Updated on 09/17/2011 10:54AM

Sky Mesa makes return. Really.

Sky Mesa, shown after winning last year's Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, will try 1 1/16 miles at Belmont in his first start in 274 days.

ELMONT, N.Y. - The myth that is Sky Mesa will be revealed Sunday at Belmont Park.

Away from the races for 274 days, Sky Mesa makes his 3-year-old debut in Sunday's Grade 2, $150,000 Dwyer Stakes, the East Coast's traditional springboard to the second half of the 3-year-old season. A field of eight was entered for the 1 1/16-mile race, which highlights an 11-race card.

Sky Mesa, who went 3 for 3 last year, including victories in the Grade 1 Hopeful and Grade 2 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, has been on the sidelines since last October. Two days before he was to run in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, Sky Mesa wrenched an ankle and was scratched the morning before the race.

He resumed training in Florida in early January, but following a workout on Feb. 18 at Gulfstream Park, Sky Mesa was diagnosed with a bruised foot. Sky Mesa missed at least three weeks of training and was declared off the Triple Crown trail in mid-March.

Sky Mesa was training at Keeneland for most of the spring before shipping here in late May. He was supposed to run in a seven-furlong allowance race, but the wet weather at Belmont postponed his return.

While Sky Mesa has trained well in recent weeks, trainer John Ward does think it is asking a lot to win at 1 1/16 miles at Belmont Park.

"If we were talking about Monmouth Park or Keeneland I would think he'd be tight enough for the mile and a sixteenth,' Ward said. "On 'Big Sandy,' it's a pretty good feat to ask a horse to come back in a Grade 2 and run a winning race first race over the racetrack off the layoff.'

Sky Mesa does his best racing from off the pace and the Dwyer's pace should be contested with Albaaz and Strong Hope in the field. Both speed horses are coming off impressive allowance wins and make their stakes debut in this spot.

Best Minister has won his last two starts, including a three-length score in the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico on Preakness Day. He was being pointed to the Belmont Stakes, but was not entered when he coughed the morning entries were taken. Though trainer Ken McPeek's stable has not won a race in New York since Feb. 8 - 0 for 27 during that span - Best Minister could end the drought.

Go Rockin Robin won the Peter Pan over this track in May before finishing a troubled fourth in the Leonard Richards at Delaware Park June 14.

Nacheezmo, Private City, and Colita round out the field.