Drosselmeyer won the Breeder’s Cup Classic as a 15-1 long shot but he really should not have been that much of a surprise. In fact he was very logical for the win.
He entered the Breeders’ Cup Classic with the best Beyer of his career, a 104 for his solid second place finish in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup.
Perhaps because he had never broken 100 Beyer in his 14 race career up to the Jockey Club Gold Cup in which he registered a career high 104 Beyer Speed Figure. In fact, his best number of his career prior to that was a 94 for his Belmont Stakes win. Three times this year he registered 91 Beyer Speed
Figures. Was the 104 a fluke?
As it turns out, this was not the case. He was just peaking late into his four year old season. He gained almost three lengths in the stretch on Flat Out in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, who went off as the favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Classic, so it should not really have been a surprise that he got it done. It turns out that he was a latent talent just waiting for the right moment to show what he could do.
The other reason people may not have been sold on him after his great performance in the Gold Cup is because the race was run over a muddy track, and if a horse has a particular affinity for an off track, sometimes their Beyer’s are inflated beyond what they might normally run on a fast dirt track.
He was the upset winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes at 13-1, after performing respectably but without winning in three Grade 2 Kentucky Derby preps. He came into that race finishing second, albeit a distant 6 length second in the Grade 2 Dwyer with an 87 Beyer Speed Figure, but he came in and closed steadily and prevailed eventually by ¾ of a length.
Winning this year’s Classic is a pretty remarkable achievement for a horse that had only won once this year, and a $60,000 ungraded stakes by a neck margin at that.
It is a shame that after his more glorious victory, he will be retired to stud. Another reminder why our sport is in such distress, as soon as a star is born, it is taken away from us because there is more money to be made at stud than in racing.
On this day he outshone Havre de Grace, Uncle Mo, and Flat Out to victory as jockey Mike Smith got his second Breeders’ Cup Classic win in three years.
So long, Drosselmeyer, we hardly knew ya.
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