02/08/2011 2:19PM

Drosselmeyer headed to Mineshaft, maybe World Cup

Barbara D. Livingston
Drosselmeyer is scheduled to make his first start since winning last year's Belmont in the Mineshaft at Fair Grounds.

Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes in his most recent race, is scheduled to make his first start since the last leg of the Triple Crown in the Feb. 19 Mineshaft Handicap at Fair Grounds, trainer Bill Mott confirmed Tuesday morning. If Drosselmeyer performs to expectations there, he will move on to contest the $10 million Dubai World Cup on March 26.

Mott said the Mineshaft offers a good opportunity to shake the rust off Drosselmeyer, who will be making his first start after an 8 1/2-month break.

“We’re just looking for a race,” Mott said. “It’d be nice to win, but I don’t know that we have to win first time out of the box. Get a race in him and have that behind us. Naturally, we’d like it to be a good enough race to propel us on to bigger and better things.”

Drosselmeyer, owned by WinStar Farm, made two starts last season at Fair Grounds, finishing fourth in the Risen Star and third in the Louisiana Derby. He was second in the Dwyer before capturing the Belmont by three-quarters of a length over Fly Down, but shortly thereafter was diagnosed with an ankle injury that required a significant rest period.

DUBAI RACING CARNIVAL: Past performances, race analysis, and results

“When we stopped on him, he needed a vacation, but he’s moving very well now,” Mott said. “He’s changed a little bit, but I thought he looked good last year, and he looks good now, too.”

Drosselmeyer has turned in six published workouts at Mott’s Payson Park quarters since coming back into serious training. Three of them have been bullets, including a Sunday five-furlong work in 1:00.80 that was done in company with leading 3-year-old hopeful To Honor and Serve, scheduled to make his 2011 debut in the Fountain of Youth Stakes.

“We felt both horses needed a useful work, and I thought one might be able to offer the one some decent company,” Mott said. “It was a dead heat. It worked out very nicely.

Both WinStar, with Well Armed, and Mott, with Cigar, have won a previous edition of the Dubai World Cup, which will be contested for the second year on the Tapeta surface at Meydan.

Mott said shipping plans haven’t been made to transport Drosselmeyer to Fair Grounds, but the travel is made simpler by the fact that Mott runs a string in New Orleans.