Kaleem Shah’s stellar 3-year-old Dortmund racked up his fifth graded stakes win with an authoritative victory in the $150,000 Native Diver S. (G3) Saturday at Del Mar.
Dortmund is Bob Baffert’s third Native Diver winner, joining General Challenge (1999) and Game On Dude (2012). The previous two winners came when the race was run at Hollywood Park.
Dortmund, with Gary Stevens aboard, loomed just off the flank of pacesetter Majestic City, biding his time until Stevens gave him his cue nearing the stretch, when he bounded to the lead and simply ran away in the stretch, winning by 4 ¼-lengths in 1:48.06 for the 1 1/8-miles.
“He took me back in time today,” said Stevens. “I thought I was on Point Given (Baffert’s 2001 Horse of the Year) again. I thought (Dortmund) was a one-paced horse, but I found out today that that’s not so. He’s got those gears. He kicked in at the five-sixteenths and really moved. He’s got that high cruising speed, but he can accelerate, too. That’s good. I know Bob is talking about shortening him up for the Malibu (G1, Dec. 26 at Santa Anita) and he should be up for that. He’s just got that big, long stride; that big engine. And he doesn’t need the lead. He was just fine where he was today.”
With eight wins in 10 starts, Dortmund has earned $1,712,480. His only two losses have come to stablemate American Pharoah in the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Preakness S. (G1).