruler On Ice.

25 Sep 2011 7:46 PM

Ranagulzion- it is still early days for Bernardini.  He has done well so far, that you have to admit.  Tapit has also done well.  They both are top prospects.  But whether either will become another Galileo is another question entirely.  I have my doubts, but I could be surprised.

25 Sep 2011 8:26 PM


I do admit that Bernardini has done fairly well, however his accomplishments need to be contextualized: he has been covering "cream of the crop" mares, similar to his sire AP Indy and therefore has greater opportunity to throw a higher percentage of stakes performers.  I'm more impressed with stallions that produce more high class progenies inspite of being given less quality mares.  I read a quote from a recent purcaser of a million dollar Bernardini yearling colt saying that he dreamed of winning the Kentucky derby.  You might not like my viewpoint here but I thought that dreamer needs to wake up and think Travers instead of Kentucky Derby.  What do you think.

25 Sep 2011 11:21 PM


Did you not hear? Tizway read about the sons of Bernardini and decided to call in sick.

Remember, the Kentucky Derby is not my yardstick. Of the more than 600,000 foals born between 1989 and 2008 only 20 won that race. Just getting into the field is an achievement.Fewer than 400 did so.

I am still waiting for you to name 3 sires you think will sire a Kentucky Derby winner in your lifetime so I can say none of them ever will.

25 Sep 2011 11:56 PM


26 Sep 2011 2:19 AM
Smoking Baby

 Somebody said Noble's Promise was the best horse in the country at 6 furlongs (or maybe it was Vineyard Haven?).  How did that work out?  

I am leaning toward Big Drama only because we don't know if The Factor will be as good at Churchill although who is to say?  Maybe he'll take to that track like a fish to water.

26 Sep 2011 10:32 AM
Linda in Texas

Today:  Banned   - Good News

        Bearpath - Sad News

Ups and Downs are heart wrenching

in this sport. :) :(

Banned we are all pulling for your

successful recovery.

Bearpath - Thanks big fella and

rest in peace. Seems so trite and

so understated for the sacrifice

he made by racing.

And Ranagulzion - i hope Hansen

does not go to Dubai. I guess it

depends on the number of horses

in Mr. Hansen's Stable. I would

love to watch and admire Hansen  

as a future champion for those of

us in The United States. Any place

else he might go we would not get

to see him very often.He is regal.

And Union Rags, i looked him up

last time he raced and he indeed

is from a super line of winners.

Good things hopefully in his

future as well. Stat the grey by  

Unbridled's Song came in Second in

the slop at Saratoga. Real slop.

Thanks Jason.

26 Sep 2011 2:18 PM

The Factor worked fast 9/21 over the Santa Anita dirt.

JJW I like Stay Thirsty's pedigree a lot.  Why can't this one win outside of New York?  He may be the big "long shot" surprise of the Breeder's Cup.  

26 Sep 2011 4:03 PM

Uncle Mo is back bring on Anyone !!!

26 Sep 2011 7:11 PM

Watch Uncle Mo the rest of the year Furlong and eat my dust !!!

26 Sep 2011 7:13 PM

Ranagulzion- they also said that a Mr Prospector could never get 10 furlongs.  Bernardini may not sire a Derby winner.  All I know is that he sires stakes winners here and in Europe.  I like a versatile sire who can get horses who run on multiple surfaces.  Is him siring a Derby winner important to me?  No.  I don't really care if he does or not.

26 Sep 2011 7:43 PM

I’m really having my doubts about Beyers.  It seems to me that in the last three years or so if a horse isn’t name Rachel Alexandra or Quality Road, don’t expect a high Beyer number.  I was always under the impression that one of the tangibles that Beyers are compared to is the three year best time, not track record, the inference being that some track records might not ever be broken like Spectacular Bids, 1.57.4 two-turn 10F on dirt, and Secretariat’s 12F two turn 2.25.4 on dirt, and three yer best times allow more flexibility.

