Drosselmeyer Faces Colizeo Again in Skip Away

Drosselmeyer Faces Colizeo Again in Skip Away
Photo: Tom Cooley Photography
Colizeo defeated Drosselmeyer by 6 1/2 lengths in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs.

Classic winner Drosselmeyer   had all he could handle from fast-improving Colizeo at Tampa Bay Downs one month ago, He takes on that rival once again in the $100,000 Skip Away Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park April 3.

Drosselmeyer, who gets a big rider switch to Garrett Gomez in the 1 3/16-mile Skip Away, made his first start since winning the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay March 5.

WinStar Farm's Distorted Humor   colt stalked from mid-pack in the 1 1/16-mile Challenger but could not muster a needed late kick to challenge the front-running Colizeo, who drew off by four lengths while ridden out. Drosselmeyer finished fourth, beaten by 6 1/2 lengths.

Drosselmeyer, trained by Bill Mott, was originally pointed to the Dubai World Cup Sponored by Emirates Airline (UAE-I) this month but was withdrawn from consideration due to a fever. The 4-year-old colt was taken out of training following his three-quarters of a length triumph in last June's Belmont Stakes due to an ankle injury.

Drosselmeyer, who drew the rail in the Skip Away, owns a 3-3-2 career mark in 10 starts with earnings of $804,170.

The Skip Away attracted a field of 11 older colts and geldings and is the ninth race on the Gulstream card with a 5:06 p.m. (EDT) post. Also on the program are the Florida Derby (gr. I) and Swale Stakes (gr. II) for 3-year-olds and the Emirates Airline Appleton Stakes (gr. IIIT) for older horses on the turf.

Colizeo, trained by Todd Pletcher for Wertheimer and Frere, was a monster in his first start of 2011, wrestling the lead away early and cruising home to easily defeat Skip Away entrant Jardim.

Ramon Dominguez, who guided the 4-year-old son of Distorted Humor to a three-length triumph in the Star of Cozzene Stakes at Belmont in October, regains the mount. Colizeo, who breaks from post 4 with top weight of 121 pounds, won the Northern Dancer Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs last June.

Also in the Skip Away is last year's Preakness Stakes (gr. I) third-place finisher Jackson Bend, one of three in the field owned by Robert LaPenta. Jackson Bend, a 4-year-old son of Hear No Evil   co-owned by his breeder Jacks or Better Farm, was fifth last time in the Gulfstream Park Handicap (gr. II) March 12, finishing two lengths behind the victorious Tackleberry.

Jackson Bend was the runner-up in both the Fountain of Youth (gr. II) and Wood Memorial (gr. I) last year.

LaPenta also is represented in the Skip Away by S. S. Stone and Our Dark Knight, both trained by Nick Zito.

S. S. Stone, a 5-year-old by Birdstone  , has raced three times at the Gulfstream meet this year and won all three. The lightly-raced gray/roan horse has started just nine times in his career, winning four. He makes his first stakes appearance since finishing unplaced in Del Mar's Best Pal Stakes (gr. II) as a 2-year-old in August 2008.

Our Dark Knight, a 4-year-old Medaglia d'Oro   colt, was no factor in the Gulfstream Park Handicap last time, finishing last of eight. He won a one-mile optional claiming allowance race at Gulfstream in January and has proven to be a consistent sort with a 4-5-1 mark in 12 starts.

$100,000 Skip Away Stakes (gr. III, Race 9, 5:06 p.m.), 4 & Up, 1 3/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Drosselmeyer (KY), G K Gomez, 117, W I Mott
2. Moe Man (KY), J Bravo, 117, I R Wilkes
3. Our Dark Knight (KY), J Castellano, 117, N P Zito
4. Colizeo (KY), R A Dominguez, 121, T A Pletcher
5. Ron the Greek (FL), J R Velazquez, 117, T Albertrani
6. Gabriel's Hill (KY), A Garcia, 117, S Benzel
7. King Ghidorah (FL), C H Velasquez, 117, B Parboo
8. Jardim (BRZ), P Lopez, 117, E Caramori
9. Wingedlie (FL), E Dominguez, 117, J Negrete
10. S. S. Stone (KY), J R Leparoux, 119, N P Zito
11. Jackson Bend (FL), J Sanchez, 117, S I Gold
 

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