2015 Kentucky Derby Contender – BAFFERT HEADS TO DERBY WITH A DOMINANT HAND:
Bob Baffert always seems to have at least one Kentucky Derby contender emerge from his stable. This year he’s done even better—he’s expected to have not only the best horse in the field but the two top horses in the May 2 Kentucky Derby. Depending on how he decides to use his deep stock of three year olds he may end up with three starters to battle in the ‘Run for the Roses’.
Dortmund has been considered among the top horses to beat in the Kentucky Derby and following his win at the Santa Anita Derby he’s very likely to go off as the post time favorite. Online betting sites like Derby Craze permit you to place your off track Kentucky Derby bets at the most popular horse racing event on May 2, 2015. Dortmund now has six wins in six races and saved his best for last, turning in a spectacular performance last Saturday to win the $1 million Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby by nearly five lengths. He added that victory to a pair of Grade 2 stakes wins at Santa Anita earlier this year—the Robert B. Lewis Stakes and the San Felipe Stakes.
There are some skeptics, however, and even more objective sportsmen dismiss the comparisons that Dortmund’s owner Kaleem Shah made after the race to Seattle Slew and Smarty Jones. There are those who suggest that Dortmund is more sizzle than steak, having put up impressive performances—including a 106 Beyer Figure in the Santa Anita Derby—against small, unimpressive fields at his home track. They have serious reservations about Dortmund’s ability to ‘go on the road’ and win against deep fields of talented opponents.
Baffert’s other ‘top horse’ heading into the Kentucky Derby is American Pharaoh who looked very sharp winning the Rebel Stakes coming off a long layoff. Nothing was working in American Pharaoh’s favor that day—his first stakes race, on an unfamiliar track, a sloppy surface and to top it off a misplaced shoe following an awkward start. He overcame all of that to run away with the race and easily take the victory. Adding to the fact that he hadn’t raced since last September when he won the Front Runner Stakes at Santa Anita the win is even more impressive. American Pharaoh does have one more prep race on deck, this Saturday in the Arkansas Derby.
At this point, it looks like Baffert will have a third horse in the field. That will be Santa Anita Derby runner up One Lucky Dane. Baffert thinks that both he and Dortmund will be even better at the Kentucky Derby distance of 1 ¼ mile and that One Lucky Dane might not have peaked yet. Baffert has already won three Kentucky Derby races and is in a good position to add a fourth in 2015.