TRIPLE CROWN HOPEFUL AMERICAN PHAROAH, DORTMUND AND FIRING LINE, LEAD STAR-STUDDED CAST OF NOMINEES TO LOS ALAMITOS DERBY
Kentuckian and Texas Red also among 42 horses nominated to Grade II event to be held at Los Alamitos Race Course
Headed by the Bob Baffert-trained pair of American Pharoah and Dortmund; along with such outstanding sophomores as Firing Line, Kentuckian and Texas Red, a total of 42 horses have been nominated to the Grade II, $350,000-guaranteed Los Alamitos Derby.
The Derby, which was won last year by Shared Belief, will be decided on Saturday, July 4 over a mile and an eighth and is the racing highlight of the Los Alamitos Thoroughbred Summer Festival. The meet opens on July 2 and runs through July 13. First post time is 2 p.m.
The Bob Baffert barn is represented by 12 runners on the nominations list, with Zayat Stables LLC’s Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah and Kaleeem Shah Inc’s Dortmund in the spotlight. American Pharoah trained over the Los Alamitos dirt track prior to making his career debut at Del Mar last summer. The colt by Pioneerof the Nile has won six of seven career starts headed by the Grade I Kentucky Derby and Grade I Preakness Stakes.
Dortmund, who was third in the Kentucky Derby and fourth in the Preakness Stakes behind his stablemate, closed out his 2-year-old campaign with a thrilling win here in the Los Alamitos Futurity in December and went on to win the San Felipe and Santa Anita Derby before suffering his first career setback on the first Saturday in May. The Hall of Fame trainer has also nominated Karl Watson, Mike Pegram, and Paul Weitman’s Whiskey Ticket, an unbeaten winner of two races including the Illinois Derby on April 18.
Trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has also nominated a dozen 3-year-olds to the race, including Fox Hill Farms, Inc.’s promising Kentuckian. A son two-time Breeders Cup Classic winner Tiznow, Kentuckian is coming off a smashing six and a quarter-length victory in the Grade III, 7-furlong La Barrera Stakes and is reportedly being pointed for this race.
Arnold Zetcher LLC.’s Firing Line is another major player with designs on the July 4 event. Simon Callaghan conditions the son of Line of David, who was beaten a head by Dortmund in the Los Alamitos Futurity and this year sports a romp in the Sunland Derby and a runner-up finish in the Kentucky Derby before an ill-fated trip in the Preakness over a sloppy track.
Racing for Keith Desormeaux, Lee Michaels, Wayne Detmar, and Erich Brehm, Texas Red is a talented member of the Desormeaux shedrow who could very well end up in this strong line-up. He finished up 2014 with a sensational come-from-behind romp in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Santa Anita and is on the comeback trail after suffering a setback following his runner-up finish in the San Vicente in early February.
Other top names that have also been nominated to the Los Alamitos Derby include: DP Racing, LLC’s Ocho Ocho Ocho, a Grade III, Delta Downs Jackpot Stakes winner; Cellist Racing Group and Ali Nilforushan’s Papacoolpapacool, winner of the Pasadena Stakes and La Puente Stakes; Calumet Farm’s Mr. Z, third behind Dortmund and Firing Line in last year’s Los Alamitos Futurity; Kevin Tsujihara, Leslie Moonves, and Gary Barber’s Forest Blue, the lightly raced runner-up in the Laz Barrera Stakes; and Juddmonte Farms, Inc’s Fame And Power, the winner of the Sir Barton Stakes at Pimlico in his last outing.
HEAVILY-FAVORED DORTMUND WINS THRILLING LOS ALAMITOS FUTURITY; UNDEFEATED BIG BROWN COLT PASSES FIRST TWO TURN TEST