Breeders' Cup - At The Races


  • Trainer: Bob Baffert
  • Likely Jockey: Rafael Bejarano
  • Owner: Kaleem Shah Inc
  • Age & Breeding: 4-year-old colt; Big Brown – Our Josephina
  • Season Form Figures: 232
  • Career Highlight: Romping home in the Santa Anita Derby

Few horses can have a more appropriate moniker than Dortmund. Owned by the football-mad Kaleem Shah, the Big Brown colt has repeatedly had to play second fiddle to a more illustrious rival, much like Borussia Dortmund, the Bundesliga side after which he is named. However, while their perennial rivals Bayern Munich once more lead the German top division, Dortmund the horse finally looks set to taste glory on the grandest stage.

Dortmund patently finds the ten-furlong Classic trip stretching him, but at nine furlongs or shorter he is some tool. He has been unfortunate to be around at the same time as California Chrome and has been vanquished by that opponent on all three starts this season.

The closest he came to beating him was at just over the mile distance, when pushing his great rival all the way to the wire on his seasonal debut in the San Diego. Upped again to ten furlongs for his following start in the Pacific Classic, this time he was no match, the margin of defeat exaggerated by the distance of the race, with Dortmund trailing home seven lengths behind Chrome.

Dortmund managed to reduce the deficit to just over two lengths in the Awesome Again, but connections had seen enough and conceded defeat, deciding that they would not take on Art Sherman's wonderhorse a fourth time.

The Dirt Mile was the logical target, then, and the sporting decision by Godolphin to run Frosted in the Classic looks to have left Dortmund with a penalty kick, as he lays over this field in terms of form and ability.

Dortmund's only crime this season is not being as good as California Chrome. In that regard, he is no different to every other horse in North America. However, with that rival out of the way it is very hard to not see Bob Baffert's colt emerging on top in the Dirt Mile. He looks the banker of the meeting and odds-against looks very good value.