DORTMUND, FIRING LINE & ROCK SHANDY HEAD POWER-PACKED GRADE III ROBERT B. LEWIS STAKES ON SATURDAY; KEY PREP TO $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA DERBY TO BE CONTESTED AT 1 1/16 MILES

 

TEN KENTUCKY DERBY QUALIFYING POINTS TO BE AWARDED TO WINNER

            ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 4, 2015)–Separated by just a head in the Grade I Los Alamitos Futurity Dec. 20, Dortmund and Firing Line renew their rivalry in Saturday’s Grade III, 1 1/16 miles Robert B. Lewis Stakes, a race that has attracted a field of six sophomores and is an important steppingstone to the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 4.

In addition to Dortmund, who is trained by Bob Baffert and Firing Line, who is conditioned by Simon Callaghan, trainer Peter Miller will be represented by talented Rock Shandy, who comes off a second place run to his stablemate, highly regarded Calculator, in the Grade III, one mile Sham Stakes on Jan. 10.

Undefeated in three starts, Dortmund, an imposing looking colt by Big Brown, was just up to win the Los Al Futurity by a head in a three-horse photo under regular rider Martin Garcia. Owned by Kaleem Shah, Dortmund has had five works since his Futurity triumph, his most recent a half mile in 47.60 on Feb. 3–third best of 28 at the distance.

A 4 ¼ length maiden special weight winner going 6 ½ furlongs two starts back on Nov. 30 at Del Mar, owner Arnold Zetcher’s Firing Line tried two turns for the first time in the Los Al Futurity, and along with Dortmund, pressed fast fractions of 21.98, 45.29 and 1:09.64. Dortmund’s final time was a rapid 1:40.86.

A one mile turf maiden winner three starts back at Del Mar on Nov. 7, Rock Shandy was a close second in the Grade III, mile turf Cecil B. DeMille Stakes on Nov. 30. His second place run in the Sham on Jan. 10 was his first try on dirt and the bay ridgling by Lemon Drop Kid will hope to improve off his second place finish to the recently sidelined Calculator. Owned by Donegal Racing, Rock Shandy has a win, a second and a third from four starts and $71,850 in earnings.

Trainer Jeff Mullins, who won three consecutive Santa Anita Derbies from 2003 through 2005, will be represented by Hero Ten All, who was away slowly and was never a factor when running sixth, beaten 10 lengths by Calculator in the Sham. Second, beaten 4 ¾ lengths by Dortmund going 6 ½ furlongs first time out Nov. 2, he broke his maiden going a flat mile at Los Alamitos on Dec. 7. Owned by Edward K. Gaylord, II, the Kentucky-bred colt by Rock Hard Ten will hope to mount a late challenge.

The Lewis winner will receive 10 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The second,third and fourth place runners will get four, two and one, respectively.

The complete field for the Robert B. Lewis Stakes, to be run as the fifth race on a nine race card Saturday, with jockeys and weights in post position order: Tizcano, Martin Pedroza, 118; Rock Shandy, Victor Espinoza, 118; Sebastian’s Heart, Agapito Delgadillo, 118; Hero Ten All, Tyler Baze, 118; Firing Line, Gary Stevens, 118, and Dortmund, Martin Garcia, 123.

                First post time on Saturday is at 12:30 p.m. Admission gates open at 10:30 a.m.