Dortmund is the latest promising runner that owner Kaleem Shah has named for a German soccer team — the first being Bayern, winner of last year’s Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) — so he has inspired high hopes. Also like Bayern, Dortmund is a graduate of Fasig-Tipton Midlantic’s May Sale and is trained by Hall of Famer Bob Baffert.
A son of 2008 Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness (G1)-winning champion Big Brown, Dortmund dominated his debut sprinting at Santa Anita. He shipped to Churchill Downs for an entry-level allowance around a one-turn mile, and ran off by an even gaudier 7 3/4 lengths. Trying two turns in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1), the strapping chestnut was wide throughout but prevailed in a photo over Firing Line and Mr. Z. In so doing, he set a new track record of 1:40.86 for 1 1/16 miles.
Dortmund renewed rivalry with Firing Line in the Robert B. Lewis (G3) back at Santa Anita, and after being passed entering the stretch, fought back to win by a head. Next time out in the San Felipe (G2), Dortmund controlled the pace and drove to a comfortable 1 1/4-length decision.
The unbeaten colt figures to be heavily favored in his final Kentucky Derby prep, the April 4 Santa Anita Derby (G1).
Bred by Emilie Gerlinde Fojan in Kentucky, Dortmund went to his current connections for $140,000 as a two-year-old in training at the aforementioned Midlantic Sale. He is out of Grade 3-placed stakes scorer Our Josephina, a daughter of Tale of the Cat. Dortmund’s great-granddam is 1977 champion two-year-old filly Lakeville Miss, who produced Grade 1 winner Mogambo, the 10th-place finisher in the 1986 Kentucky Derby.