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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Mott: Drosselmeyer Looking for A Piece of the Pie, Says Birdrun Has 'Done It the Hard Way'

10/29/2011

Drosselmeyer, the winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes and a contender for next week’s Classic, and Birdrun, bound for the Marathon, left trainer Bill Mott smiling after they worked in company today.

Drosselmeyer started a length back of Birdrun and finished even with his regular workmate at the end of their five-furling drill over fast track.  Churchill Downs clockers timed Drosselmeyer 1:01.00, while Birdrun was given a final time of 1:01.20.

Fractional times for Drosselmeyer were :12.60, :24.80 and :36.60, and the son of Distorted Humor galloped out six furlongs in 1:14.20.

Drosselmeyer and Birdrun have worked together over the Churchill Downs main track over the past three Saturdays, and Mott – the all-time win leader among trainers at Churchill Downs – said he liked what he saw from both horses in today’s move.

“I asked the boys to just go a tick slower than they did last week, and last week they went in 1:01,” Mott said.  “It was a very similar work today and they galloped out very good.  Maybe they didn’t gallop out as fast (as last week), but they were both moving well and they were both doing it on the bridle.

“Drosselmeyer was up in the bit when he got to the hip of Birdrun.  He grabbed onto the bit and looked like he was energetic and willing to go, and the rider was very happy with him.”

The 4-year-old son of Distorted Humor finished second to Classic contender Flat Out in his most recent start in the Grade I Jockey Club Gold Cup. He has only one victory in six races since his Belmont Stakes triumph that provided Mott with his first victory in a Triple Crown classic.  

But the first of Drosselmeyer’s four career victories was a six-length score in a maiden race at Churchill Downs in the fall of his 2-year-old season.  That race is Drosselmeyer’s only start at the Louisville track.

“It doesn’t hurt anything,” Mott said.  “It’s better than knowing he doesn’t like the track.  He’s had a lot of races since then and in-between, but he’s worked well enough over the track and, with all things being equal, I guess maybe we’re in for a big piece of it.  He’s working well, he’ll come running and he gets the distance – there’s no question about that.  So we’re optimistic that he’s doing well enough that we can get a piece of the pie.”

Mott feels Birdrun, who won the Grade II Suburban (GII) at Belmont Park and has split a pair of races with Drosselmeyer this year, should be a major player in the 1 3/4-mile Marathon.

“You’ve gotta love him,” Mott said.  “He’s a barn favorite and he’s worked his way up through the ranks.  He’s kind of done it the hard way, and he’s proven that he gets a mile and a half, anyway, and he actually beat Drosselmeyer at a mile and a half earlier in the year.

“He’s a horse that fits.  We’ve got some new shooters coming from over-the-pond that haven’t displayed form on the dirt, but they’re obviously good stayers.  So I guess with them it’s just a matter of whether or not they handle the dirt as well as we do.  There’s a good horse in there called A.U. Miner that beat us last time in Philadelphia.  So it’ll be a good, competitive race, but we’re anxious to watch Birdrun run his race.”

Mott has three more horses on his Breeders’ Cup team, and two of those--To Honor and Serve (Classic) and Royal Delta (Ladies’ Classic) are set work in Mott’s early Sunday training sets after the track opens at 6:00 a.m. ET.  

His fifth Breeders’ Cup hope, Courageous Cat, will work on the turf either Sunday or Monday.

--Edited Churchill Downs release

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