Updated on 12/23/2014 2:26PM

Dortmund wins three-horse photo in Los Alamitos Futurity

Benoit & Associates
Dortmund (3), with Martin Garcia aboard, narrowly beats Firing Line and Mr. Z in the Los Alamitos Futurity.

CYPRESS, Calif. - Dortmund remained unbeaten and prevailed in both his stakes debut and his first start around two turns in the Grade 1, $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity on Saturday, but it wasn’t easy, for both Firing Line and Mr. Z made him work for it in one of the most dramatic and exciting races of the year.

 Dortmund looked like a cinch with three furlongs to run after sitting behind the dueling leaders, but neither Firing Line nor Mr. Z was ready to pack it in, and it look the length of the elongated stretch for Dortmund ($3.20), the favorite, to get up and beat Firing Line by a head, with Mr. Z just a nose farther back in third.

 Those three were 8 1/4 lengths clear of Bench Warrant, with No Problem last in the field of five. Dortmund was timed in 1:40.86, which is a track record for 1 1/16 miles, though there have been few races at that distance in this, the first year of two-turn Thoroughbred racing at Los Alamitos.

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

 Bob Baffert, who trains Dortmund, said he was “holding his breath” down the stretch.

“I wasn’t sure how he would handle the turns here,” Baffert said of Dortmund, who is nearly 17 hands tall. With his size and chestnut-colored coat, he is very reminiscent of the former Baffert runner Point Given, who won this important race for 2-year-olds at Hollywood Park in 2000 and the following year won both the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes.

 “He’s a big horse, but he’s got a good mind,” Baffert said. “He’s big enough to be a handful if he wanted to be.”

 As with Point Given, Baffert said the strategy with Dortmund is to “let him break, let him gather himself, and he’ll take you there.”

 Dortmund, starting from post 3, broke sharply, and was right with Mr. Z and Firing Line for the first eighth of a mile before jockey Martin Garcia was able to let him fall into a perfect stalking position behind Mr. Z and Firing Line as the runners went around the first turn.

 Dortmund got a bit eager heading into the backstretch, but remained in third as the leaders clicked off fractions of 21.98 seconds for the opening quarter-mile, 45.29 seconds for a half-mile, and 1:09.64 for six furlongs.

 Dortmund loomed up outside those two at the top of the stretch, and they were three abreast for most of the stretch, with Dortmund gradually getting up in the shadow of the wire.

 Firing Line was between horses down the stretch. His rider, Rafael Bejarano, said he was bumped repeatedly by Mr. Z, who was trying to lug out the final six furlongs of the race.

 “It probably cost me the race,” Bejarano said.

 Mike Smith, aboard Mr. Z, said his left arm was sore after the race from trying to keep Mr. Z from lugging out badly.

 “I could have wiped those guys out next to me,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had to pull that hard.”

 Dortmund’s career began on Nov. 2, when he beat maidens sprinting at Santa Anita. He followed that up with a victory in a one-turn mile in an allowance race on Nov. 29 at Churchill Downs, a race Baffert chose to both prep him for the Los Alamitos Futurity and to get him used to the dirt at Churchill Downs, where the Kentucky Derby will be run May 2.

 The Los Alamitos Futurity was just three weeks after the Churchill race. Dortmund has been asked to do a lot in a short amount of time, and though this margin was razor thin, he has passed every test.

The win was worth 10 points on the system used by Churchill Downs to determine the field for the Kentucky Derby should more than the maximum 20 runners enter.

Dortmund earned $300,000 for the win. He is the second major stakes winner in the past two months for the team of Baffert, Garcia, and owner Kaleem Shah, who captured the Breeders’ Cup Classic with Bayern.







