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    The Road to the Kentucky Derby stops at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Cal. on Saturday as a field of six 3-year-olds take on the 1 1/16 mile $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3). The top four finishers will pick up points in Churchill Downs’ Road to the Kentucky Derby point system* to earn a spot in the May 2 Kentucky Derby (G1).

    Bob Baffert’s undefeated and lightly-raced Dortmund heads the field. The son of Big Brown broke his maiden at first asking, came back to a nearly eight-length romp in his second start, a $75,000 allowance, and won the head-bob over Firing Line in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity in his most recent start Dec. 20. He’ll make his sophomore debut on Saturday and should be able to pick up where he left off. Since the Futurity, Dortmund has turned in a consistent string of impressive works, including Tuesday’s four-furlong work in a quick 47.3. Dortmund retains jockey Martin Garcia, who has been aboard for all of the Chestnut colt’s victories.

    Firing Line, the Simon Callaghan-trained son of Line of David, overcame a shaky start in the Los Alamitos Futurity, but failed to hold off Dortmund. The pair earned a Brisnet speed figure of 97 in that race, which is the best speed at the distance in Saturday’s field. Firing Line will also make his sophomore debut in the Robert B. Lewis and will gain the guidance of Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens.

    One third of the field is comprised of Peter Miller runners in Tizcano and Rock Shandy. Tizcano broke his maiden at first asking and won an $80,000 allowance race in November, but has been a non-factor in the three ungraded stakes races he’s attempted. Rock Shandy, on the other hand, took two tries to break his maiden, but finished in the money in his last two races, the Sham Stakes (G3) and the Cecil B. DeMille (G3). He earned a Brisnet speed figure of 95 in his second place finish to the highly-regarded Calculator in the Sham. Kentucky Derby winning jockey Victor Espinoza will be in the irons when Rock Shandy breaks from post two.

    The race has a lot of early speed in Tizcano, Rock Shandy, Sebastian’s Heart and Firing Line, so it may set up nicely for closers like Dortmund and Hero Ten All. More than likely, class will decide the race, which means it will be another duel between Dortmund and Firing Line.

    The field from the rail out is: Tizcano, Rock Shandy, Sebastian’s Heart, Hero Ten All, Firing Line, and Dortmund. The race is the 5th on Santa Anita Park’s Saturday card with a scheduled post time of 5:30 EST. The race can be seen on HRTV and TVG. Click here for free PPs of the card courtesy of Brisnet.

    * The Kentucky Derby points system replaced the graded stakes earnings system as the determiner of Kentucky Derby entrants. In the first phase, the Kentucky Derby Prep Season that concludes February 16, the top four finishers in the pre-determined races are awarded points of 10-4-2-1, respectively. In the first leg of phase two, the Championship Series, the top four finishers in 8 pre-determined races are awarded points of 50-20-10-5, respectively. In the second leg of the Championship Series, the top four finishers in the 7 pre-determined races receive points of 100-40-20-10, respectively. The Apr. 11 Lexington Stakes at Keeneland is a wildcard race and offers points of 10-4-2-1, respectively.

    Photo: Courtesy Santa Anita Park

    Jessie Oswald's picture

    About Jessie Oswald

    I'm a lifetime Louisville resident with a passion for horse racing. When I'm not working as a paralegal or taking care of my family, I follow Thoroughbred racing and love to share the excitement and beauty of the sport with anyone willing to learn!

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