Belmont Stakes winner Drosselmeyer could be sidelined the remainder of the year due to ankle issues that have prompted his connections to take him out of training, trainer Bill Mott said Sunday.
Drosselmeyer, who as of Sunday was stabled in Saratoga, was expected to ship to WinStar Farm in Kentucky as early as Monday and will likely undergo a bone scan this week, Mott said. WinStar, the operation headed by Bill Casner and Ken Troutt, own Drosselmeyer.
On July 4, Drosselmeyer worked four furlongs in 49.46 seconds at Belmont Park, his first breeze since winning the Belmont Stakes on June 5. Mott said Drosselmeyer came out of the work "moving a little stiff." However, subsequent radiographs did not reveal any fractures, Mott said.
"His ankles were pinching him a little, but the radiographs were negative," said Mott, who was hoping to run Drosselmeyer in the Jim Dandy at Saratoga on July 31."It looks like he's just a little jammed up. If we can't go into a race like the Travers being 100 percent then it's good to give him time now and have him back for late fall or early spring; whenever he's ready."
Mott said it was likely Drosselmeyer would miss the remainder of his 3-year-old season "if we took him out of training for 60 days."
That decision most likely won't be made until after he undergoes the bone scan, Mott said.
Mott said the ankle issues are not related to the foot issues Drosselmeyer incurred in the weeks leading up to the Belmont. Mott had trained Drosselmeyer in bar shoes leading up to the Belmont, but the horse ran the race in regular shoes.
Drosselmeyer, a son of Distorted Humor, was purchased for $600,000 by WinStar Farm. WinStar had hoped to run Drosselmeyer in the Kentucky Derby, but the horse did not have enough graded stakes earnings to make it into the 20-horse field. WinStar won the Derby with Super Saver.
After finishing second to Fly Down in the Dwyer Stakes on May 8 at Belmont, Drosselmeyer turned the tables on that rival in the Belmont, giving the Hall of Fame trainer Mott his first classic victory.
"We think he's a very good horse, we were lucky to have him this spring and to win the Belmont with him," Mott said. "We look forward to running him in major stakes next year. He's a horse we may even consider for the Dubai World Cup."