MIAMI -- Big Drama completed a memorable afternoon for the team of trainer David Fawkes, owner Harold Queen, and jockey Eibar Coa with a professional 1 1/2-length decision over the late-striding Mambo Meister in the $350,000 Smile Sprint Handicap, co-feature on Saturday's rich Summit of Speed card at Calder, and a Win and You're in race for the Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Fawkes and Coa had already combined earlier in the day to capture the $100,000 Frank Gomez Memorial with Queen's Little Drama, a 2-year-old half brother of Big Drama. But they saved the best for last in the Grade 3 Smile Sprint.
Making just his second start of the season, Big Drama benefitted from a perfectly orchestrated ride by Coa who placed the 9-5 favorite within easy striking distance of the early leaders, Go Go Shoot and Taqarub, during the opening half-mile of the six-furlong Smile. Big Drama readily assumed command without need of urging while rallying three wide into the stretch, quickly edged well clear, then held safe a strong closing surge from Mambo Meister.
The 73-1 How's Your Halo completed a sweep of the top three positions by Calder-based horses, finishing third in the 12-horse field, another 2 1/4 lengths further back.
The victory was Big Drama's sixth in seven tries over his home course and his first Grade 2 success. A homebred son of Montbrook, Big Drama completed the distance in 1:10.93 seconds over a fast track and paid $5.60. His winner's purse of $201,180 increased his lifetime earnings to over $1.4 million.
"We'll probably run him once at Saratoga and try to get him to the Breeders' Cup," said Fawkes. "It was extremely exciting when they handed us that Breeders' Cup ticket in the winner's circle."