Owner hopes to keep rolling with Dortmund

Profile Picture: James Scully

December 19th, 2014

The German sports club naming strategy is working well for Kaleem Shah.

First up was Bayern, who capped an outstanding three-year-old season with a victory in the Breeders’ Cup Classic and is a contender for Horse of the Year. His name is an apparent nod to Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, the top tier football league in Germany,

Next on the pitch came Dortmund, an exciting two-year-old who has Shah thinking Kentucky Derby. The unbeaten colt will make his stakes debut in Saturday’s Grade 1 Futurity.

Borussia Dortmund is another prominent squad in the Bundesliga.

After 33 runnings at the now-defunct Hollywood Park, the Futurity will be held for the first time at Los Alamitos. It features a prominent honor roll, with Horse of the Year winners A.P. Indy and Point Given among the seven eventual champions who captured the 1 1/16-mile race, and Dortmund possesses the same potential.

As a result of his last performance, a runaway allowance tally at Churchill Downs that netted a respectable 98 BRIS Speed rating, the massive chestnut was bet down to favoritism among individual interests in Pool 1 of the Kentucky Derby Future Wager. And Dortmund can start accumulating points toward that goal since the Futurity is part of the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series.

He’s been fun to watch in both starts, scoring by a combined 12 1/2 lengths, and the Futurity will provide a better gauge on the hype. I’m expecting another big performance that establishes Dortmund as the clear-cut Kentucky Derby winter-book favorite.

Shah didn’t leave the Premier League out of the equation, naming a horse Everton well before Bayern and Dortmund. The five-year-old has captured three of six starts, but he’s not cut from the same cloth as the German football club namesakes.