Friday, August 4, 2023
HALLANDALE BEACH - Owner/trainer David Fawkes’ Noble Drama will seek to continue carrying on a family tradition Saturday at Gulfstream Park when the fan-favorite gelding returns to action in a stakes-quality allowance feature.
Bred and formerly owned by Harold Queen, Noble Drama has admirably faced a huge challenge while racing in the shadows of a couple of older family members, but the 8-year-old son of Gone Astray has managed to earn $821,582 during a 40-race career that has produced 10 victories, including seven wins in stakes and overnight handicaps.
Not too shabby, but hardly up to the standards set by his Gr. 1 stakes-winning kin.
The Florida-bred gelding is out of Queen Drama, a stakes-winning half-sister to champion Big Drama and a full sister to multiple Gr. 1 stakes-winning Sheer Drama, both trained by Fawkes for owner/breeder Queen. Riveting Drama, an unraced daughter of Notebook whom Queen purchased for $36,000 at the 1996 OBS March sale, produced Queen Drama, Big Drama and Sheer Drama.
“When Mr. Queen bought Riveting Drama from the sale, he intended on running her. She bucked her shins, and he brought her home, never sent her back, and just bred her,” Fawkes said, “I would call her a blue hen mare.”
Noble Drama, a son of Montbrook who earned nearly $2.75 million, was honored with the 2010 Eclipse Award for Outstanding Sprinter after capturing the Breeders’ Cup Sprint at Churchill Downs. His talent was obvious right from the start when he swept the 2008 Florida Sire Stakes Series before capturing the $750,000 Delta Jackpot.
Sheer Drama earned nearly $1.7 million during a 24-race career that included Gr. 1 successes in the 2015 Personal Ensign at Belmont, 2015 Delaware Handicap and the 2016 Madison at Keeneland, excelling at distances from seven furlongs to 1 ¼ miles.
Noble Drama, whose favorite distance has been a one-turn mile, will cut back to seven furlongs for Saturday’s Race 9 feature for 3-year-olds and up, which drew a deep field of nine. Bobby DiBona-trained Big and Classy, whose six-race winning streak was broken in a second-place finish in the Gr. III Smile Sprint on July 1, is rated at 2-1 in the morning line.
Ny Traffic and Mish, rated second and third on the morning line, were entered in Saturday’s race, but trainer Saffie Joseph Jr. doesn’t expect either horse will run.
Noble Drama will seek revenge on Michael Yates-trained Cajun’s Magic, against whom he came up a half-length short in a one-turn mile allowance two starts back.
“It’s not the right distance for him, really, but the horse is training good and doing good,” Fawkes said. “There seems to be plenty of speed to set it up for him.”
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Emisael Jaramillo has the call on Noble Drama.