Breeders' Cup 2011 Entries: Drosselmeyer

Two horses in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic are former winners of the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes.  Ruler On Ice won this year's Belmont, while Drosselmeyer won the 2010 version.  That was the last time Drosselmeyer won a graded stakes race.

Horse: Drosselmeyer

Trainer: William Mott

Over the last five years, trainer Bill Mott is 16-for-138 in Grade 1 races (12% Win%, 39% In-The-Money); he trained last year's Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic winner Unrivaled Belle.

Morning Line Odds: 15/1

Career Record (Str-1st-2nd-3rd): 15-4-2-0

Career Earnings: $1,028,170

Pedigree: Sired by Distorted Humor out of a Moscow Ballet mare (Golden Ballet)

Dam Golden Ballet was the 2011 California Champion Three-Year-Old Filly and a winner of the Grade 1 Santa Anita Oaks, the Grade 1 Las Virgenes, along with two additional Grade 2 races.

Key Stakes Wins: 2010 Grade 1 Belmont Stakes

Overview: It seems like a long, long time ago when we last saw Drosselmeyer win a major stakes race. Since his triumph in the 2010 Belmont Stakes, Drosselmeyer has just a minor stakes win last May to his credit.  His connections tried running him on the turf in mid-August but a 7th place finish in the Grade 1 Sword Dancer at Saratoga put an end to any thoughts of glory on the grass.  Switched back to dirt in his final Breeders' Cup prep race, Drosselmeyer finished a good 2nd to Flat Out in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, by far his best performance in a major stakes race since winning the Belmont.

The good news for Drosselmeyer is that this year's Breeders' Cup Classic appears to contain enough speed to ensure a good pace.  There may not be enough to create a meltdown in the final furlongs, but the pace should at least be fair. The bad news is that Drosselmeyer is typically a grinder, or a one-paced horse.  He won't blow other horses away with a tremendous turn of foot, but instead he tries to wear them down using a sustained gallop from start to finish. 

If you are looking for facts to hang your hat on with Drosselmeyer, consider the following two pieces of handicapping information: First, Drosselmeyer is 3-1-1-0 for his career at the mile and a quarter distance. There aren't a lot of horses in America today that relish running a mile and a quarter, but this colt has done quite well when asked to do that very thing. That's a good sign.  Second, Drosselmeyer won his only previous start at Churchill Downs, site of this year's Breeders' Cup Classic.  The race he won was just a maiden race almost two years ago (and it came over an "off" track), but it's still nice to see a prior win over the surface.

For Drosselmeyer to win the Breeders' Cup Classic he needs to improve off of that 2nd place finish in the Jockey Club Gold Cup last time out.  Simply running the same race, or perhaps running slightly worse, won't get it done.  In short, he needs to unleash the race of his life and hope that his rivals some up a little short.  If that were to happen, perhaps Drosselmeyer will finally find his way back to the winner's circle at the highest level. It's been a long time coming.

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