After winning a pair of Triple Crown races and sitting atop the owner standings with more than $5.1 million in earnings, besting this year will be quite a challenge for WinStar Farm. But if 2010 was the year of the 3-year-old for WinStar, 2011 may just be the year of the older horse.
The powerful Versailles, Ky., farm is bringing back a quartet of classy older horses next year—Drosselmeyer, Endorsement, Rule, and Well Armed—all of them coming off of injuries. But WinStar racing manger Elliott Walden is excited about all of them as they prepare to embark on their 2011 campaigns.
“This is the first year we are really excited about our older horses,” said Walden. “With the retirement of Blame, Zenyatta, Quality Road, Lookin At Lucky, Super Saver, and Eskendereya, I think there is a real opening in the handicap division. We’re hoping that our horses can be at the top of the class. That’s one of the reasons why we retired Super Saver, because we had these other horses coming back. We didn’t want them stepping on each other.”
Of course, homebred Super Saver got the year rolling for WinStar with his Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) victory in May. Five weeks later Drosselmeyer gave them another Triple Crown score with a 13-1 upset in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I). But before the son of Distorted Humor could make another start he was sidelined by an ankle injury, one that required minor surgery to remove a chip.