05/07/2010 12:00AM

Drosselmeyer may be a cut above

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Barbara D. Livingston
Drosselmeyer could end up using the Dwyer on Saturday as a prep for the Belmont.

ELMONT, N.Y. - Kent Desormeaux says Drosselmeyer seems to get five lengths faster from race to race. If that assessment is correct and the trend continues, Drosselmeyer should easily handle his six rivals in Saturday's Grade 2, $200,000 Dwyer Stakes at Belmont Park.

Traditionally run in July, the Dwyer has been moved to Saturday and replaces the Peter Pan as the local prep for the $1 million Belmont Stakes, the third leg of the Triple Crown, to be run here June 5.

Part of the powerful WinStar Farm band of 3-year-olds - one that includes Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver - Drosselmeyer comes out of a third-place finish in the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby on March 27. He encountered some traffic in the race, and a hole failed to open for Desormeaux, who was attempting to rally his colt along the rail.

"If I get through I think I would have been a galloping winner," Desormeaux said Thursday. "He's a big, strapping colt, he was coming with momentum. I had to slow him down, and as soon as I slowed him down the race's running began. It was like stop and start, and I pretty much confused him. That wasn't one of my better drives."

Drosselmeyer's connections opted not to run him in another prep race and instead came up with the plan to run in the Dwyer and the Belmont. Of course, if Super Saver wins the Preakness, the management team at WinStar may opt to keep Drosselmeyer out of the Belmont, much to the chagrin of the colt's trainer, Bill Mott.

"I'm hoping for a good race in the Dwyer and a chance to run back in the Belmont," Mott said.

Soaring Empire won 2 of his first 3 starts but had all kinds of trouble when he finished eighth in the Florida Derby. Trainer Cam Gambolati said the colt acted up before the race and grabbed a quarter, or stepped on himself, before loading in the gate. Then he got bumped at the start and squeezed in the stretch.

"It wasn't his day," Gambolati said. "Hopefully, it's a blessing in disguise. He wasn't ready for the [Kentucky] Derby. This looks like a perfect spot to see how good he is."

Trainer Nick Zito ships in Fly Down off a troubled ninth-place finish in the Louisiana Derby. He fired a bullet work at Churchill on Monday. Jose Lezcano rides from post 7.

Turf Melody, Carnivore, Remand, and Codoy complete the field.