Kaleem Shah's 5-year-old Dortmund, a Grade 1 winner at 2 and 3 and an Eclipse Award finalist, has been retired and will stand at Bonita Farm in Darlington, Md., for the 2018 breeding season. The imposing chestnut son of champion and dual classic winner Big Brown arrived at Bonita on Oct. 25. He will stand for $7,500 live foal.
“Dortmund went undefeated into the Kentucky Derby with six straight wins to include winning the Santa Anita Derby and he had me dreaming,” said Kaleem Shah, who will retain ownership. “His achievement of going undefeated into the Kentucky Derby was in the same league as Seattle Slew, Barbaro, Smarty Jones, Majestic Prince and Big Brown. He was a brilliant race horse.”
Dortmund retires with eight wins from 16 starts, two seconds and two thirds, and earnings of $1,987,505. From the same crop and a stablemate of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Dortmund launched his career with trainer Bob Baffert in California. He was undefeated in three starts at 2, capping his season with a win in the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity (formerly the Hollywood Futurity) at a mile and a sixteenth in a track record 1:40.86. The win prompted Baffert to comment, “He reminds me of Point Given [Baffert's 2001 Horse of the Year]. He's got a good mind, but he's still filling out and he's still learning.”
Dortmund won his first three starts at 3, the California progression to the Kentucky Derby – the Robert B. Lewis Stakes-G3, San Felipe Stakes-G2, and Santa Anita Derby-G1 – the latter by more than 4 lengths. He went off as second choice in the Kentucky Derby and led the opening mile before finishing third behind American Pharoah and Firing Line (whom he had beaten twice before).
After a fourth in the Preakness Stakes-G1 over a sloppy track, he was off for five months before returning to win his final two starts of the year, both stakes, including the one and an eighth-mile Grade 3 Native Diver by 4 1/2 lengths over graded stakes-winning older horse Imperative while giving weight.
In four starts at 4, Dortmund faced California Chrome three times, finishing second to the two-time Horse of the Year in the Grade 1 Awesome Again and Grade 2 San Diego Handicap and third behind California Chrome and four-time Eclipse Award winner Beholder in the Pacific Classic-G1. He concluded the year with a fourth in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile-G1.
“He's the best looking big horse I've seen in my life,” said Preakness-winning trainer Bill Boniface, patriarch of Bonita Farm. “And I've seen a lot of horses.”
Out of stakes-winning Our Josephina, a daughter of Tale of the Cat, Dortmund descends from champion Lakeville Miss and is from the family of Champagne Stakes-G1 winner and sire Mogambo.
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