Dortmund Will Win Derby 141 (I hope)

May 1, 2015 - 4:17am

Chip Sobel

  • Professional Journalist

Greetings race fans! As the first Saturday in May draws near, Louisville returns to its annual perch atop the consciousness of the world. It is the 141st running of the Kentucky Derby, the Greatest Two Minutes in Sports. The Kentucky Derby Festival, an eclectic collection of events preceding the race, lasts two weeks. In some circles this is known as Bluegrass foreplay.

I know just enough about thoroughbred handicapping to understand why I lose. As a Louisville resident, naturally I can be relied upon by my out of town friends to provide them with well-reasoned knowledge. I live here, ergo I must be an expert. Over the years I have stumbled upon the winner just often enough to still be asked, perhaps if only to dismiss my selection from consideration.

I believe Dortmund will emerge from a loaded field of quality colts to cross the wire first this year and wear the garland of roses. It should be noted that the last time a pick of mine was named after a region or city in Germany was Saarland, who finished 10th in 2002.

Dortmund is as physically imposing on the track as any I have seen since Zenyatta. He stands 17 hands tall, with large strides that will hinder him only if he cannot avoid being boxed in. He enters the Derby undefeated, like his sire, 2008 winner Big Brown, so he has the pedigree. He has speed, with two triple digit Beyer figures, including a 106 in the Santa Anita Derby. He has versatility, having won while on the lead, tracking the pace and coming from several lengths behind. Post position 8 is ideal for his early speed. Throw in trainer Bob Baffert and Dortmund is a compelling choice.

My longshot pick is International Star, sired by another former Derby winner, 2000’s Fusaichi Pegasus. Include him in your exotic bets, as he will be coming on strong along the rail at the end.

Good luck and enjoy the day!