tommy More than 1 year ago
Capo capo what's your email?? My e-mail is checkedup1@yahoo.com Email me, would love to talk on which horses you think are good for big races. I am a very good handicapper and also an exercise physiologist so right here you can tell I specialize in rehabilitation, performance enhancement, and stress testing. Don't you think my professor who won 25 year world champion coaching Olympics and is in hall of fame knows something about running??
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Can I have some of those Bath salts your taking?. Email me at youranut@gmail.com
Joel Firsching More than 1 year ago
Dortmund sat behind a speed duel going 45.20 and ran one lane wider in the stretch where there was a 10 length quicksand. Wow, get a rope. Baffert never sends his juveniles to churchill. Really ?? Lord nelson took the same plane as dortmund and lost in the featured kentucky jockey club. That was on the same day. Have you ever heard of exploit, captain steve or real quiet ?? They also ran in that churchill race. Remember big brown only had one race as a two year old. He won by 11 lengths without lasix at saratoga. You dont see turf races won by that margin very often. Pat reynolds trained him.
Alex More than 1 year ago
Baffert is being silly. Point Given was a Thunder Gulch out of a Turkoman mare.. Dortmund is a Big Brown out of a sprinting Tale of the Cat mare.. It just will not happen, the longer he goes the more his run will be diluted.
Brian Shaw More than 1 year ago
That's what people said about Big Brown or California Chrome and a many great other number of horses. When you are that good it does not matter. Dortmund also has Lakeville Miss in his pedigree, who won a Grade 1 at 12F.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Wow!!! Nobody will know who actually won??? I'm surprised there was no dead heat!! I thought I saw the number 5 horses tongue sticking out so maybe he should of won. Anyway, regardless who won, this group is a weak field compared to other top 2 year olds like American pharaoh, Texas red, carpe diem, up start !!
tommy More than 1 year ago
Forget to mention horse of horse year for 2 year olds will go to american pharaoh, Texas red, carpe diem ! Not mr z, Dortmund
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Don't forget Daredevil, and a quiet horse lurking named Eagle.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Yea eagle is a good horse with a bad jockey. My boy el kabeir beat him but I lost the race because I did a heavy exacta with eagle 2nd. Eagle needs a better jockey and longer distance to be effective!! Eagle is decent at 1 1/6 but will be better suited between 1 1/8 - 1 1/4
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Agreed about Eagle. El Kabier ran a huge one, but I see him in the Swale, and races like that. I don't think he will like further then 8.5f.
tommy More than 1 year ago
The horse will do anything and go to whatever distance it is capable as long as the trainer trains him properly to prepare for that race. A lot of knowledge goes into that and over 99 percent of trainers lack that type of education!
Brian Shaw More than 1 year ago
"Stuck his tongue out"... what? Look a the photo finish, Dortmund had a clear full head in front at the wire.
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
capo, anyone that watches any of the races on the wst coast would know how much BTL this effort really was. east coast biased writers and fans have been whining for years about santa anita being an inside, speed biased track. but it is nothing compared to los alamitos. trying to close more then 3 lanes off the rail in the stretch there is next to impossible. its like running in quick sand. now as a handicapper, i dont mind it. as long as you know this, you learn to adjust and play inside speed or horses that you think will get the right trip. but talent wise and assessing talent wise, you have to take this into consideration when playing them back the next time. at first it may appear that he got the deck trip, stalking the pace. but in actuality, he ran much BTL overcoming the track bias to still get up. this is a real horse here. if these 3 come back at any other track next time, Dortmund would beat MR. Z by 10 lengths. now will he mature with age? that is the question. will he learn to relax and not get rank? who knows. not all do. some just appear to have more talent then they do. but he definately has shown more then anyone else thus far except for possibly American pharoh. anyone who dissmisses him is either just a baffert hater or not very bright.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Very interesting observations about Los Al's track. Thank you
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
I understood the bias. I don't need it explained. I still don't believe he will be a Derby horse. But thanks for labeling me either ignorant, or a baffert hater.
Dee R. Eff More than 1 year ago
West coast fans seem to be very sensitive these days.
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
When will the east vs west BS end?
jim More than 1 year ago
I don't have any feelings about Baffert, other than he is a great trainer and he uses every trick in the book to win races including Bayern in the classic, but even with the bias you claim to have insight regarding Los Al, I think Dorty will have distance limitations on any track and Bobby boy will be looking for the Pharoah to win the classics next spring. IMHO, and you are right, I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I will bet I have won more races than you.
