Despite losing by less than two lengths in his first stakes try, Drosselmeyer seems to have fallen off the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) radar of many. Winstar Farm’s racing manager Elliott Walden thinks it could be a mistake to forget about the son of Distorted Humor .
“We like him as much as our other ones,” said Walden, referring to WinStar’s other top 3-year-olds, Rule
and Super Saver
. “I know Billy (Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott) still really likes him. I think he is flying under the radar a bit.”
Drosselmeyer, a $600,000 yearling, impressively won an allowance race at Gulfstream Park Jan. 31 going nine furlongs, then made his stakes debut in the Feb. 20 Risen Star (gr. II) at Fair Grounds. The confirmed closer was compromised by a slow pace in that 1 1/16-mile event, but still made up ground on eventual winner Discreetly Mine
, falling 1 3/4 lengths short under Kent Desormeaux.
“He galloped out very well. I think the pace hurt him more than anything,” Walden said. “We were very pleased with the race.
“It was kind of tough bringing him back on three weeks (rest), but we felt like we needed to get two (Derby preps) in him. We knew it was going to tough. But he came out of it no worse for the wear.
“He actually ran as fast on the (Ragozin) Sheets as the other three horses that beat him. They all got 'eights.' So, it was a good race.”
Walden said Drosselmeyer will run next in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 27 if they decide to enter Rule in the $750,000 Florida Derby (gr. I), which is the way they are leaning right now. If Rule goes to the Louisiana Derby instead, which is a possibility, they then would race Drosselmeyer in either the $800,000 Sunland Derby (gr. III) March 28 or the $500,000 Illinois Derby (gr. II) April 3.
Drosselmeyer has had one work since the Risen Star, covering four furlongs in :49.20 at Payson Park March 7. He is scheduled to breeze again this weekend.
Walden is currently in Florida and will attend the season debut of favored Super Saver in the $300,000 Tampa Bay Derby (gr. III) March 13. Super Saver has not raced since winning the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) at Churchill Downs last Nov. 28.
“We’re excited,” he said. “I’m a little concerned about the weight (122 pounds) and the layoff, but I think he’s ready.”