BY BROCK SHERIDAN
Stonehedge LLC homebred Dean Delivers appears to be the one to beat in Saturday’s $65,000 Big Drama, a seven furlongs test for Florida-bred 3-year-olds and older at Gulfstream Park. The Big Drama also features a $25,000 win bonus for Florida Sire Stakes-eligible runners presented by the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders’ and Owners’ Association.
Trained by Michael Yates, Dean Delivers drops into Florida-bred company for the first time since finishing second to Clapton in the $150,000 Gil Campbell Memorial going a mile at Gulfstream in October and has since faced open stakes company in four of his last five starts, three of which were in graded stakes.
He was second to Sibelius in the Grade 3 Mr. Prospector going seven furlongs on Dec. 31 before finishing third in the Grade 3 Fred Hooper won by Endorsed going a mile on Jan. 28. He then chased home Endorsed again when fourth to that rival in the Grade 2 Gulfstream Park Mile on March 4 and comes into the Big Drama after finishing second, just a neck behind winner Weyburn in the $105,000 Sir Shackleton going seven furlongs on April 1.
A 4-year-old gelding by Stonehedge Farm South stallion Cajun Breeze out of Slick and True, by Yes It’s True, Dean Delivers has won three of 14 career starts with seven seconds and a third and earnings of $284,250. All of his races have come at Gulfstream except when fourth to King Cab in last year’s OBS Sophomore
Yates have given the riding assignment to Emasael Jaramillo, who will ride Dean Delivers for the first time, and they have drawn post four.
Starship Renegade looks to provide the main competition for Dean Delivers having won three of his last four races including his last two.
The son of Double Diamond Farm stallion First Dude out of Happy Honeymoon, by Honour and Glory won a first level, $20,000 optional claiming against state-breds at Gulfstream going six furlongs on Jan. 7 but was then second to Celestial Gaze under the same $25,000 optional claiming conditions against open company going six furlongs on Feb. 12 in his last defeat.
He won at that level by a half-length going six-and-a-half furlongs on Mar. 11 then stepped up to win under more challenging conditions at the $62,500 optional claiming level on April 9, winning by three lengths.
Starship Renegade has a career ledger of four wins and two seconds from seven starts and earnings of $171,620.
Regular rider Miguel Vasquez will be aboard again and they have post five.
Second to Starship Renegade two starts back on March 11, Gangly comes into the Big Drama off of an impressive five-and-a-quarter-length romp against first-level, $25,000 optional claimers going six furlongs on April 8. The 5-year-old Starship Renegade was bred in Florida by Mr. and Mrs. William A.T. Rainbow and is now owned by Dwoskin and Starship Stables.
Gangly is trained by Peter Walder, who is just three wins shy of saddling 1,000 winners, and is the veteran of the Big Drama field as a 9-year-old with nine wins, seven seconds and two thirds from 57 starts and a bankroll of $306,949.
Gangly is by Journeyman Stud’s leading Florida sire Khozan out of Starship Crystal, by Congrats and was bred by Brent and Crystal Fernung. The Fernungs consigned Gangly to the 2018 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Winter Mixed Sale where he was purchased for $9,000 by Chad Summers. He has earned $306,949 from nine wins, seven seconds and two thirds from 35 starts and now races for Jack J. Armstrong, who with Walder claimed Gangly for $20,000 in June of last year. Gangly has provided a good return on the investment for Armstrong having earned $94,250 in the five races since the claim.
Gangly has drawn post two and Jose Rios will ride.
The remainder of the Big Drama field from the rail out includes Stormy Pattern with jockey Jose Morelos, Big and Classy will be ridden by Kevin Krigger, Avant Glory will carry Edgar Perez and Leonel Reyes has the mount of Picking Up Pennies.