Drosselmeyer, out of the money in two starts since he won last June's Belmont Stakes (gr. I), got back to the winner's circle in his May 15 return to the Elmont, N.Y., track.
WinStar Farm's Drosselmeyer outlasted Birdrun by a neck in the $60,000 One Count Stakes (VIDEO), completing the 1 1/4 miles in a slow 2:06.07 on a track rated fast.
Jose Lezcano rode the 4-year-old son of Distorted Humor --Golden Ballet (Moscow Ballet) to victory for trainer Bill Mott, who also saddled the runner-up. Bred by Aaron and Marie Jones in Kentucky, the chestnut colt sold for $600,000 as a Keeneland Association September 2008 yearling.
Drosselmeyer picked up the second added-money win of his career and his first since he registered a three-quarter-length triumph at 13-1 odds in the 1 1/2-mile Belmont Stakes June 5. He had raced twice previously this year, finishing fourth in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs March 5 and fifth in the Skip Away Stakes (gr. III) at Gulfstream Park one month later.
The 2-1 second choice in the field of six stalked in third near the rail as Birdrun set a soft pace (:25.25, :49.79, 1:14.21) while a couple of lengths in front. Drosselmeyer advanced to even terms on the final turn, putting his head in front at the quarter pole after an opening mile of 1:39.59.
The leaders raced four abreast in the stretch with 11-10 choice Inherit the Gold and Alma d'Oro also challenging before Drosselmeyer and Birdrun began to inch away. Drosselmeyer took a half-length advantage at the eighth pole and toughed it out for the win.
“He broke a little slow, but he picked up the bit right after that,” said Lezcano, aboard Drosselmeyer for the first time. “When I asked him, he responded, and he kept going. He likes the distance. The longer, the better.”
Drosselmeyer improved to 4-3-2 in 12 races with earnings of $843,170. He carried 120 pounds -- four fewer than the runner-up -- and paid $6.90, $3.90 and $2.40.
Birdrun returned $4.90 and $2.70 and rounded out a $27 exacta. Inherit the Gold, who rallied wide for third, was $2.10 to show while two lengths behind the winner. Alma d’Oro, Afleet Again and Edgewater followed.