Kentucky Derby 2015 Contender Dortmund Seeks First Grade One Win
Kentucky Derby 2015 Contender Dortmund Seeks First Grade One Win: Kentucky Derby winners are not notorious for siring sons that go on to win the Kentucky Derby themselves. The last Kentucky Derby winner with a sire that accomplished the same feat is Grindstone, sired by Unbridled, in 1996. Unbridled is a very influential sire, as he is the last stallion to sire a winner of each leg of the Triple Crown: Grindstone (1996 Kentucky Derby), Red Bullet (2000 Preakness Stakes), and Empire Maker (2003 Belmont Stakes). However, Unbridled cannot be found in many pedigrees, and for one Kentucky Derby contender, this is the case. Dortmund, who is 2-for-2 this season, is a promising young colt for connections Bob Baffert and Kahleem Shah.
The young chestnut colt has shown unlimited potential in his two starts this season, which both came in November. Debuting at Santa Anita on November 2, the Big Brown colt won the 6.5F contest by a leisurely 4 ¾ lengths on the main track. Even with the promise that Dortmund displayed, Baffert did not jump the gun and throw Dortmund into stakes company. Instead, he shipped the colt to Churchill Downs for a 8F Allowance Optional Claiming on November 29, which was run on the Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes undercard. Dortmund again settled off the pace before pouncing in the later stages of the race to pull away easily to win alone, 7 ¾ lengths ahead of his closest competitor.
Pedigree wise, Dortmund has the class to be a grade one winner. Sired by Kentucky Derby and Preakness hero Big Brown, Dortmund has a lot to live up to. Big Brown has not, however, been a sensational sire. In 5 crops and 3 crops of racing age, he only has one graded stakes winner. He has sired some stakes horses, but none who have put the stallion on the map. He was even moved from Kentucky to New York for 2015. Through his racing career, Big Brown won all his starts but one. The one race he did not win was the 2008 Belmont Stakes, where he was pulled up on the turn, not finishing the race. After the Belmont Stakes, he won the G1 Haskell and the listed Monmouth Stakes. Big Brown had no reason he could not have won the Belmont Stakes, had everything gone right. His pedigree included Danzig, Northern Dancer, Damascus, Sword Dancer, and Round Table, which are all speed and stamina contributors.
Dortmund’s dam, Our Josephina, was unraced, but her sire, Tale of the Cat, was a grade two winner and grade one placed. Tale of the Cat did not start until late May of his three-year-old year. He broke his maiden on debut, following it up with an allowance win a month later. His graded stakes debut came in the 1997 Haskell, which he finished fourth in, behind Touch Gold, Anet, and Free House. His next start, we was reduced from 9F to 7F, which seems to help. He won the G2 Kings Bishop as the favorite. Tale of the Cat did not win another graded stakes event, but did finish third in the 1997 and 1998 G1 Vosburgh Stakes. He also placed in the 1998 Whitney Stakes behind Awesome Again. Tale of the Cat went on to be a better stallion than Big Brown has proven to be (so far) and has carried on the Storm Cat line successfully. Tale of the Cat has several millionaire offspring, including Gio Ponti, Stopchargingmaria, Lion Heart, and Tale of Ekati.
Dortmund makes his graded stakes debut this weekend in the Los Alamitos Futurity on December 20, 2014. So far, Dortmund has done nothing wrong, but he will be facing a tough field. One competitor is likely to be the Lukas trainee Mr. Z, who last out finished second in the Delta Downs Jackpot. He also may face No Problem, a son of Munnings who won the Grade 3 Best Pal Stakes last out. Calculator is also another horse likely to show, as he never ducks main competition. Still a maiden, we was last seen finished a distance second to American Pharoah in the Grade 1 Frontrunner Stakes. Other probable entries included maiden winners Serbian Syclone, Bench Warrant, and allowance winner Tizcano. Class wise, Dortmund is facing a pretty level playing field, but there is a graded stakes winner in the field and two grade one placed horses in the field. Can Dortmund remain undefeated in his graded stakes debut or will his streak be broken? Either way, he could still easily improve as he matures and grows into his enormous frame and be a serious threat on the Road to the Kentucky Derby.
Los Alamitos Futurity 2014 Post Positions & Odds
4:00 PM PT
1 Bench Warrant 15-1 Baze/Sadler
2 No Problem 8-1 Espinoza/McCarthy
3 Dortmund 4-5 Garcia/Baffert
4 Mr. Z 5-2 Smith/D W Lukas
5 Firing Line 3-1 Bejarano/Callaghan
*Picks & Plays