The three year best time for 6F at Prax is 1.07.3 and the three year best time for 9F is 1.47.4.   Royal Currier got the distance in the Gallant Bob in 1.07.2……1/5th faster than the three year best time.  For that he got a 107 Beyer.  THAS ran his 9F in 1.47.1……3/5ths faster than the three year best time, and got a 103 Beyer.  It doesn’t make sense and is another reason why Beyers are losing more and more credibility.  Nothing against Rachel or Quality Road, but I wonder if one of them ran that exact same race against those exact same horses, if they would have been given a 103 Beyer, or maybe something around 113 instead, which to me is what THAS should have received.

26 Sep 2011 8:37 PM


Who cares?  Just another poly specialist and we all know that what they do doesn't mean much right?  Not until they do it on dirt.

26 Sep 2011 10:03 PM
Smoking Baby

 Ranagulzion...I agree that Bernardini has had some great books of mares.  A horse like that was naturally going to be well supported.  I disagree with you in that I do think he'll continue to be successful even if the quality of books as a whole diminish.  I do agree that you've got to love sires who throw runners from lesser mares.  War Front, Pollard's Vision & Flatter come to mind.  Back to horses with good books.  I predict Curlin will crash and burn BIG as a sire.  Just a feeling I get.  His female line isn't anything to write home about.  And yes, I know this has nothing to do with Big Drama and whether or not he's better than last year but neither do the comments about Uncle Mo.

27 Sep 2011 8:43 AM
Smoking Baby

 Laz, I totally agree with you about the Beyers.  A horse can run a MONSTER race and you'll see a 95.  A horse they like runs 1 1/8 in 1:50 and I see a 111?  Please.

27 Sep 2011 10:17 AM
Smoking Baby

 Footlick.  I tend to agree.  Birdstone sired a Derby winner and has gone cold quickly.  Does anyone really think he's anywhere as good as Bernardini already is?

27 Sep 2011 10:20 AM

Back to the subject,i hope Big Drama goes for a prep and not to win,against this bunch there will be nothing left in the tank come BC day.If the Factor comes to this race it will be the best race of the Breeders Cup without question.  

27 Sep 2011 10:55 AM


Regarding your comment on Beyer figures.

Now do you see why I used the Equibase Figs and the DRF Speed Figure and Track Variant.

I have always regarded his figures as a witches brew.

27 Sep 2011 11:29 AM

Laz, other things are taken into consideration when beyers and speed figures are calculated. Track Variant for example, everyone is talking about how the track was lightning fast at Parx on Saturday. Plus, THAS was carrying 10 pounds less than ROI.  In the 4th race, a horse that was in for a 20-25 tag ran 5 furlongs in 57.68. $7500 claimer same day ran 110.6 for 6 furlongs. The track was playing really fast.

Hansen, Um Bop??

Watch Force Freeze this weekend. His last work was perfect. Giant Ryan, Big Drama and Trappe Shot round out your super if they go. That race it going to be insane. So many good horses, anything can happen.

Last, I have one thing to say about 3yo Cali speedballs in the BC Sprint. ZENSATIONAL! He was anything but in the BS sprint, so all you Factor fans, bet wise.

27 Sep 2011 11:56 AM

Spent the weekend with out of town friends(3 of us did the Derby this year).  Did the NFL Hall of Fame in Canton on Friday.  Saturday, watched Iowa and Ohio State win on TV, then walked over to see the Indians live beat the Twins 7-6 after being down 6-0.  Sunday went live to see the Browns beat the Dolphins with "The Drive II", the Real McCoy.  Our teams were 4/4 this weekend.  I wish I could do that at the track.

Back to my favorite sport. Big Drama has to leave something in the tank for the BC Sprint, agree with datflippinrabbit.  However, the fact is, if The Factor comes for either the Sprint or the Dirt Mile, he will win. Anyone who does not factor in The Factor at the BC does so at their own peril.  The Factor is being pointed to the 6F Grade I Ancient Title on Oct. 8 according to Santa Anita barn notes.

