Drosselmeyer Starts to Get Serious
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Hall of Famer Bill Mott is a turf trainer. Tom Amoss is a high-percentage, high-volume claiming trainer. Or so the stereotyping goes. Dumbed-down shorthand notwithstanding, it is true that neither Mott nor Amoss typically travels down the Kentucky Derby trail. Mott has gotten six Derby starters to the gate, to no great effect. Amoss has had one.

But push the history aside for the moment: Mott is front, Amoss center on Saturday at Fair Grounds, with the former starting Drosselmeyer, the latter Ron the Greek in the Grade 2, $300,000 Risen Star Stakes.

Ron the Greek was installed as the 3-1 morning-line favorite in the Risen Star, Drosselmeyer the 4-1 second choice, though Drosselmeyer could easily go favored in the 1 1/16-mile race. Drosselmeyer makes his stakes debut, but is 2 for 2 on dirt and turned heads with a nine-furlong entry-level allowance win Jan. 31 at Gulfstream Park.

Ron the Greek might be unbeaten in four starts had a dreadful trip in the Springboard Mile on Dec. 13 at Remington not led to a fourth-place finish. He won the Lecomte Stakes here last month by passing the nine other horses in the race during the last five furlongs.

Whatever passing does or doesn't get done this time will take place quite late Saturday afternoon: post time for the Risen Star is 4:43 Central. The Risen Star is the 10th of 13 races on a card that starts at 12:10 and is the cashing leg of a guaranteed $125,000 50-cent pick four. Preceding the Risen Star are four stakes, including the Grade 3 Silverbulletday for 3-year-old fillies and the Grade 3 Mineshaft for older horses. The local forecast calls for a slight chance of showers.

Mott said early this week he would prefer Drosselmeyer not race for another week or two, but Drosselmeyer has looked like a serious horse in his last two starts, and Mott recognizes the need to accumulate graded stakes earnings to ensure Drosselmeyer a spot in a 20-horse Kentucky Derby field.

"The thing is for us, we're optimistic and have big expectations, and he's got to get some graded earnings right now," Mott said.

Drosselmeyer, along with American Lion, Rule, and Super Saver, is one of four promising early-season 3-year-olds owned by WinStar Farm. Drosselmeyer might be the most surprising of them. Drosselmeyer lacked early speed at 2, and Mott started him off in two-turn Saratoga turf races. Drosselmeyer required four tries to win. When he did so, it was in an off-the-turf Churchill Downs one-turn mile last November - and Drosselmeyer looked good. Drosselmeyer, a son of Distorted Humor and Santa Anita Oaks winner Golden Ballet, got a perfect pressing trip in his first dirt win, but last month at Gulfstream, racing nine furlongs around two turns, he had to make multiple moves and rally between horses to win.

"He's been a pleasant surprise," Mott said. "He's keeps coming and coming."

Ron the Greek has never shown even the tactical speed of Drosselmeyer, and Amoss said to expect another late run Saturday.

"That's his style, and I think the greatest mistake a trainer can make is to change a horse's style," Amoss said.

Ron the Greek, by Full Mandate, is nowhere close to his actual third birthday yet but is advanced for his age.

"You wouldn't know he's a May foal by looking at him, and he's mentally mature," Amoss said. "Nothing seems to upset him."

Ron the Greek drew post 11 in a 12-horse field, but given his running style, the wide post should not get him beat. Hotep and Robby Albarado are stuck in post 12 and could have more trouble.

"It's unfortunate," trainer Mark Frostad said of the draw. "We'll just have to leave it up to the rider.

Hotep comes back jut 19 days after a sharp victory here and is one of two especially impressive Fair Grounds route-allowance winners in the Risen Star. The other is Stay Put, who has awaited this spot since rallying from last behind a slow pace Jan. 3 to win his second straight race.

"He hasn't had a straw in his path so far," trainer Steve Margolis said. "He's a happy guy."

Drosselmeyer was joined on a flight from Florida by Tempted to Tapit and Discreetly Mine, the former only a maiden winner, the latter Grade 1-placed at age 2. What the pair have in common is early speed, and both figure to be on or near a solid pace Saturday.

"He'll establish himself early," said Tempted to Tapit's trainer, Steve Klesaris. "He's quick enough to be where his rider wants him."
WinStar promotes Wilson to Stallion Seasons Director

WinStar promotes Wilson to Stallion Seasons Director

Kyle Wilson has been promoted to Stallion Seasons Director to oversee that department at WinStar Farm, and he has brought on Caroline Walsh to join the Nominations team...

[read more]

Donworth is dominating at Delaware title=
Tiznow

Donworth is dominating at Delaware

Donworth drew off to a devastating 11-length victory in Saturday’s $50,000 Stanton S. at Delaware Park...

[read more]

Super Saver colt equals sale record at OBS title=
Super Saver

Super Saver colt equals sale record at OBS

A son of Super Saver consigned by Bobby Dodd, Agent, went to The Three Amigos for $575,000 to top the third session of the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Company’s 2015 June Sale...

[read more]

G1 winner Gemologist shuttling to Chile title=

G1 winner Gemologist shuttling to Chile

Grade 1 winner Gemologist will shuttle to Haras Santa Olga Farm in Santiago, Chile for the Southern Hemisphere breeding season, and the regally-bred Grade 1 winner is set to enter quarantine next Monday, with his last mares to be covered from his American book this Sunday...

[read more]

Pioneerof the Nile: A Triple Crown sire title=
Pioneerof the Nile

Pioneerof the Nile: A Triple Crown sire

Zayat Stables’ homebred superstar American Pharoah made history on Saturday, winning the Belmont S. (G1) to become racing’s 12th Triple Crown winner...

[read more]

Speightstown’s Rock Fall crushes foes in True North S. (G2) title=
Speightstown

Speightstown’s Rock Fall crushes foes in True North S. (G2)

Rock Fall earned his fifth straight victory and first graded stakes win June 5, taking the $250,000 True North S. (G2) at Belmont Park by 3 ¾-lengths...

[read more]

Cocked and Loaded fires winning salvo in Tremont S. title=
Colonel John

Cocked and Loaded fires winning salvo in Tremont S.

Colonel John has a rising star on his roster with Cocked and Loaded, who ran his record to a perfect 2-for-2 with a come-from-behind victory in the $250,000 Tremont S...

[read more]

Zindaya streaks to second straight stakes triumph title=
More Than Ready

Zindaya streaks to second straight stakes triumph

Zindaya pulled away in the Belmont Park turf course stretch to score by 2 ½-lengths in Thursday’s $150,000 Intercontinental S., the second consecutive stakes victory for the 4-year-old daughter of More Than Ready...

[read more]

Drosselmeyer, Belmont S. & Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, sires first winner title=
Drosselmeyer

Drosselmeyer, Belmont S. & Breeders’ Cup Classic winner, sires first winner

WinStar Farm's freshman sire Drosselmeyer, the Belmont S. (G1) and Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) winner by Distorted Humor, was represented by his first winner Thursday when 2-year-old filly Find Joy debuted with an impressive 4 ½-length victory in a $40,000 Maiden Special Weight at Pimlico...

[read more]

Crittenden’s rally carries him to first stakes win title=
Distorted Humor

Crittenden’s rally carries him to first stakes win

Crittenden rallied at just the right moment to take the first running of the $75,000-added PDJF Stakes Saturday, May 30 at Indiana Grand...

[read more]