Dortmund, seeking his sixth win in as many starts in Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby, faces only five rivals.
Trained by Bob Baffert, Dortmund comes off a 1 1/4-length win in the San Felipe Stakes on March 7. A chestnut colt by Big Brown, Dortmund showed determination winning narrow victories in both the Los Alamitos Futurity and the Robert B. Lewis Stakes.
Favored in all five of his 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 Coast’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), here’s a snapshot look at the field for Saturday’s Santa Anita Derby.
-- Along with stable mate American Pharoah, Dortmund is considered the number one or two seed in the runup to this year’s Kentucky Derby. A runaway first-out maiden winner going 6 1/2 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 3/4 lengths, covering the distance in 1:35.60.
Dortmund was purchased out of a 2-year-old in training sale last May for $140,000. A Kentucky-bred colt out of the Tale of the Cat mare Our Josephina, he has banked $689,400.
-- Prospect Park didn’t break his maiden until his fourth start, on Dec. 27 at Santa Anita. The Kentucky-bred colt by Tapit is making up for lost time, as he followed a 5 1/4-length one mile allowance score on Jan. 30 with a huge second to Dortmund in the San Felipe. “They won the battle, but we’ll win the war,” Kent Desormeaux said after the race.
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 better things to come. Out of the Bertrando mare Quiet Romance, Prospect Park is 6-2-2-1, with earnings of $166,570.
-- Bolo is trained by Carla Gaines. This Kentucky-bred colt by the Dynaformer stallion Temple City ran a close third in the San Felipe in his first try on dirt. He's a stakes winner on turf. Beaten just 1 3/4 length by Dortmund in the San Felipe, Bolo has thrust himself into the Derby conversation and may improve with added distance.
“Every time I’ve ridden him, he’s galloped out like a monster,” 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 earned a vastly improved 101 Beyer Speed figure in the San Felipe. Like so many in this Derby field, he likes to run close to the pace and will try to ration his speed at a mile and one eighth if all goes well for hi. He has two wins and a third from four starts, with earnings of $129,700.
-- One Lucky Dane is the “Other Baffert”. This bay colt by 2010 Preakness Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky overcame a 4 1/2 month layoff to win a one mile allowance by 9 3/4 lengths on March 19, a race that established him as a Santa Anita Derby contender. A 9 1/2 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 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile.
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 was a troubled second, beaten 2 1/2 lengths in the El Camino Real Derby. This colt by Line of David will try natural dirt and a track other than Golden Gate Fields for the first time. 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 will again get the services of Bay Area-based Juan Hernandez, who has ridden him in his three previous race, 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 was a 10-length first-out maiden winner going five furlongs at Santa Anita on June 20, “Sanchez” has been idle since sprinting to a third-place finish in the 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 Warrior’s Reward is trained by two-time Santa Anita Derby winner Doug O’Neill
Bad Read Sanchez will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez, who rode I’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 Saturday’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.
Edited Santa Anita release with additional content by Dick Downey