Drosselmeyer, the winner of the 2010 Belmont Stakes, exploded down the stretch to overtake Game on Dude to win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic, the richest thoroughbred horse race in North America.
Drosselmeyer, with Mike Smith aboard, crossed the finish line ahead of Game on Dude and third-place Ruler on Ice at Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky.
“The key to this horse is to keep him moving,” Smith told reporters. “If you put on the breaks it messes him up. I knew I was going to wheel out, so I just kept him going. And I was able to save ground on both turns.”
The winner, leaving the gate at 14-1, returned $31.60, $13.20 and $8.80 on a $2 bet. Game on Dude paid $13.60 and $9.20 and Ruler on Ice returned $9.80.
Smith, angling the horse to the middle of the track, started his move down the stretch to overtake Game on Dude, who was ridden by his former fiancée, Chantal Sutherland.
Drosselmeyer covered the 1 1/4 miles in two minutes, 4.27 seconds.
Last year in the Classic, Smith left the track in tears as he rode the defending champion mare Zenyatta to her first career defeat, losing by a neck.
The victory gave trainer Bill Mott a sweep of the classics this year. He won the $2 million Ladies’ Classic with Royal Delta.
“It was an incredible thrill,” Mott said. “We knew he’d get the distance since he had already won the Belmont.”
In the Mile race, three-time winner Goldikova was deprived of a record fourth win by 64-1 longshot Court Vision. She ended her career with a third-place finish. Turallure was second.
“I think the mileage and the years have taken their toll,” said Freddy Head, Goldikova’s trainer. “We had a good run. I’m very, very, very proud.”
Afleet Again, at 41-1, won the Marathon and Hansen defeated favorite Union Rags by a head in the $2 million Juvenile to become the early odds-on favorite in the 2012 Kentucky Derby.
The $26 Million Breeders’ Cup Championship is the richest two-day sporting event in the world.