Dortmund, one of this year’s top 3-year-olds, returned to the races in winning style with a 1 ¾-length score in Saturday’s Big Bear S. at Santa Anita Park.
Off since finishing fourth in the Preakness S. (G1), Bob Baffert had Dortmund ready with a pair of bullet works in the past two weeks. Martin Garcia had Dortmund right with leader Soi Phet for five furlongs, then assumed command in the turn and exerted himself in the final furlong to get the mile in 1:36.42.
"He has a lot of speed and I liked the way he relaxed," Baffert said. "We always thought that he didn't necessarily need the lead. He's a big horse and he's learning how to relax a bit more.
"Unfortunately we can't run in the Breeders' Cup (next week at Keeneland0. Maybe the (Dirt) Mile would have been a great spot for him. I think he's going to get better."
Dortmund, who is owned by Kaleem Shah, is now 7-0-1 in nine starts, with his only two losses coming to stablemate and Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Baffert said Dortmund’s next start could come in the Clark H. (G1) Nov. 27 at Churchill Downs.