Anyone have a line on Baffert/Pegram's Secret Circle?  Impressive mdn. win early at Del Mar with a work there afterword and a good work at Santa Anita last week.  By Eddington, Ragtime Hope by Dixieland Band, this guy has Kentucky Derby written all over him and gets my Derby Fever acting up.  I may have to increase my fluid intake, like Dr. D., with some Iowa made 'Templeton Rye' that we enjoyed over the weekend.  

Good luck to all this weekend.    

27 Sep 2011 1:13 PM

Uncle Mo wins the Kelso and wins the Classic !  Go Mo Go.

27 Sep 2011 1:32 PM


I understand what you are saying and without trying to sound like a know-it-all, I know what is taken into consideration when Beyers are determined.  I know about the variants, etc. and etc.  I actually have all of Beyer’s books and have read them and often refer to certain chapters.  For example, weights have nothing to do with Beyers.  Neither do split times.  Beyers are in affect speed pars and only take into consideration the final time of the race with variations then applied to try and make all races and surfaces equal.  Sometimes there can even be an additional variant applied for two turn races that isn’t applied in one turn races if the track is consistently fast for the entire one turn distance, but in two turn races the clubhouse turn is slower than the far turn (this happens quite often).

As far as the track playing really fast, it wasn’t playing really fast throughout the day.  It got faster as the day progressed, but even at that I still don’t get the Beyer discrepancy between THAS and Royal Currier.  THAS beat the three year best time for 9F by 3/5ths of a second.  In the race immediately preceding his, Royal Currier broke the three year best time by 1/5th of a second.  Why the differences in the Beyers with Royal Currier getting 107 and THAS 103 when THAS actually ran a more impressive race against the three year best time than Royal Currier?  It doesn’t make sense.

27 Sep 2011 2:12 PM



27 Sep 2011 2:14 PM

Laz - Secretariat's record for 12 furlongs on dirt is 2:24.

27 Sep 2011 2:40 PM

I bashed Uncle Mo going into the Derby. i bashed him when he ran 3rd and will bash him in whatever BC race he runs in. Constantly looks around through the stretch. He may grow up one day and become great, but i suspect Repote will retire hium after this next loss. Giant Oak gets the perfect fast set-up and wins the Classic. As for Big Drama.... Wins while on cruise control!

27 Sep 2011 2:59 PM


My mistake.  I'm guessing that your blog name is in honor of the Belmont time.  I think I recall where you stated that before.

27 Sep 2011 3:23 PM


Great sires throw not only stakes winners but classic winners.  Bernardini has a greater opportubity than most but he has a long way to go and the record of his sire is questionable in this regard.

Smoking Baby,

I think that Curlin will prove you wrong.  Smart Strike is quite ordinary as a sire of sires but the Raise Anative influence on top and Deputy Minister on the broodmare side gives him a good shot at success, not to mention his good looks.  I'm convinced that he can be a stronger Classic/Triple Crown influence than Bernardini whos progenies will tend to be late season developers like his sire AP Indy.

Jersey Boy,

Regarding your post 25 Sept. 11:56pm I have to tell you that Tizway heard about what the great Invasor did to Bernardini after skipping the JCGC and decided to pull the same trick on B's sons Stay Thirsty and To Honor and Serve.  How's that?!!


Big Drama needs a strong prep for the BC Sprint as it will be only his second off the layoff therefore he should go for the win in the Vosburgh ...and he isn't the type to run for second anyway.

27 Sep 2011 4:00 PM
Linda in Texas

Billy's Empire:  "Hansen, Um Bop??"

Could you enlighten me as to exactly what that is the abbreviation for? Thanks, Linda

And i need to make a correction please, i referred to "Mr." Hansen as the owner of Hansen. I found out later in Mr. LaMarra's article he is a Dr. and not a Mr. And has had horses for 30 years. And got the dam of Hansen back from the people he 'gave' her to after Hansens 2 wins in this month.

