Breeders’ Cup Classic and Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer has been retired and will go to stud at WinStar Farm in Versailles, Ky.
On the WinStar website, WinStar president and CEO Elliott Walden said it was not an easy decision to retire the 4-year-old son of Distorted Humor, who was 5-5-2 from 16 starts.
The bulk of his $3,728,170 earnings came from the Belmont and Breeders’ Cup Classic. He and A.P. Indy are the only two horses to have won both.
“Drosselmeyer came out of the Classic so good that it gave us cause for pause,” Walden said. “We knew he had what it took to be one of the top older horses in the country, and I think we saw that with how he came to hand in his last two starts. So it made for a difficult decision.
“We took some time to think about all of our options, and we came to the conclusion that it was best for both Drosselmeyer and WinStar Farm to retire him and go out as a Breeders’ Cup Classic champion.”
Trained by Hall of Famer Bill Mott, Drosselmeyer raced at Saratoga Race Course twice, finishing third in his career debut to Sackatoga Stable’s Seattle Mission in 2009 and finishing seventh in the Grade I Sword Dancer this year.
He won the Classic at odds of almost 14-1 and the Belmont at 13-1.
Hall of Famer Mike Smith was in the saddle both times, the only races he ever rode on Drosselmeyer.
Drosselmeyer gave Mott his first win in a Triple Crown race.
“Drosselmeyer has always been a superstar since we saw him as a weanling, and we couldn’t be more proud of him showing up with his best on racing’s biggest day to give WinStar our first Breeders’ Cup Classic win,” Walden said. “During the Triple Crown last year, many analysts thought he gave us the best chance to win the Kentucky Derby.
“We’re thrilled to be able to keep him at WinStar for his stud career. He retires as the most accomplished son of our leading sire Distorted
Humor, and he has the looks to match his pedigree and race
Drosselmeyer is the all-time leading earner for his champion sire Distorted Humor. He’s out of the Grade I-winning mare Golden Ballet.
WinStar purchased Drosselmeyer, bred by Aaron and Marie Jones, for $600,000 as a yearling at the Keeneland September sale.
He will stand at WinStar for a $17,500 fee.
Albany attorney John Hicks led a syndicate that bought a majority interest in Drosselmeyer in the weeks leading up to the Breeders’ Cup.
ASMUSSEN HITS 6,000
Trainer Steve Asmussen recorded the 6,000th win of his training career on Friday night when Basalt took the first race at Remington Park in Oklahoma City.
Asmussen trails Dale Baird (9,445 wins), Jack Van Berg (6,409), King Leatherbury (6,331) and Jerry Hollendorfer (6,056) on the all-time list.
Asmussen turned 46 on Friday and is by far the youngest trainer to reach 6,000 wins.
Eight 3-year-olds are entered in the Grade III Discovery at a mile and an eighth at Aqueduct today.
The 7-5 morning-line favorite is Redeemed, who got up by a head in the Oklahoma Derby on Oct. 16 at Remington Park, defeating graded stakes winners Alternation and Prayer for Relief.
Redeemed entered the Oklahoma Derby, his first start in blinkers, off runner-up efforts behind Caleb’s Posse in the Grade II Amsterdam at Saratoga and to Wilburn in the Smarty Jones at Parx Racing in September.
Caleb’s Posse went on to beat Uncle Mo in the King’s Bishop and win the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
“He’s still learning how to run,” owner Samantha Siegel of Jay Em Ess Stable told the New York Racing Association. “He wasn’t the type who learned how to run early. The blinkers last time probably helped him focus.”
Wood Memorial runner-up Arthur’s Tale, who subsequently was out of racing for over five months before finishing fourth in the Pennsylvania Derby, is the 4-1 third choice for the Discovery.
Raison d’Etat will try to rebound off a ninth in the Travers. He was second in the Curlin at Saratoga.
Sanagas, winner of the John’s Call at Saratoga, is the 2-1 favorite in the Grade I Hollywood Turf Cup at Hollywood Park.
His six rivals include the 6-year-old mare Miss Match, who was ninth in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic.
Grade I Del Mar Futurity winner Drill is the 2-1 favorite in the $1 million Grade III Delta Downs Jackpot off his 10th place in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
DUTROW GETS STAY
Trainer Rick Dutrow Jr. received a stay on Wednesday of a 10-year suspension handed down last month by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board that will likely remain in force until his appeal of the board’s decision is resolved.
Dutrow will be allowed to train while his appeal remains unresolved, which could be 6-12 months, based on previous cases of this type.
The NYSRWB banned Dutrow for 10 years on Oct. 12, citing Dutrow’s long history of violations.
Trainer Rick Violette has been re-elected president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA).
Violette has served on the
NYTHA board of directors and its predecessor for more than two decades.
