02/14/2011 2:32PM

Drosselmeyer's return delayed by illness

Barbara D. Livingston
Drosselmeyer, Mike Smith up, wins the Belmont,

NEW ORLEANS - Drosselmeyer's 4-year-old debut will be delayed while the horse recovers from a minor virus that infected him last week. The illness will prevent Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes, from shipping from trainer Bill Mott's Payson Park base in Florida to Fair Grounds for Saturday's Mineshaft Handicap, as had been planned.

"He's better," Mott said Monday. "Just a little virus, I suppose."

Drosselmeyer has not yet resumed training, and Mott said no specific race was yet being targeted for Drosselmeyer's comeback.

"You've got to wait on him," said Mott. "When he's better and back on the track and breezing, then we can start to make decisions."

Drosselmeyer has not raced since winning the Belmont last June. His connections intended to use the Mineshaft as a possible springboard to the Dubai World Cup.