Dortmund & The Los Alamitos Futurity

December 19, 2014

Tomorrow afternoon, the highly rated Bob Baffert trained colt—Dortmund—takes aim at his first stakes race win in the 1 & 1/16th mile Los Alamitos Futurity with an attractive $500,000 purse (post time is 5:46pm CST). Dortmund has competed in two races and won both by a combined 12 1/2 lengths.

Dortmund is currently Wynn Las Vegas’s favorite to win the 2015 Kentucky Derby at 12:1 odds. The big chestnut colt is owned by Kaleem Shah (Bayern’s owner) and has a nice pedigree–his sire Big Brown who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes in 2008. He is the current favorite to win the Los Alamitos Futurity at 4/5 odds.  Expect those odds to shorten.

Dortmund will compete against an experienced Mr. Z (5/2 odds), Firing Line (3/1 odds), Bob Hope Stakes winner No Problem (8/1 odds) and Bench Warrant (15/1 odds).

On paper, this should be an interesting battle between Dortmund and Mr Z and the two Hall of Fame trainers behind them: Bob Baffert and D. Wayne Lucas.  Dortmund has yet to compete in a race longer than a mile and Mr Z has competed in four races at the same 1 & 1/16th mile distance, losing by a nose in his last race to Ocho Ocho Ocho in the Delta Downs Jackpot. Mr Z will be ridden by jockey Mike Smith–known for many upset wins in big stakes races. Firing Line and Bench Warrant are both coming off maiden wins at Del Mar in November.

Despite the small field, I think this is the most appealing race to watch this weekend because I foresee both Dortmund and Mr. Z as 2015 Kentucky Derby entrants. As far as wagering, it depends on the final odds but I would either place a big bet on Dortmund to win (you could be risking a lot of money for small payout) or keying him to win, with Mr Z placing 2nd in a Trifecta wheel with the field (3/4/ALL). Mr. Z has two second place finishes to go along with two fifth place finishes in races at a 1 & 1/16th. Is he due for another mediocre performance? If so, I like the Bob Hope Stakes winner No Problem the best out of the remaining three horses.