He is widely recognized for his work in leading NYTHA through the bankruptcy and reorganization of NYRA; negotiating the horsemen’s share of VLT revenues and anticipated backstretch improvements at the NYRA tracks; the reorganization and strengthening of the Backstretch Employees Service Team program; and acquiring state-of-the-art equipment for the New York Drug Testing and Research Program.
He was the first NYTHA director elected to the NYRA Board, is president of the national Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Associations Inc. and is chairman of the New York Jockey Injury Compensation Fund.
Owners re-elected to three-year terms are Mike Shanley (first vice president) of Albany, William Terrill, William Discala and Steve Zorn.
Joining the board is long-time owner Herb Oster. Trainers re-elected to three-year terms were Pat Kelly (second vice president), Kiaran McLaughlin, Linda Rice and David Donk. Joining the board is long time trainer Richard Schosberg.
NYTHA is the recognized horsemen’s organization for horsemen who race at Belmont, Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course. NYTHA has in excess of 5,000 members.
‘RAPID’ GOES FOR 20
Rapid Redux will go for his 20th straight win in an attempt to set a modern record for most consecutive victories on Monday at Mountaineer Park in Chester, W.Va.
The 5-year-old gelding is entered in the eighth race on the card.
Rapid Redux earned his 19th victory by 23⁄4 lengths on Oct. 27 at Laurel Park, tying Horse of the Year Zenyatta and New Mexico-bred standout Peppers Pride for the modern record for consecutive wins.
Rapid Redux is trained by
David Wells and will be ridden by Deshawn Parker, who last rode the gelding in a win on July 15 at Mountaineer.
NBC DERBY PREPS
NBC Sports Group will broadcast a series of six Kentucky Derby preps over the course of four weeks next spring.
The series will be highlighted by a 90-minute live broadcast on NBC of the Wood Memorial at Aqueduct and Santa Anita Derby on April 7.
The other four Derby preps to be shown will be the Vinery Spiral from Turfway Park on March 24, the Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park on March 31 and the Blue Grass from Keeneland and Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park on April 14.
The Spiral and Florida Derby will be shown on NBC Sports Network (the new name for Versus as of
Jan. 2), and the Blue Grass and Arkansas Derby will be shown on CNBC.
AROUND THE TRACKS
Inherit the Gold, bred and trained by Jim Hooper of Fort Edward, won the New York Stallion Series Stakes at Aqueduct on Sunday in his second start after a five-month layoff.
He was seventh in the Empire Classic in October.
“Just super courageous, like every other time,” Hooper said. “Really, he’s an incredible horse. I thought he was so wide I didn’t think he could possibly get the job done out there. He didn’t break very well, but Johnny [Velazquez] actually got him over great.
“Of course it scares you when you come off a race like the first one, but I figured maybe that was just me. We really asked him to do the impossible, and he showed today that if you do right by him, he’s going to be fine. I’m ecstatic.” . . .
Multiple Grade I winner Giant Oak suffered a hind-end injury during a training accident on Thursday at Hawthorne, which will knock him out of consideration for the next Friday’s Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs.
He was supposed to race at 5 next year, but the injury could force him into retirement.
Giant Oak was hurt when a Dale Bennett-trained horse spooked from something on the clubhouse turn, darting from the outside rail into the path of Giant Oak in the middle of the track. . . .
Jockey John Davila Jr. won his 3,000th race on Monday when he guided Royal Vessel to victory in the eighth race at Finger Lakes.
HERE AND THERE
The three-time Grade I winner Vineyard Haven, unraced this year, has been retired to stud and will stand his first season in 2012 at Journeyman Stud in Ocala, Fla.
Five of his 12 career starts came in stakes at Saratoga.
After finishing third in the Sanford, Vineyard Haven won the Grade I Hopeful in 2008, then finished first in the Grade I King’s Bishop as a 3-year-old, only to be disqualified and placed second for bothering Capt. Candyman Can in the stretch.
Last year, he won the James Marvin before finishing third in the Forego. . . .
To the surprise of no one, the undefeated 3-year-old colt Frankel won the Cartier Horse of the Year for 2011 as the European year-end championships were announced this week.
Frankel went 5-for-5 this year and also won the 3-year-old divisional championship.
Bred and owned by Juddmonte Farms and trained by Henry Cecil, Frankel is expected to stretch out to classic distances next year at 4. . . .
Trainer Graham Motion will be honored with the Big Sport of Turfdom Award from the Turf Publicists of America.
According to the TPA, the annual honor is “bestowed upon a person or group of people who enhance coverage of Thoroughbred racing through cooperation with media and Thoroughbred racing publicists.”
“I’m flattered by the award,” Motion said. “I’ve always felt strongly about making yourself available, and we need as much cooperation in the game as possible, whether it’s with the racetrack, the media or the fans.”
The Big Sport of Turfdom Award will be presented at the Race Track Industry Program Awards luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 6 as part of the 2011 Symposium on Racing & Gaming presented by the University of Arizona.
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