Dortmund and Firing Line staged an electrifying battle in the Santa Anita stretch in Saturday’s Robert B. Lewis S. (G3), with Dortmund ultimately winning by a head to give Bob Baffert his fifth Lewis victory.
Early in the 1 1/16-mile contest Dortmund dueled with Tizcano, with Firing Line securing a spot in third after a half-mile in :46.80. With Tizcano fading on the turn, Dortmund and Firing Line raced as one into the stretch.
Firing Line, on the outside, looked as if he might pull away to a comfortable victory in upper stretch, but Dortmund battled back on the rail and would not be denied. The final time of 1:42.20 earned Dortmund a 103 Beyer Speed Figure.
“You really don’t know about these horses until you put them in that scenario, and that’s twice now that he just fought and came on to win like that,” said Baffert. When they opened up on the field, I said it was a match race now. Firing Line is a really nice horse.
“It was exciting, because I thought we were beat, and when he came back like it made me really appreciate it a lot more. It makes it sweeter because going in I thought he was the best horse, then that horse went by him and I thought maybe he’s not as good as I thought.
“It was a great horse race and I’m just fortunate I was on the winning end.”
Dortmund, who is owned by Kaleem Shah, is perfect in four starts and has amassed $449.400. He also beat Firing Line by a head in the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1) in December.
Baffert’s previous Lewis winners were General Challenge (1999), Domestic Dispute (2003), Pioneerof the Nile (2009), and Flashback (2013).