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
Forget him Jim. I think Dortmund is a nice horse, just not a derby horse. Bob knows the Classic with Bayern was one off, and will have his handed to him on a platter by the other West coast stars in the Big cap. But Bob will skip the match up to run vs inferior dirt horses in Dubai. Better to run vs Lingfield all weather horses then Real dirst horses waiting in California named Shared Belief, Chrome, possibly even Toast Of New York if osbourne ships in.
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
off topic but meh. That is Bob.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Bayern will not be he speed of the speed in Dubai! They got there own tripple crown winners than run 7 furlongs @ 1:19 running with 132 lbs !! They gave Bayern 126 lbs at the travers and he was last and just walked off the track
Walter More than 1 year ago
Very nice learning experience for a very inexperienced horse. Not easy to go by Mr Z since Z had so many two turn races under his belt. I look forward to seeing how this guy develops.
tommy More than 1 year ago
Mr Z did not even get 4th in the breeders cup. If you can come at least 4 in a superfica in a grade 1 race, he is not considered a top horse
D R W More than 1 year ago
Mr Z 1 for 8, Neck/Nose and Head from stakes glory and heavy travelled
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
This is no Derby horse. None of these horses will be in the gate in May.
joe d More than 1 year ago
never discount lukas, the man has a plan when it comes to big races,especially the derby!!! the last couple of years he has been getting some good horses. hes not pletcher,meaning he doesnt have strength in numbers.i know its a long time ago but CHARISMATIC ran quite a few times and in graded stakes as two year old,didnt quite get there until derby day at 34-1!!!!
tommy More than 1 year ago
You are wrong!! These horses will qualify for the kentucky derby and I want them to!! The reason is these horses will not even come at least 4th in the kentucky derby!! All these horses will be out of the superfecta which will make it a lot easier for me to hit. My boys are American pharaoh, Texas red, carpe diem, up start who actually won top 3 in breeders cup GRADE 1 not grade 5 like this race is. I don't know how people say this race was bigger than a breeders cup
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
We have our opinions, lets leave it at that.
tommy More than 1 year ago
lol we'll technically we agree that these horses are garbage and won't mAke top 4 in kentucky derby
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Tommy - Shall I send my horses to you to train? You should like you know the real deal when you see one! :-)
tommy More than 1 year ago
I will love to train your horses for free!! Although I will require a percentage after each race the horse wins!!! After all I am one of the top exercise physiologist!! Also I had the best college professors and completed the best research studies in exercise performance enhancement and rehabilitation! Anyway I'm going to get my trainers license and then I can just buy a horse, train him, and then win big races!!
NastyNate0123 More than 1 year ago
Hey Tommy, nice predictions...who hit the board in the Derby and Preakness?
Steve More than 1 year ago
A little early to be making a prediction like that. I don't think it was Dortmund's best day, but he does have a lot of talent, his first two races were impressive. This race came up a bit too soon considering his trip to Kentucky, but Baffert wasn't going to pass up a chance for this much money with a weak field. At least we know he likes the Churchill Downs track, so if he's healthy he probably runs in the Ky Derby
tommy More than 1 year ago
Dortmund ran terrible in Churchill downs!! He won a weak field with a poor racing time!! He did not even come close to track record. Also at least my other boy ran at Churchill downs the same day in a bigger race and won and actually got 10 kentucky derby points for it!
tommy More than 1 year ago
El kabier !!
Jesus Arrizon More than 1 year ago
And all three made it to the Derby and two of them were 2nd and 3rd. Making predictions so far ahead can make you look bad, very bad!!!!!!!! Don't you think?
Quite a More than 1 year ago
Big race for the colt going two turns the first time. Who knows what toll this race took out of him..
Tom Gaeta More than 1 year ago
Dortmund has some maturing to do. I was surprised he had such a tough time getting past the other two after they battled one another the entire race. All three in that photo are in the hunt for the Derby I think.
Meydan Rocks More than 1 year ago
Firing Line and Mr Z aren't exactly chopped liver. Lucas has Mr Z PRIMED!!! Take Charge Brandi's win was no fluke either. Dortmund was rank on the other side of the track. You can see Garcia pulling him up when he ran up on Z and Firing Line. These 3 horses have bright stars in their collective future.
Capo Capo More than 1 year ago
The dams side will be his Achilles heel. He will be a miler once they realize he wont run 10 furlongs. Wait for the preps to stretch out in distance.