Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile 2016: Dortmund is Due

October 27, 2016 04:04pm


Dortmund is a winner. He just isn’t so far in 2016.

 

Consistently running against the monster that California Chrome has become will do that to horse. Eight wins from 13 lifetime starts is an excellent record by any standard, but considering that Dortmund has been defeated in races that were either won by American Pharoah or California Chrome, and the record of the Bob Baffert trained colt becomes all the more impressive.

 

Second in the San Diego (in a real dogfight), third in the Pacific Classic (Champion Mare Beholder was second), and second in the Awesome Again (most recently, and once again won by California Chrome) -- There have been no breathers for the Kaleem Shah owned six-time stakes winner. In a twist of fate, though, he looks to be primed for serious class relief when he lines up for the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile on Friday, November 4.

 

Sans the imposing shadow of the world’s richest racehorse, Dortmund looks like strictly the horse to beat in the $1,000,000 race. It may have been nearly a year since his last triumphant trip to the winner’s circle, but remember, Dortmund is not afraid to mix it up all the way to the wire. If the way that he threw everything but the kitchen sink at California Chrome in the San Diego was not proof enough, take a look back at his gutsy victory in the Robert B. Lewis early last year over the talented Firing Line.


 

Back at a distance where he can be expected to excel, and against a field that does not include California Chrome, Dortmund should be ready to shine. The sizable son of Big Brown is also quite comfortable at Santa Anita. In six races over the main track here, he sports five wins and one second, with the loss to the 2014 Horse of the Year in the Awesome Again on October 1, being his only defeat at the ‘Great Race Place’. At the flat mile distance, Dortmund is also a perfect two-for-two.

 

Dortmund is clearly the horse to beat, but up to ten other horses will be in the Dirt Mile trying to keep the big horse winless for the season. Among them is the 2015 Sprint Champion, Runhappy, who will be making his only second start of the season, as he tries to prove more than a sprinter.

  




 

Of the eleven, four list other Breeders’ Cup races as first preference:


-Gun Runner and War Story have first preference in the Classic.

 

-Midnight Storm and Vyjack have first preference in the Mile.


Whether it be a seven-horse field, an eleven-horse field, or somewhere in between, Dortmund looks ready. His latest workout, a five furlong bullet, shows a fit horse, due for his first win this year.

 

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Meet Brian Zipse

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, American Pharoah and Justify. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. His new racing partnership venture, Derby Day Racing, invites more fans to experience the thrill of racehorse ownership.

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, created the popular racing show, HorseCenter and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as hosting HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.

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