Bill Mott has been a widely-known and prestigious trainer in the horse racing business, and has been racing horses since he was 15 back in 1968. He has over 3000 wins with his horses in his career, but over his illustrious career on horse tracks, he had never won any legs of the Triple Crown.
On Saturday at the Belmont Stakes, with jockey Mike Smith atop his project, Drosselmeyer, a 13-1 shot to win the race, got both his trainer and his jockey the victory and finally added a prestigious accomplishment to the two’s resumes.
The win gives Mott his first ever Triple Crown race. Now all he has to do is win the other two. Mott said its kind of funny that the first one he won was the last leg of the three big horse races.
“I said Saturday we’ll work backwards,” he laughed. “We’ll get the Belmont first, then the Preakness, then the Derby last.”
Mott knew he saw good things out of his horse coming into the final leg of the Triple Crown based on his previous races.
“The one thing I know is that he came off a really good workout the week before the Belmont,” Mott said. “He looked good.”
Mott has had success on this track before. His most widely known horse, Cigar, who brought home his first 16 races he raced (including Pimlico and the Breeders Cup) in 1995-1996, won its final race at the Belmont. Before that, Cigar had earned maybe the nation’s biggest prize for a horse, the Eclipse Award for Horse of the Year.
Mott continued, saying that it was just about time for this horse, in this case Drosselmeyer, to have their hard work pay off.
“The timing of everything is so right,” Mott said. “That’s so important in any sporting event, especially horse racing, to make sure the horse is peaking at the right time.”
Mott said that while the horse did have to improve some here and there, they were confident that if the horse could hold with the big boys for the majority of the race, it’s speed down the stretch would put him in the winner’s circle, and it sure did on Saturday.
“He’s a horse that we felt like if he got into the race with a quarter of a mile to go, he’d a factor.”
Another factor turned out to be the winning combination of Drosselmeyer and the jockey, Mike Smith, who is widely regarded as one of the top jockeys in the sport. Mott said a ton of the credit should go to the Smith for bringing the best out of the horse and knowing how to use its talents.
“He’s a good athlete and he’s got a feel for horses,” Mott said of Smith, who also won his first Belmont Stakes race on Saturday. “He’s got a tremendous amount of experience. He’s been at this a long time, and he’s won a lot of races.”
Mott said that just like the horse, Smith was on a hot streak of his own, and combined with his horse’s success, the two could do no wrong together.
” He’s been on a great swing right now…and he’s kind of coming back into his own. He was on a high point, and he’s peaking at the right moment.”
Will we see this triumvirate-Mott, Smith, and Drosselmeyer-try and continue their success at the Belmont soon, or ever again?
Mott says to wait and see. Keep an eye out for them at the Breeder’s Cup.