WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer, who ran a solid third in the $750,000 Louisiana Derby (gr. II) March 27 at Fair Grounds but is likely still short on graded earnings to get into the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), could take one more shot at getting to the Big Dance.
WinStar racing manager Elliott Walden confirmed March 30 that the farm is considering running the son of Distorted Humor back at Keeneland in the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) on April 10 or the $300,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) on April 17. With $87,000 in graded earnings so far, a top three finish in either race could get him into the May 1 Derby.
But would another run be asking too much of the colt, who would be starting for the fourth time in 2 1/2 months if he ran at Keeneland? And, if he raced in the Lexington, would have to wheel back in two weeks for the Derby.
“You think they would move the Derby back a couple weeks for us?” Walden asked jokingly. “We haven’t ruled anything out yet. We’re considering the Blue Grass or the Lexington.”
Drosselmeyer, who is trained by Bill Mott, was beaten only one length in the Louisiana Derby after breaking from post 13 under Kent Desormeaux and rallying along the rail in the stretch. The chestnut colt was only a neck back of A Little Warm for second. Narrowly missing second place cost Drosselmeyer $75,000 in earnings and has put WinStar in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether or not to run the colt again.
If WinStar decides to send Drosselmeyer to Keeneland, the colt does have solid experience over the Polytrack. He finished runner-up by a head in a maiden special weight race there last October in his only effort over a synthetic surface.
Desormeaux is one person who is probably hoping WinStar decides to run Drosselmeyer at Keeneland. The jockey said after the Louisiana Derby that Drosselmeyer was unlucky not to win.
“I had tons of trouble, he said. “If I get through (the rail) I win by three and I'm the favorite for the Kentucky Derby. Now I won't even get to ride him.”
WinStar already has a pair of Derby starters in the bank with Rule and Endorsement, and it will race another top contender, Super Saver, in the April 10 Arkansas Derby (gr. I). Super Saver is also on the graded earnings bubble with $163,832, but an in-the-money finish would virtually guarantee him a spot in the Kentucky Derby starting gate.