Thanks Jason

27 Sep 2011 5:02 PM
Bob from Boston

trackjack, it is easier to find a Derby winner in October than a bottle of Templeton Rye.

27 Sep 2011 5:51 PM
Bob from Boston

Now I'm confused.  Dr. Hansen is a 30 year-old horse who drinks whiskey at Prairie Meadows in Iowa?  And some of you people think he can win the Derby?

27 Sep 2011 7:14 PM
Dr Drunkinbum


  I like that new word you coined for late bloomers like Bernardini- opportubity (they get opportunites after they pass puberty). Now that's using your thinking cap.

27 Sep 2011 8:05 PM

Ranagulzion- I have never called him a great sire.  I may never call him one.  But for the moment, he has had too few crops to race to make a judgement on whether he can sire a Classic winner or not.  Right now I would call him a promising sire on both sides of the Atlantic.

27 Sep 2011 8:26 PM

Matthew W.  I think Smiling Tiger will be overlooked.  Bonde said he was going to rest him 60 days and then threw him at the Factor.  

Note 2 of his 3 Grade 1 wins came after 60+ day layoffs.  

He has not seen action is quite some time.  Interesting...

27 Sep 2011 8:42 PM

Smiling Tiger has been off the board 2x in 17 starts!  4th to the Factor last out and a 6th place finish at Churchill.  He seems to bring his A game most trips.

27 Sep 2011 8:46 PM
The Deacon

The Rock:

I was just giving you my opinion on Big Drama. As I sais "as a rule" Calif don't normally fair that well at Churchill Downs. Big Drama likes the track, lets wait and see, no reason to re-raise. Blogs are about opinions, please understand that everyone is a genius until the race is run.

Right on Jason, Kershaw for Cy Young, what a year....

28 Sep 2011 1:52 AM
Smoking Baby

 Ranagulzion. You could be right about Curlin proving me wrong.  I will condede that you ARE right in that he's sure a big good looking sucker.  I mentioned my concerns about the bottom side of his pedigree once before and someone started in om me about Deputy Minister.  What I'm really talking about is the females on his female side (first dam, second dam, etc.) who aren't much.  Deputy Minister certainly needs no defending as his record speaks for itself.  I've made a mental note to myself.  If Curlin's babies hit the ground running I'll try to be the first to admit you called it right.  Love your posts.  Keep them coming.

28 Sep 2011 9:02 AM

Linda, Hanson was the group of brothers that sang that annoying song MMM BOP! just google Hanson and MMM Bop. Worst song ever. Tuurribbblllee. So, now when I hear this horse's name, that is all I can think about. Forget the fact that he is dominating his comp. And yes, I know he is named after Dr Hansen.

Jason, what is going on with Overdriven?

28 Sep 2011 9:21 AM

Hey, guys!  Galikova might go in the Arc.  Wouldn't it be a gas (look that up, it used to be an expression that many used) if the sisters both won Group 1's on Sunday? (I know....So You Think and Sarafina and Workforce ... but still...)

(Sorry, Jason - no Arc blog anywhere so I figured since this blog has meandered into possible standout sires and 2YO's who are (already) drinking, I thought I'd throw in my off-thw-wall comments too.)

(What exactly is "Templeton Rye"? Is this the equivalent of the Grappa my dad used to make in the basement ---oops! we were told NEVER to speak about that!  Oh well....)

(BTW, Bob/Ted, I have no first borns.  I also have no second borns.  Therefore, you can threaten them all you want.  JUST DON'T THREATEN THE CATS!)

28 Sep 2011 10:37 AM
Dr Drunkinbum

It looks like The Factor is going for the BC Sprint since he is supposedly going to be entered in the win and you're in, 6f Ancient Title, Oct. 8 at SA. Woohoo !!!!! Most anticipated BC Sprint In a while, and a great race.

