Unbeaten 3-year-old Dortmund heads a field of 10 for Saturday's $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park.
The San Felipe is the final local prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 4. The race is worth 50 points to the winning horse toward a start in the 141st Kentucky Derby on May 2.
Last year California Chrome won the San Felipe on the way to winning the Santa Anita Derby, Run for the Roses, Preakness and being named Horse of the Year and champion 3-year-old.
Trained by Bob Baffert for Kaleem Shah, Dortmund will start the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe from post 3 with Martin Garcia again in the saddle. Garcia has been aboard the chestnut colt for all four winning races.
Dortmund is coming off a victory four weeks ago as the 3-5 favorite in the $150,000 Robert B. Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita and has 20 points in the Kentucky Derby points system.
"It was exciting, because I thought we were beat," Baffert said after winning the Lewis Stakes last month, "and when he came back like it made me really appreciate it a lot more. It makes it sweeter because going in I thought he was the best horse, then that horse went by him and I thought maybe he's not as good as I thought."
Dortmund won first time out last Nov. 2 at Santa Anita and followed on Nov. 29 with a 7 3/4-length victory in an allowance race at Churchill Downs. He defeated Firing Line in last December's Los Alamitos Futurity by a head and has banked $449,400 from his four wins.
Making his first start of the year will be undefeated colt Ocho Ocho Ocho with Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith leaving from post 2. Ocho Ocho Ocho is owned by DP Racing and trained by Jim Cassidy.
The 3-year-old won his debut last October at Santa Anita followed by wins in the Juvenile Turf Sprint at the track and Delta Downs Jackpot on Nov. 22. Ocho Ocho Ocho has earnings of $693,600.
San Vicente Stakes winner Lord Nelson has drawn the rail for Saturday and will be ridden again by Rafael Bejarano. Lord Nelson, trained by Bob Baffert, is owned by Peachtree Stable with three wins in five starts for $249,571.
Hers is the field for the San Felipe from the rail out: Lord Nelson, Rafael Bejarano; Ocho Ocho Ocho, Mike Smith; Dortmund, Martin Garcia; The Gomper, Tyler Baze; Kenjisstorm, Agapito Delgadillo; Prospect Park, Kent Desormeaux; Bolo, Victor Espinoza; Pulmarack, Drayden Van Dyke; Sir Samson, Joe Talamo and Pain and Misery, Flavien Prat.
The San Felipe has an approximate post time of 6 p.m. ET.