Updated on 03/11/2015 9:48AM

Dortmund remains perfect in San Felipe

Benoit & Associates
Dortmund is now 5 for 5 after his front-running win under Martin Garcia in the San Felipe.

ARCADIA, Calif .- In his first couple of races, Dortmund wanted to run over horses, he was so headstrong. And, considering how big he is, he might have come close to leaping over them if he wanted. But in his recent races, and through a series of workouts, trainer Bob Baffert and jockey Martin Garcia have taught him to relax, even if he’s on the lead, and the results of that labor were on full display Saturday.

Dortmund made the top in the Grade 2, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita, but he was sensible about what lay ahead, and he was perfectly fine going at a steady clip on the front end. When it was time to go in earnest, he responded, turning back a bid from Bolo in upper stretch and another from Prospect Park in deep stretch to win this major 3-year-old prep for both the April 4 Santa Anita Derby and May 2 Kentucky Derby.

:: ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: Prep races, point standings, replays

 Dortmund – a son of Derby winner Big Brown -- also picked up 50 points for first under the system used by Churchill Downs to determine the Kentucky Derby field. That’s enough to guarantee a spot in the field, and he has earned it, having scored 10 points previously in both the Los Alamitos Futurity and Robert Lewis Stakes, giving him a total of 70. He is unbeaten in five starts. He is the best prospect to have raced on the West Coast this year.

 After setting fractions of 23.12 seconds for the opening quarter, 46.98 for a half-mile, and 1:11.30 for six furlongs, Dortmund threw a 24.21 fourth quarter at his rivals, then completed 1 1/16 miles on the fast main track in 1:41.65. He won by 1 1/4 lengths over Prospect Park, who caught Bolo late to finish second by a half-length.

 Lord Nelson was fourth and was followed, in order, by The Gomper, Pulmarack, Pain and Misery, Ocho Ocho Ocho, Sir Samson, and Kenjisstorm.

 Dortmund paid $3.60. He has been favored in all of his starts, and been odds-on in his last four.

“I didn’t plan to be on the lead,” Garcia said. “The plan with him is just to have him in a place where he’s happy. You don’t want to be sending, or taking him back. Just let him be happy.”

 Prospect Park, making his stakes debut, was “full of run at the end,” said his rider, Kent Desormeaux.

 “I had to throw the air brakes on him on the first turn,” Desormeaux said. “I had to thread the needle at the quarter pole. He flew home. I think the team accomplished a lot. This is what he’s going to face in the kinds of races he’s going to run in from this point.”

 Both Dortmund and Prospect Park are likely to meet again in the Santa Anita Derby in four weeks. After Dortmund won the Lewis, Baffert’s initial thought was to bypass the San Felipe and simply await the Santa Anita Derby. But Dortmund’s size mattered. A small, slight horse might not have recovered quickly, but he did, so Baffert trusted his instincts and ran in the San Felipe.

 “After his last race, the light bulb went on,” said Baffert, who trains Dortmund for Kaleem Shah. “Before that, it was flickering.”

Jack Nichols More than 1 year ago
Best horse in the race didn't win......
YYZ More than 1 year ago
Garcia will have to pick between American Pharoah and Dortmund. What a problem to have on the first Saturday in May....:)
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Espinoza rides AP.
StockPicker More than 1 year ago
Dortmund best horse I have seen to date. Major player for the Derby
YYZ More than 1 year ago
You may want to watch the Rebel. Your impressions will change in the blink of an eye.
Walter More than 1 year ago
The San Felipe was a tough Derby prep and in my opinion it was the deepest prep so far. Some nice horses will develop out of this race. It seems that Dortmund is just a big baby and still learning. Look out for the day when he puts it all together. I think that day is the first Saturday in May!
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
Didn't Pletcher had another royally bred high price colt named Green Monkey?Wonder what happened to him?
Walter More than 1 year ago
Green Monkey was allegedly pumped to the limit w steroids which made him totally ripped and he sold for around 16 million. I guess he deflated pretty badly when the roids wore off. I remember he couldn't break his maiden after a few tries at Hol. I think he is a minor sire in FL currently.
YYZ More than 1 year ago
He never won a race. He stands for 5 grand at Hartley/De Renzo thoroughbreds in Kentucky. Way to blow through 16 Million bucks, huh?
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
That's alot of babies he have to make to recoup the 16 mil.
Brad Cohen More than 1 year ago
The only race that will really matter this spring will be 03/28 when Khozan delivers a shocking 10 length winning hand-ride performance in the Florida Derby. This horse is a $1M purchase and is best bred 3-year old east of the Mississippi. Watch this one and how easy he strides out to victory.
Chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Ray Sousa More than 1 year ago
news flash..KHOSAN is off the derby trail..so just extrapolate that the fl derby is off the table too.
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
good thing you added in that second part lol idk if he would have understood
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Nice horse, but your theory is out the window. Maybe he will be back to win the Travers?
Jamie Murphy More than 1 year ago
exactly who I want giving me advice, someone whos been under a rock for the past week, who knows, maybe longer!
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Tommy - You crack me up! You're the guy who never makes things dull. Ugly horses? You calling God's creatures ugly? Buddy, you don't fear Karma I see. LOL
tommy More than 1 year ago
If I'm not here to crack you up, then who will do it??? Yes, I can call gods creatures ugly and when I die, I will confront him on all the flaws in this world!! But all I know, if I was a god, this world won't be so messed up. I would rather be dead and not exist than to serve a god like this!!
Jim Fields More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry Jim, this horse might turn into a superstar at some point, but he has no shot in the Derby. There's over 100 years of evidence against him. You MUST race at 2 and preferrably a few times.
flash gordon More than 1 year ago
I always think the next horse to win triple crown will be trained by Baffert.Silver Charm,Real Quiet,War Emblem came close and not to mention Point Given who was the best of them all.Maybe this be the one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It's easy to be a naysayer and I do like the look of Dortmund, but it's worth noting that Mr. Baffert hasn't won the Kentucky Derby since 2002 and his last TC race win was in the Preakness in 2010. The final note that makes me be a naysayer on him is that he has only managed a victory in the Belmont one time 2001 (and that came with super freak Point Given). My guess is that we'll see a Triple Crown at some point, but it will likely be a small barn trainer (read Art Sherman type or even a Doug O'Neill: good trainers that strike the gold pot once in a blue moon). Ultimately, I don't care who does it though, I just want to see it...I started watching horse racing in 1979! Talk about missing out!
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
He's due.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Who picks out horses for Baffert? I know he does some of his own buying. A huge kudos goes out to the "eyes" for the Baffert barn. Hit after hit after hit!
tommy More than 1 year ago
Baffert has ugly horses!!! I light a light brown or brownish red horse!!
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
You're an idiot. Perhaps even an ugly hater.
Gary Peacock More than 1 year ago
Roman Ruler was one of the handsomest horses ever.