Big Brown colt Dortmund lost his unbeaten record in the Kentucky Derby but was far from disgraced when third home in the first leg of the USA Triple Crown.
Dortmund led into the straight and was joined by Firing Line and his stablemate American Pharoah as the trio broke away from the field at Churchill Downs. All three placegetters will clash again in the Preakness Stakes (1900m) at Pimlico on May 16.
After the race, Dortmund’s regular jockey Martin Garcia was still impressed with his charge. “He’s a really good horse and he ran like it today. He always comes to run; that’s the kind of horse he is. He got beat today by really good horses. That can happen.”
There was a stakes winning consolation for Big Brown in Florida on Saturday when his filly Red Sashay won the Honey Ryder Stakes (1600m) at Gulfstream Park.
Red Sashay (3f Big Brown – Sashay Away by Farma Way) floated six wide on the turn before digging in to prevail by a neck under Jonathan Gonzales. The Jane Cibelli trained filly had won the LR Our Dear Peggy Stakes (1600m) at Gulfstream Park in October.
“Jane just told me to keep her relaxed early,” Gonzales said. “When I swung her out at the top of the stretch, she passed everybody.”
Goodwood Racing paid $27,000 for the winner at the 2013 Keeneland September yearling sale. She is a younger half-sister to Listed winner New Edition (Stormy Atlantic).
Big Brown (USA) will stand at Vinery this year for an $8,800 (inc. GST) service fee.