Click above to watch
Drosselmeyer winning the 142nd Belmont Stakes (Gr1)
(Photo : NY Daily News - Footage : Belmont Park)
142nd BELMONT STAKES (Gr1)
Belmont Park, 5 June 2010
When Drosselmeyer (Distorted Humor) gave his late surge to post a 13-1 upset over Fly Down (Mineshaft) and First Dude (Stephen Got Even) in yesterday’s third leg of the US Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park, a number of milestones were achieved.
WinStar Farm became the first owner to win two legs of the Triple Crown with different runners since Overbrook Farm accomplished the feat in 1996 with Grindstone and Editor’s Note. Hall of Famer Bill Mott notched his first winner of a Triple Crown race, and fellow Hall of Fame member Mike Smith, who teamed up with Mott earlier on the card to land the Just a Game Stakes (G1) with Proviso, rounded out a Triple Crown career following scores in the 2005 Kentucky Derby (G1) and 1993 Preakness Stakes (G1).
“People don’t know it, but this is the second Belmont winner I’ve saddled,” Bill Mott quipped. “I saddled Victory Gallop (in the 1998 Belmont) for Elliot (Walden, vice president and racing manager of WinStar Farm) when he had a broken leg.” Mike Smith, who called the New York circuit home for much of his career, added, “It was a great trip. It was all about getting into the rhythm and we did it. It worked out. It was incredible. It’s great to come home.”
Drosselmeyer began his career on the grass, finishing third by 3/4 of a length at Saratoga on 16 August, then ran second at even-money to Exhi (Maria’s Mon) on Belmont’s sod on 20 September. Beaten a head on Keeneland’s Polytrack 24 October, the coppery chestnut broke through with six-length triumph in an off-the-turfer at Churchill on 18 November.
Drosselmeyer kicked off his 2010 campaign with a sharp allowance tally at Gulfstream on 31 January and looked like he’d be a major player on the Triple Crown trail, but it took a while for him to fulfill that promise. Fourth as the favorite in the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds on 20 February, he finished third by a length in the Louisiana Derby (G2) over the same track on 27 March, which meant he did not amass the requisite earnings to contest the Kentucky Derby (G1).
WinStar secured the roses with Super Saver (Maria’s Mon) on 1 May and, a week later, Drosselmeyer re-surfaced with a no-excuse second to Fly Down in the Dwyer Stakes (G2) around this sweeping oval. Kent Desormeaux had been the colt’s pilot since the Churchill maiden win, but found himself replaced by Mike Smith.
Drosselmeyer, who had been training with bar shoes in front, went postward at 13-1 in the 142nd running of the Belmont Stakes. When the gates opened, First Dude cleared the field from post 11 and settled into an easy tempo, with Drosselmeyer sitting about five lengths back and in the clear on the outside. The imposing First Dude slowed it down up front with his splits of 0:24.15, 0:49.19 and 1:14.94, and hit the half-mile pole in 1:40.25. Smith asked his mount to edged a bit closer heading into the far turn and the pair began a steady advance, ranging up to challenge First Dude in front of the grandstand. The big colt dug in inside, but Drosselmeyer had the momentum. Fly Down launched a late run on the outside to nip First Dude for second. “It was Elliot (Walden)’s idea to go to the Dwyer. We thought about wheeling back into either the Arkansas Derby or Blue Grass, but we just said we should stick with our original plan. I got a little nervous when he ran in the Dwyer and looked like he needed some racing, but it turned out to be a good plan.”
GAME ON DUDE
MAKE MUSIC FOR ME
DAVE IN DIXIE
Richard Dutro Jr
Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News