170 KENTUCKY DERBY QUALIFYING POINTS UP FOR GRABS AS ‘RUN FOR THE ROSES’ LOOMS MAY 2
ARCADIA, Calif. (April 1, 2015)–Kaleem Shah’s undefeated Dortmund heads a field of six in Saturday’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 ¼ length win in the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles San Felipe Stakes on March 7, thus stamping himself as one of America’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 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:
–DORTMUND Along with stablemate, American Pharoah, Dortmund is considered the number one or two seed in the run-up to this year’s Kentucky Derby. A runaway first-out maiden winner going 6 ½ 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 ¾ lengths, covering the distance in 1:35.60.
Owned by Kaleem Shah, Inc., Dortmund was purchased out of a 2-year-old in training sale last May for $140,000. A Kentucky-bred colt by Big Brown out of the Tale of the Cat mare Our Josephina, he has been perfect in all five starts and has banked $689,400.
–PROSPECT PARK Although he didn’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 ¼ length one mile allowance score on Jan. 30 with a huge second, beaten just 1 ¼ lengths, by Dortmund in the Grade II San Felipe Stakes March 7.
“They won the battle, but we’ll win the war,” is how jockey Kent Desormeaux described Prospect Park’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.
—BOLO–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 ¾ 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.
“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 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 “Other Baffert” in the Derby field, this bay colt by 2010 Preakness Stakes winner Lookin At Lucky overcame a 4 ½ month layoff to win a one mile allowance by 9 ¾ lengths on March 19, a race that established him as a Derby contender. A 9 ½ 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 Breeders’ 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 ½ 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 races–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, “Sanchez” has been idle since running third in the Grade II, 6 ½ 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 Warrior’s Reward is trained by Doug O’Neill, who won the Santa Anita Derby in 2012 with I’ll Have Another and in 2013 with Goldencents.
Owned by J. Paul Reddam’s Reddam Racing, LLC, Bad Read Sanchez will be ridden by Mario Gutierrez, who rode Reddam’s 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.
Special early first post time on Saturday is at 12 noon. Admission gates open at 10 a.m. In addition to the Santa Anita Derby, five other stakes will be offered: The Grade I, $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks, the Grade III, $150,000 Providencia Stakes, the $200,000 Echo Eddie Stakes, the $200,000 Evening Jewel Stakes and the $75,000 Thunder Road Stakes.