Noble Drama Ready to Defend Title in Gulfstream's Sunshine Classic
Noble Drama has amassed earnings of more than $600,000 while winning five stakes and placing in 12 stakes during his 24-race career. Not bad for the `black sheep' of his family.
Noble Drama is out of a half-sister to 2010 Eclipse champion sprinter Big Drama and full sister to multiple Grade 1-stakes winner Sheer Drama.
The 6-year-old homebred gelding is scheduled to make a title defense in Saturday's $75,000 Sunshine Classic, one of four stakes for Florida-breds on Saturday's 12-race program with a 11:45 a.m. first-race post time. Noble Drama is also eligible for a win-only bonus of $25,000 offered to Florida Sire Stakes-eligible entrants.
The ever-versatile son of Gone Astray has never been a source of drama while winning from 6 ½ furlongs to the 1 1/8-mile distance of the Sunshine Classic.
||Irad Ortiz, Jr.
|Armando De La Cerda
While his exploits pale in comparisons to those of his Grade 1 kin, Noble Drama has been a most productive member of trainer David Fawkes' Gulfstream Park-based stable for the past few years.
"He's a little horse that always tries to win. He always tries hard. If you weren't looking for him, you wouldn't know he's in the barn. He's easy to deal with. There's never an issue with him," said Fawkes, who also trained both Big Drama and Sheer Drama for Queen. "I'd take 20 of him."
"He's just a racehorse. He likes doing it. He's an easy-keeper. He's light, easy on himself. He's not a heavy-built horse," Fawkes said. "He's a great blue-collar horse. We can take him anywhere we want. He doesn't have to take his surface with him. He's won at Calder; he's won at Tampa; and he's won here."
Noble Drama is coming off a somewhat disappointing third-place finish as the 6-5 favorite in a seven-furlong Florida Sire Stakes race at Tampa Bay Downs Dec. 12.
"The race at Tampa, I really don't have an excuse for him, why he lost contact with the field. He left himself too much to do," Fawkes said.
Noble Drama won back-to-back stakes in his two most recent starts at Gulfstream Park, where he scored in the seven-furlong Benny The Bull and the mile FSS Wildcat Heir.
Emisael Jaramillo, who rode Noble Drama in the Wildcat Heir, has the call.
Equine Authority Inc.'s Red Crescent, who finished a head behind Noble Drama while finishing second in last year's Sunshine Classic, is set for another clash this year. The John Vinson-trained 7-year-old gelding is coming off a sharp optional claiming allowance victory Dec. 3.
Paco Lopez has the return mount aboard Red Crescent.
Michael Dubb and partners' Last Judgment will drop from a troubled eighth-place finish in the Dec. 19 Mr. Prospector (G3, his first start for trainer Michael Maker since being claimed out of a Belmont optional claiming allowance win for $62,500.
Jose Ortiz has the call on the 5-year-old gelded son of Congrats.
IAB Stable and Walter Fralick's Quenane, who registered a 27-1 upset over Noble Drama in the Nov. 14 Sunshine Classic Preview over a sloppy Gulfstream Park West track; Mathis Stable LLC's Roman Empire, a Todd Pletcher-trained 4-year-old who finished second in a Dec. 9 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream; Dig Than Mine LLC and trainer Steve Klesaris' Scar, who won a Dec. 20 optional claiming allowance at Gulfstream; and Marco Thoroughbred Corp.'s Kaufy Bean, a late-developing 4-year-old son of Adios Charlie, round out the field.
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