28 Sep 2011 10:41 AM
Smoking Baby

 Billy's Empire.  Say what you want about Hanson but to be fair, those kids play their own instruments and write their own music & lyrics.  I'll take that over many of these "stars" who don't play or write anything and are handed their music.  GREAT...Now that song is in my head.  

28 Sep 2011 12:11 PM

Smoking Baby: just to help you along, I commented (on the new runners blog) about a horse named: "Misslewhileuwork".

You're welcome .... now you have ANOTHER song in your head.

(Sorry "Blood-Horse Staff" -- I am passing forward my joyful "get-a-dumb-song-in-your-head-for-the-day" thing to a whole other group of bloggers.)

28 Sep 2011 1:36 PM
Linda in Texas

Thanks Billy's Empire for the Um BOP explanation. And i was not making a correction to something you stated, i was making a correction to what i had stated on Saturday, i called the owner of Hansen, Mr. instead of the correct Dr. as he is. I think since he is a Pain Management Specialist, some of us including me could use his expertise. I know i cause some pain but a gargle with some high proof liquid and an aspirin will cure most any pains.

Have a great day everyone.



28 Sep 2011 2:07 PM

Smoking Baby, see what happens... damn song! Now MZ had to get me started on that whistle while you work song, and of course, I am whistling.

28 Sep 2011 2:31 PM
Smoking Baby

Billy's Empire.  Thanks bro, I just got that out of my head and now it's back in.  I can't win.

MZ...Yes, I saw that on the other blog a while ago.  Actually I think I'll annoy fewer of my employees by humming whistle while you work.  A man my age should NOT be singing MMM Bop.

28 Sep 2011 4:37 PM
Carlos in Cali

Uncle Mo by 10?...

Way to go out on a limb considering it's a 5-horse field and he only has Jackson Bend to beat.

Here's my 'bold' prediction:

He barely hangs on or loses then they quiclky retire him on account of some other mysterious/rare illness... called overratitus.I wonder if his connections still think he's 6 lengths better than the rest of the crop?..

28 Sep 2011 5:11 PM
Carlos in Cali

Twirling Candy also spiked a fever and will skip his prep for the BCC,the Goodwood.

I'm tossing both TC & Tizway in the Classic.It's THAS's race to lose after running the fastest 9f @ Saratoga this year and quickest PA.Derby ever.Plus,he still has room for improvement,something you can't say about the other horses pointing to the Classic.

28 Sep 2011 5:28 PM

Carlito, Invasor trained up to the Classic at CD and we all know what happened there. He spanked Bernardini. Granted, I think Invasor was more of the it horse coming in than Tizway is, and I bet the crap out of Invasor, but this Tiznow colt is a hard knocker. Only question is the distance, for both horses. But, MOTT is one of the best trainers in the game, he will have plenty of bullets in the gun come BC 11!!

This weekend is going to be friggin awesome

29 Sep 2011 8:40 AM

Come on Jason.  We're waiting for your selections and your expert analogy.  I hope you also include the Arc day races.

29 Sep 2011 3:52 PM
Jason Shandler

Sorry, swamped this week. New blog Friday. The Arc isnt on my radar.

29 Sep 2011 4:03 PM
Carlos in Cali

Billy the Kid,

Invasor and Tizway don't belong in the same sentence,kinda' like AAF and the truth. :}

I'll post my weekend picks tomorrow if you or anybody else needs some extra Duckettes in your Buckets.

29 Sep 2011 4:39 PM


HA, I will post a few as well. We can compare notes.

30 Sep 2011 8:35 AM

BTW, I gave you all the only exacta that paid worth a crap on Saturday in the vosburgh, Giant Ryan and Force Freeze...

"Watch Force Freeze this weekend. His last work was perfect. Giant Ryan, Big Drama and Trappe Shot round out your super if they go. That race it going to be insane. So many good horses, anything can happen"

stack your money, BC will be fun.

03 Oct 2011 4:02 PM

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