HALLANDALE BEACH, FL – Harold Queen’s Noble Drama made his family proud yesterday at Gulfstream Park, scoring a hard-fought victory in the $200,000 Sunshine Millions Classic.
The 1 1/8-mile race for older horses headlined four stakes for Florida-breds on the Sunshine Millions program.
Out of a half-sister to Big Drama, the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and Eclipse Award-winning sprinter, and full-sister to multiple Grade 1 winner Sheer Drama, Noble Drama was saddled by David Fawkes, who also trained Queen homebreds Big Drama and Sheer Drama.
Noble Drama ($10.40) trailed the seven horse field on the first turn and along the backstretch as Salute With Honor took over from early pacesetter Squeezadios following a first quarter of a mile in 23.85 seconds and showed the way while setting a half-mile fraction of 47.51 seconds. Red Crescent, the 8-5 favorite ridden by Irad Ortiz Jr., made a wide move entering the far turn and stuck his nose in front leaving the turn into the homestretch, as Squeezadios made a bid along the inside. Noble Drama, who made sweeping move on the turn into the homestretch, kicked in under Emisael Jaramillo and continued on to prevail over Red Crescent by a head.
“I rode him exactly like the last time. I knew there was a lot of speed, so we came from behind and ran at the end,” said Jaramillo, who had ridden Noble Drama to an optional claiming allowance victory off an eight-month layoff Dec. 22.
Noble Drama, a 5-year-old son of Gone Astray, won his third Florida-bred stakes while running 1 1/8 miles in 1:50.78.
“He ran huge. Harold did a wonderful job of getting this horse ready. When he sent him back to me, I literally led him over here and he won, and he ran a huge race,” Fawkes said. “He gained a bunch of weight on the farm, and the horse came back and ran huge.
“He just needed some time. He lost some weight when he was racing and he just needed some time,” he added. “He was a very sound horse, so it was for no other reason except to give him a little rehab. He deserves it.”
Red Crescent, who captured the Millions Classic Preview at Gulfstream Park West before finishing fourth in the Harlan’s Holiday (G3), finished three-quarters of a length ahead of Squeezadios.
While winning for the fifth time in 16 career starts, Noble Drama earned $120,000 to boost his career bankroll over $400,000.
Via Gulfstream Park Press Release