10/24/2015 8:25PM

Dortmund returns better than ever in Big Bear

Benoit & Associates
Dortmund could be headed to the Clark Handicap after winning the Big Bear Stakes in his comeback under Martin Garcia.

ARCADIA, Calif. - Dortmund won his first start in more than five months in Saturday’s $75,580 Big Bear Stakes at Santa Anita.

Winning rider Martin Garcia said Dortmund is not the same colt he rode to a victory in the Santa Anita Derby, a third in the Kentucky Derby, and a fourth in the Preakness Stakes in the spring.

“He’s even better,” Garcia said. “He’s more mature and he relaxed more. I’m excited to have him back.”

Dortmund ($2.60) ran a mile in 1:36.42 to win his fifth career stakes in the Big Bear, his first appearance in a non-graded stakes. Trainer Bob Baffert considered the Big Bear as a prep for the $500,000 Clark Handicap at Churchill Downs on Nov. 27.

Dortmund raced near the front throughout the Big Bear. He ran within a half-length of pacesetter Soi Phet through the opening quarter-mile, engaged the leader on the backstretch, and took the lead with a wide move on the turn.

Dortmund led by 1 1/2 lengths with a furlong remaining, and won by 1 3/4 lengths over Point Piper, the winner of the Brubaker Stakes at Del Mar in August. Motown Men, who won the Tiznow Stakes for California-breds here in May, finished third in the field of five, followed by Soi Phet and Mystery Train.

Dortmund was taken out of training following the Preakness Stakes with the goal of allowing the colt to regain weight, Baffert said at the time.

Owned by Kaleem Shah, Dortmund has won 7 of 9 starts and earned $1,622,480. Aside from the Santa Anita Derby and Big Bear Stakes, Dortmund won  the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity, Grade 3 Robert Lewis Stakes,  and Grade 2 San Felipe Stakes.


Donna Hathaway More than 1 year ago
I love this horse, so good to have him back and in good health. Watch out, 2016!
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
After watching it for a 3rd time... Dortmund got paid for "working out." Those are typical Baffert workout times for his better horses. 1:36.5 for a Mile work.
Jack Armstead More than 1 year ago
At least he didn't "tower over" all the other 3 years olds like he did earlier in the year. Seriously, he ran a decent race that he NEEDED. If he is to remain healthy and competitive for a career that lasts until he's 4 or 5, this was the perfect return race. He looks like he needs to still mature and fill out more. His front legs weren't as muscled up as I would've expected, but; that will come with more racing. He did well.
john g More than 1 year ago
This was a good race off a layoff of 5 months for Dortmund. It wasn't like Baffert was going to start him right back in Breeders Cup Classic.I'm glad to see him back racing., and winning.It's good to see any colt return off a layoff in good health. The triple crown especially seems to take it's toll on so many of the horses. many of them you don't hear much from. I haven't seen much on Carpe Diem, Firing Line, International; star, and others. Hopefully we'll see some of them return soon, if their not injured. Congratulations to the connections of Dortmund for a nice comeback win.
Union_Rags More than 1 year ago
Mark More than 1 year ago
"Better than ever"??? He beat a bunch of nobodies today....over bet next race for sure.
frorgF More than 1 year ago
Scott More than 1 year ago
Agreed, he'll be over bet in his next race, but he IS a pretty nice horse. I'm still impressed with the way he's willing to stalk or if he needs to set the pace, then he does that. It's a rare quality to see horses at this level doing that and yet we have two of them that are doing it well this year (American Pharoah being the other horse). He might not have beat anybody in this race, but he's a serious threat in any race from 9F's down and on the right day he could win at 10F's.
mike More than 1 year ago
Mark,are you serious? He hasn't raced in months. What do you want?
Mark More than 1 year ago
I want a realistic assessment of the race...and nothing he did says he is "Better then ever". Working a little to beat a bunch of bums does not prove that to me.
Melann Johnston More than 1 year ago
Mark you are the bum!! You want him to run in the Classic??? He's been out for 5 mos. They won't put him in a huge race, first time back. Think before you post!! Just common sense. These are no $8,000 claimers.
Melann Johnston More than 1 year ago
They want him to be half dead running against horses that have been training and running all year that's what. This was a good race and yes against a lower class of horses but he ran well!!