UNDEFEATED DORTMUND HEADS FIELD IN SATURDAYâ€™S GRADE I, $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA DERBY;
PROSPECT PARK, BOLO & ONE LUCKY DANE ALL FIGURE PROMINENTLY IN 78TH RUNNING OF PREMIER 3-YEAR-OLD SHOWCASE AT 1 1/8 MILES
170 KENTUCKY DERBY QUALIFYING POINTS UP FOR GRABS AS â€˜RUN FOR THE ROSESâ€™ LOOMS MAY 2
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2015)â€”Kaleem Shahâ€™s undefeated Dortmund heads a field of six in Saturdayâ€™s Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, to be run at 1 1/8 miles. Trained by Bob Baffert, Dortmund comes off a 1 Â¼ length win in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Felipe Stakes on March 7, thus stamping himself as one of Americaâ€™s elite Kentucky Derby candidates.
A chestnut colt by 2008 Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown, Dortmund showed tremendous courage in winning head photos in both the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 20 and the Grade III Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Feb. 7 and has many racing observers believing that his best is yet to come.
Favored in all five starts, Dortmund has been the odds-on choice in his last four races and has been ridden throughout by Martin Garcia. An imposing sight at 17 hands, Dortmund took the San Felipe in gate to wire fashion and appears on the improve for Baffert, who seeks a record seventh win in the West Coastâ€™s premier Kentucky Derby prep.
With 170 Kentucky Derby qualifying points at stake (100 to the winner, 40 to second, 20 to third and 10 to the fourth place finisher), hereâ€™s a snapshot look at the field for Saturdayâ€™s Santa Anita Derby:
--DORTMUND Along with stablemate, American Pharoah, Dortmund is considered the number one or two seed in the run-up to this yearâ€™s Kentucky Derby. A runaway first-out maiden winner going 6 Â½ furlongs at Santa Anita Nov. 2, he made his next start going a one turn mile at Churchill Downs on Nov. 29, where he demolished a 12-horse allowance field by 7 Â¾ lengths, covering the distance in 1:35.60.
--PROSPECT PARK Although he didnâ€™t break his maiden until his fourth start, on Dec. 27 at Santa Anita, this Kentucky-bred colt by Tapit is making up for lost time, as he followed a 5 Â¼ length one mile allowance score on Jan. 30 with a huge second, beaten just 1 Â¼ lengths, by Dortmund in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes March 7. â€œThey won the battle, but weâ€™ll win the war,â€ is how jockey Kent Desormeaux described Prospect Parkâ€™s San Felipe. Owned and bred by Pam and Martin Wygod and trained by Clifford Sise, Prospect Park earned a career-best 102 Beyer Speed figure in the San Felipe and has left many observers feeling there could be even better things to come in the Santa Anita Derby. Out of the Bertrando mare, Quiet Romance, Prospect Park is 6-2-2-1, with earnings of $166,570.
--BOLOâ€”Trained by Carla Gaines, this Kentucky-bred colt by the Dynaformer stallion, Temple City, ran a huge third in the San Felipe, which was his first-ever try on dirt. Beaten just 1 Â¾ lengths by Dortmund, Bolo, who had won two consecutive races on grass leading into the San Felipe, appears to have thrust himself into the Derby conversation as a legitimate contender who may continue to improve with added distance. â€œEvery time Iâ€™ve ridden him, heâ€™s galloped out like a monster,â€ said Mike Smith, who regains the mount after opting for Ocho Ocho Ocho in the San Felipe. Out of the Chief Seattle mare Aspen Mountain, Bolo is owned by Golden Pegasus Racing, Inc. and Earle Mack. With a vastly improved 101 Beyer Speed figure in the San Felipe, Bolo, who like so many in the Derby field likes to run close to the pace, will hope to ration his speed at a mile and one eighth. He has two wins and a third from four starts, with earnings of $129,700.
--ONE LUCKY DANE The â€œOther Baffertâ€ in the Derby field, this bay colt by 2010 Preakness Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky overcame a 4 Â½ month layoff to win a one mile allowance by 9 Â¾ lengths on March 19, a race that established him as a Derby contender. A 9 Â½ length one mile maiden winner at Santa Anita three starts back on Oct. 4, One Lucky Dane was well beaten when splitting the field two starts back in the Grade I Breedersâ€™ Cup Juvenile Nov. 1. Owned by Michael Lund Petersen, One Lucky Dane won in gate to wire fashion on March 19 and will no doubt show plenty of speed on Saturday under regular rider Rafael Bejarano. Out of the Boston Harbor mare Echo Harbor, One Lucky Dane sold for $490,000 as a Keeneland September yearling in 2013. He is 5-2-1-1 with earnings of $92,400.
--CROSS THE LINE A troubled second, beaten 2 Â½ lengths in the Grade III, 1 1/8 miles El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 14 at Golden Gate Fields, this colt by Line of David will try natural dirt for the first time in his initial foray at a track other than Golden Gate. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Cross the Line rallied from off the pace to win the one mile California Derby Jan. 17 and will likely try to employ similar tactics on Saturday. The only horse in the field to have run a mile and one eighth, Cross the Line, who is owned by Hollendorfer, George Todaro, Live Your Dream Racing Stable, LLC and partners, will again get the services of Bay Area-based Juan Hernandez, who has ridden him in his three previous racesâ€”two of them wins. Out of the Mr. Greeley mare Beer Baroness, Cross the Line is 5-2-2-1, with earnings of $123,920.
--BAD READ SANCHEZ A 10 length first-out maiden winner going five furlongs at Santa Anita on June 20, â€œSanchezâ€ has been idle since running third in the Grade II, 6 Â½ furlong Best Pal Stakes at Del Mar and will try two turns for the first time. A longshot who could make the early lead, this Kentucky-bred colt by Warriorâ€™s Reward is trained by Doug Oâ€™Neill, who won the Santa Anita Derby in 2012 with Iâ€™ll Have Another and in 2013 with Goldencents. Owned by J. Paul Reddamâ€™s Reddam Racing, LLC, Bad Read Sanchez will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez, who rode Reddamâ€™s Iâ€™ll Have Another to victories in the 2012 Santa Anita Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness. Out of the Pulpit mare Past Twilight, Bad Read Sanchez is 3-1-1-1 with earnings of $77,600.
With all horses assigned 122 pounds, here is the field for Saturdayâ€™s Grade I Santa Anita Derby, to be run as the eighth race on an 11-race card, with jockeys and morning line in post position order: Dortmund, Martin Garcia, 3-5; One Lucky Dane, Rafael Bejarano, 5-1; Cross the Line, Juan Hernandez, 15-1; Bolo, Mike Smith, 4-1; Prospect Park, Kent Desormeaux, 7-2, and Bad Read Sanchez, Mario Gutierrez, 30-1.