Dortmund stays undefeated with win in Lewis at Santa Anita
ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) Dortmund rallied to hold off Firing Line by a head and win the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes on Saturday at Santa Anita, a key West Coast prep race on the Kentucky Derby trail.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, Dortmund ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.20 and paid $3.20, $2.10 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite in the field of five 3-year-olds. The victory kept undefeated at 4-0 for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert. The colt earned 10 qualifying points for the Kentucky Derby.
In the $500,000 San Antonio Invitational, Shared Belief beat reigning Horse of the Year California Chrome by 1 1/2 lengths in front of 21,522 fans.
Ridden by Hall of Famer Mike Smith, Shared Belief ran 1 1/8 miles in 1:48.45 and paid $4, $2.40 and $2.10 as the even-money favorite.
''I can't even describe that performance,'' Smith said. ''He ranks right up there with the top five horses I've ever been on, with room to grow. There's no telling what this horse can do or the potential that he can reach.''
California Chrome, last year's Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner, returned $2.80 and $2.20 as the 7-5 second choice, while Baffert-trained Hoppertunity was another 6 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $2.60 to show.
Dortmund also beat Firing Line by a head in the Los Alamitos Futurity on Dec. 20.
Firing Line returned $2.20 and $2.10, while Rock Shandy was another 21 1/2 lengths back in third and paid $2.10 to show.
Dortmund, a chestnut colt sired by 2008 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown, was collared by Firing Line midway around the far turn and trailed by a half-length leaving the eighth pole.
''It looked like Firing Line went by me, but in the end, when I asked him, he just started coming back,'' Garcia said. ''Firing Line gave us pressure, but my horse just took off again.''
Firing Line appeared to gain a clear advantage in deep stretch, but couldn't hold off the winner.
''I saw that Martin was asking his horse and he wasn't getting any response and I was sitting there with a lot of horse,'' Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens said. ''I thought I would never say that I moved too early at the eighth pole in a dirt race, but I moved too early. I thought we buried the one we had to beat and then I saw the shadow coming back at me.''
The victory, worth $90,000, increased Dortmund's career earnings to $449,400.
Shared Belief is co-owned by sports talk host Jim Rome and Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. The colt's only defeat came in the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic, which was marred by a controversial start. His latest victory, worth $300,000, increased Shared Belief's career earnings to $2,332,200, with nine wins in 10 starts.
Art Sherman, who trains California Chrome, said it's still possible the colt will head to the Dubai World Cup next month. But he anticipates meeting Shared Belief again.
''We are looking forward to a matchup down the line,'' Sherman said. ''Jerry's horse is the real McCoy. My horse is very good too, we just got out-run. He didn't give it up, he ran his eyeballs out.''