05/15/2011 5:20PM

Belmont: Drosselmeyer outbattles stablemate to earn first win since 2010 Belmont Stakes

Adam Coglianese/NYRA
Drosselmeyer, racing on the rail under Jose Lezcano, holds off stablemate Birdrun by a neck in the One Count.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Drosselmeyer became the first Belmont Stakes winner in more than a decade to win a race in his 4-year-old season, gutting out a neck victory over stablemate Birdrun in Sunday’s $60,000 One Count Stakes at Belmont Park.

 After stalking a pedestrian pace from third under Jose Lezcano, Drosselmeyer turned into the stretch in contention for the lead while racing along the rail. Outside of him were Birdrun, Alma d’Oro, and Inherit the Gold. The quartet raced together until about the sixteenth pole. At that point, favored Inherit the Gold was drifting out under jockey Eddie Castro’s left-handed whip and Alma d’Oro was weakening under John Velazquez. But Drosselmeyer and Birdrun, ridden by Rajiv Maragh, kept on persevering with Drosselmeyer  going the best at the wire. It was 1 3/4 lengths back to Inherit the Gold.

Drosselmeyer, a son of Distorted Humor owned by WinStar Farm and trained by Bill Mott, covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:06.07 over a fast track and returned $6.90 to win.

 “Good to see Drosselmeyer back,’’ Mott said. “He dug in today. He’s tough in the right kind of race. I was pleased with Birdrun too, he ran really well.’’

It was Drosselmeyer’s third start of the year and third since winning the Belmont over this course 11 months ago. He finished fourth in the Challenger Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs in March and fifth in the Grade 3 Skip Away Stakes at Gulfstream in April.

 The last Belmont Stakes winner to win a race in his 4-year-old season was Lemon Drop Kid, who won the 1999 Belmont and came back to win four graded stakes as a 4-year-old in 2000.

 “I hope we can do as well as Lemon Drop Kid,’’ Mott said.

 One of the races Lemon Drop Kid won in his 4-year-old season was the Brooklyn. Drosselmeyer will try to duplicate that feat when he runs in this year’s Grade 2, $150,000 Brooklyn on June 10. Mott said he might consider Birdrun for that race as well.

 Pick six returns $12,616

 There were 26 winning tickets sold on Sunday’s pick six, each returning $12,616. The card began with a two-day carryover of $99,745 and an additional $412,050 was wagered into the pool.

 The winning sequence of 10-8-10-1-3-3 consisted of Eve of Destruction ($12.20), Hey Babe ($5.10), Must Be Love ($8.10), Cravin Craden ($2.80), Drosselmeyer ($6.90),  and Pin Number ($24.60.)

 The consolation payout (5 of 6) was $95.