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Belmont Winner Drosselmeyer to Start Season in Feb. 19 Gr. III Mineshaft Handicap
WinStar Farm’s Drosselmeyer, hero of last spring’s Belmont Stakes June 5 but unraced since that victory, is now on schedule to come to New Orleans next week to compete in the Grade III Mineshaft Handicap Feb. 19, according to Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott.
Although the son of Distorted Humor has not raced since the Belmont, his last three works at South Florida’s Payson Park have all been bullet moves, most recently a five-furlong breeze in 1:00.80 over the deep surface at that training center last Sunday.
The Mineshaft ’Cap is Fair Grounds’ final designed major prep for the Grade II New Orleans Handicap as part of the Crescent City oval’s six-stakes race gala racing program on Louisiana Derby Day March 26.
Should Drosselmeyer come to the Mineshaft and win it, he would become the first Belmont Stakes winner to come to New Orleans and win a stakes race here the following winter.
Drosselmeyer, who finished third in last year’s Grade II Louisiana Derby, will be using the Mineshaft as a tune-up for the $10 million Group I Dubai World Cup, run on this year’s Louisiana Derby Day half a world away in the United Arab Emirates.
“I know that the plane bringing Drosselmeyer here is due to leave on (Feb. 16),” said Mike Kaetzel, assistant to the Hall of Fame trainer who is in charge of Mott’s Fair Grounds-based division. “He just wants to get the horse ready for Dubai. As far as I know, (Drosselmeyer) will be Bill’s only horse coming in for any of the stakes races that Saturday.”