Dortmund won the $500,000 Los Alamitos Futurity by a head in a photo finish Saturday, giving Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert his record seventh victory in the Grade 1 race at Los Alamitos.
Ridden by Martin Garcia, Dortmund ran 1 1/16 miles in a track-record 1 minute 40.86 seconds, bettering the mark of 1:41.62 set by the Baffert-trained Tiz Midnight in the Bayakoa Stakes two weeks ago. The 2-year-old son of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner Big Brown paid $3.20, $2.40 and $2.10 as the 3-5 favorite.
Firing Line returned $3.40 and $2.10. Mr. Z was another nose back in third and paid $2.10 to show as the 5-2 second choice for Hall of Fame trainer Wayne Lukas, who was trying to become the first trainer to sweep the Starlet and Futurity in the same year. Lukas won the $350,500 Starlet with Take Charge Brandi on Dec. 13.
Baffert joined Lukas as the only trainers to win Grade 1 thoroughbred and quarter horse races at Los Alamitos.
Mr. Z set the pace along with Firing Line. Dortmund rallied outside his rivals in the final eighth of a mile and held on to win the photo finish.
"I asked Martin, 'Did you know you won?'" Baffert said. "He said, 'Yes,' and I said, 'Why didn't you give me a fist pump to let me know?' I thought he won, but I wasn't sure. It was so close."
The race is part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby" series, giving Dortmund 10 points toward earning a spot in the starting gate next May at Churchill Downs. The race was run as the Hollywood Futurity from 1981-2006 and the CashCall Futurity from 2007-13 at Hollywood Park.
"He learned a lot," Garcia said. "That was the first time he went two turns and usually he's right there (on the lead), but today they broke really fast. I was pretty comfortable. I knew what I had underneath."