Kentucky Derby connection for Highlands mare

The unbeaten Big Brown colt Dortmund confirmed his status as a leading contender for the 2015 G1 Kentucky Derby when he justified 3-5 favouritism with a four and a quarter length romp in Saturday’s G1 Santa Anita Derby to stamp himself a top contender for the US Triple Crown series, which commences with the Kentucky Derby, goes on to the G1 Preakness Stakes and concludes in the G1 Belmont Stakes.

Following his star’s impressive victory in Saturday’s big race (won last year by subsequent Horse Of The Year California Chrome), trainer Bob Baffert said, “”When we bought him, he looked like a really good horse,” Baffert noted, “but he was just a big horse, and sometimes they don’t turn out. He’s a big, long- legged horse. When he made the lead and when he gets by himself like that, he’ll idle on you a little bit, so he had to keep going.”

Dortmund

Dortmund

Now a perfect six from six outings, Dortmund had won three previous graded stakes before Saturday’s $1 million win. The 3yo’s past wins included the G1 Los Alamitos Futurity, G2 Robert B Lewis Stakes and the G2 San Felipe Stakes and Dortmund has already over $1.289 million to his credit, with the promise of plenty more to come.

Excitingly this outstanding colt has South African connections. The Highlands Farm based mare Banshee Girl hails from the same family as North America’s latest undefeated phenom.

Former US Champion Lakeville Miss is the link between the two –as she is the second dam of the well bred Banshee Girl (by Deputy Minister) and the third dam of Dortmund himself.
A daughter of Royal Charger son Rainy Lake, Lakeville Miss was North America’s Champion Two-Year-Old Filly of 1977, when she won five of eight races including the G1 Matron Stakes, and G1 Selima Stakes. Unlike many two-year-old champs, Lakeville Miss trained on well to land the G1 CCA Oaks (over 2400m) at three, and while she had bad luck at stud (she had only five live foals from 13 years at stud), Lakeville Miss managed to produce G1 Champagne Stakes hero Mogambo (by Mr Prospector).

Her South African granddaughter Banshee Girl (by champion sire and broodmare sire Deputy Minister) has had three winners to date – including the recent impressive scorer Morning Light, a daughter of Dynasty who looks sure to progress to bigger and better things for trainer Brett Crawford and owner Gainesway Stable.

Banshee Girl currently has a weanling Pathfork filly, and is back in foal to that champion son of Distorted Humor.

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