02/01/2010 12:00AM

Drosselmeyer looks ready to step up


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Trainer Bill Mott got off to a bit of a slow start when the meet opened, but the Hall of Famer closed out January on a roll after sending out two of his top 3-year-old prospects, Drosselmeyer and Comic Marvel, to impressive allowance wins Sunday.

Drosselmeyer, a son of Distorted Humor, likely put himself on the Kentucky Derby trail by rallying to a 1 3/4-length entry-level allowance win . The victory was the second in a row for Drosselmeyer, who was an even easier maiden winner in his 2-year-old finale 10 weeks earlier at Churchill Downs.

The emergence of Drosselmeyer also adds to the already strong hand that WinStar Farm holds heading into the Derby prelims. He joins a group that also includes such top 3-year-old prospects as Super Saver and Rule, both of whom are trained by Todd Pletcher.

"We thought coming into this race that he was doing well and training well and were optimistic he'd run a big race," Mott said moments after Drosselmeyer left the winner's circle Sunday. "And he came through for us. I'm glad to see he handled two turns well, and now I'm sure they'll be a stakes somewhere on the agenda for him."

Mott said Drosselmeyer, who made his first two starts on turf and third over the Polytrack at Keeneland, has turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

"His works before he started were never spectacular, just okay," Mott recalled. "In fact, his workmate from back then is still a maiden. But those early works were four and five furlongs, and he's proven to be the kind of horse who just keeps going and going and gets better the further he goes. The reason his first couple of races were on grass is pretty much the same as when I had Pioneerof the Nile. If you want to start them out around two turns as a baby at Saratoga, the only races that go are on the turf."

Mott said when or where Drosselmeyer would make his stakes debut remained up in the air, although one option is obviously the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth here Feb. 20.

"I've got to talk to the Big E," Mott said with a smile, referring to WinStar's vice president and racing manager Elliott Walden. "They might have three more with Todd for the Fountain of Youth. They'll probably send me to Sunland with this horse."

Mott also was pleased with the performance of the filly Comic Marvel, who finished strongly to post a three-quarter-length triumph in her 3-year-old debut. The victory was the second in as many starts for the Juddmonte homebred who, like Drosselmeyer, is by Distorted Humor.

"She was a little anxious in the gate and it's something we're going to have to work on some more," Mott said. "But she showed up the final quarter-mile and came home pretty well. For only her second start, I thought it was a very good effort."

Mott said the Grade 2 Davona Dale at a mile on Feb. 27 could be an option for Comic Marvel's next start.

Pulsion scratches from allowance

Drosselmeyer's task was made a little bit easier earlier Sunday when his chief rival, Pulsion, was scratched from the race, which was to have been his first start since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

"I took him out to jog around 5:30 and he was coughing," said Pulsion's trainer, Patrick Biancone. "He didn't have a temperature, but I had him scoped and he had a little bit of green mucus. Lucky we found out before rather than after the race."

Biancone said he would now likely just await the Fountain of Youth for Pulsion's 3-year-old debut.

"Naturally, I would have loved to have run and given him a chance to have a race, but it's a long year," Biancone said.

Elusive Warning perfect on U.S. main tracks

Sunday's card also yielded a couple of other significant allowance winners, including Elusive Warning who captured a third-level optional claiming race for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin in just his second start since running at Ascot in July 2008. Elusive Warning, runner-up to Diamond Stripes in the 2008 Godolphin Mile, has now won all three of his main-track starts in the United States.

Donna Getyourgun, a promising daughter of Stormy Atlantic, kicked her 3-year-old campaign off on the right foot when rallying to defeat first-level allowance rivals going six furlongs a little later on the card. Trained by Ian Wilkes, Donna Getyourgun has now won 2 of her 4 starts. She also completed a hat trick on the afternoon for jockey Javier Castellano, who scored earlier victories with Alwaysaconteest for Howie Tesher and Fancy Footsteps for Steve Klesaris.

This Ones for Phil eyes Golden Shaheen

This Ones for Phil received a 108 Beyer Speed Figure for his thrilling victory over a dead-game Pashito the Che in Saturday's Sunshine Millions Sprint. Trainer Rick Dutrow reiterated Monday morning that he'd love to get an invitation to take This Ones for Phil to Dubai for the Golden Shaheen, a race Dutrow won two years ago with Benny the Bull.

Dutrow also said he's eagerly awaiting the opportunity to put Amen Hallelujah on dirt for the first time later this month in the Davona Dale. Amen Hallelujah, who has made all seven career starts over artificial surfaces, is coming off a three-quarter-length victory over Franny Freud in Santa Anita's Grade 2 Santa Ynez. The field that day also included Bickersons, who rebounded with a seven-length victory here Sunday in the Grade 2 Forward Gal.

"I think she'll be better on dirt, judging from her training," Dutrow said of Amen Hallelujah. "She didn't train well in California, she was changing leads and not pushing off right out there, but she couldn't be training any better since she came here and got on the dirt."