Bouncing back from an eighth-place finish in the Canadian International, King's Drama returned to form and posted a convincing victory in Aqueduct's Grade 2, $150,000 Red Smith Handicap, the final graded turf stakes of the season in New York.
The Bobby Frankel-trained King's Drama, who was using the 1 3/8-mile Red Smith as a prep race for the upcoming Japan Cup, broke alertly under Edgar Prado, who was content to place him just off the early pace set by Certifiably Crazy.
Certifiably Crazy raced just outside King's Drama while establishing early fractions of 25.16 and 49.79 seconds, but King's Drama moved up to take the lead into the backstretch after six furlongs in 1:14.71. Continuing to save ground, King's Drama edged away approaching the stretch and widened to win by 2 1/2 lengths.
Rousing Victory rallied three wide through the stretch and outfinished Dreadnaught to take the runner-up spot by a length, as Certifiably Crazy faded to fourth in the field of eight older males. The order of finish was completed by Request for Parole, Rochester, Potro Tell, and Navesink River.
King's Drama, the Red Smith highweight at 122 pounds, ran the 11 furlongs in 2:15.37 over a turf course rated firm and paid $3.20 for his eighth win in 25 career starts. The $90,000 winner's share boosted his lifetime earnings to $869,916 for owner Gary Tanaka.
"I kept after him because he was looking around, looking at the board," said Prado. "He had run against tougher competition. I think Bobby did the right thing by running him instead of working him for the Japan Cup. He has something left in the tank. I am going to go to Japan to ride him."