WinStar Farm's Drosselmeyer, winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes, continued his preparations for the Breeders' Cup Classic by working five furlongs in company with Breeders' Cup Marathon candidate Birdrun at Churchill Downs on Saturday. The Bill Mott duo took to the fast main track after the morning renovation break, and each clocked 1:01 1/5.
Working to the outside of Birdrun with Rodolphe Brisset up, Drosselmeyer put up fractions of :25 and :36 4/5 and galloped out six furlongs in 1:14 2/5 as the tandem worked on even terms. Larry Melancon was on Birdrun, who is owned by Preston Stables. The moves were the fourth fastest of 51 at the distance over a track rated as fast.
"I liked both of their works," said Mott, who plans to work Breeders' Cup hopefuls Royal Delta (Ladies' Classic) and To Honor and Serve (Classic) on Sunday morning.
On hand to watch the work was Elliott Walden, president, CEO and racing manager for WinStar.
"I was really pleased with the work and he is as good as he can be," Walden said. "It looked like he was all over the workmate."
Runner-up to Flat Out in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup on October 1 in his most recent start, Drosselmeyer broke his maiden at Churchill Downs in November 2009, but has not trained here since that meet. His work Saturday was his second since the Jockey Club Gold Cup, with the first being a half-mile bullet breeze of :47 3/5 beneath the Twin Spires last Saturday.
After initially giving the Breeders' Cup Marathon some consideration, it is full speed ahead to the Classic for Drosselmeyer.
"He's a Belmont winner and the Marathon does not matter for him," Walden said. "He has had two good works here and is coming out of a good race. He deserves a chance at the Classic and the mile and a quarter suits him fine."
Walden said that Mike Smith, who rode Drosselmeyer to victory in the Belmont Stakes, would have the Classic mount.
In addition to Birdrun, one other Breeders' Cup Marathon hopeful worked at Churchill Saturday morning: Don Benge's A.U. Miner. With exercise rider Georgina Baxter up after the renovation break, A.U. Miner worked five furlongs in 1:03 3/5 on his own in fractions of :12 4/5, :25 and :37 1/5 and out six furlongs in 1:18 2/5.
"That was just a maintenance move this morning," trainer Clark Hanna said. "He will come back next Saturday with some company."
A.U. Miner successfully defended his title in the Greenwood Cup two back, only to be disqualified for a positive post-race test. He was most recently fifth in the Jockey Club Gold Cup.