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    Dortmund inside, Firing Line outside
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    Bob Baffert’s Dortmund remained undefeated after a hard-fought battle to the wire in Saturday’s $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes (G3) at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Cal. The son of Big Brown now has four wins in as many starts and increased his career earnings to $449,400.

    Although longshot Tizcano grabbed the early lead and set a moderate pace of 23:18 for the first quarter, the race unfolded much as expected. Dortmund, with jockey Martin Garcia aboard, sat comfortably behind Tizcano, but overtook the leader midway through the far turn. At the same time, Simon Callaghan’s Firing Line, under the guidance of jockey Gary Stevens, emerged from mid-pack in the short field of five and was quickly next to Dortmund. The pair put a 16-length distance between themselves and the rest of the field as they moved around the final turn and into the stretch.

    With an eighth of a mile to go, it appeared Dortmund was sure to see his first defeat, but after a few taps of the stick, Garcia had his colt back in the game. Dortmund on the rail and Firing Line to the outside, continued to battle to the wire with Dortmund stretching his head in front as the pair crossed the finish. Rock Shandy was 21 ½ lengths back in third, with Hero Ten All another 7 ¾ lengths behind in fourth.

    “He’s a really good horse,” said Garcia. “He’s just a big baby, he’s still learning. I broke sharp and I put myself in a good position. When I asked him to go he started moving slowly. It looked like Firing Line went by me, but in the end, when I asked him, he just started coming back. Firing Line gave us pressure, but my horse just took off again.”

    The grit shown by Dortmund is just what race fans like to see in a 3-year-old less than three months before the Kentucky Derby. Especially, from one on the rail, a place intimating to many young horses. In addition to Dortmund’s tenacity, one would also have to praise Firing Line for a gutsy performance. Although ultimately Dortmund emerged victorious, Firing Line also put nearly 22 lengths between himself and the field.

    Dortmund returned $3.20, $2.10, and $2.10. Firing Line paid $2.20 and $2.10 and completed the $1 exacta for $2.30. Rock Shandy paid $2.10 and completed the $1 trifecta for $3.90. Hero Ten All completed the $1 superfecta for $6.70. The final time for the 1 1/16 mile race over the fast dirt was 1:42.20.

    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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