Speedway Stable's Collected returned from a more than 10-month layoff to impressively win the $75,000 Santana Mile April 1 at Santa Anita Park, and left behind tiring former stablemate Dortmund in the process.
As the massive grade 1 winner carrying the colors of Kaleem Shah was under a drive in the final turn, the Bob Baffert-trained Collected cruised by with a four-wide move to take command just before the quarter pole and left the field in his wake to win by 3 3/4 lengths ahead of runner-up Avanti Bello.
Tracking a three-way contest for the lead in the backstretch, Collected—who made his first start since a 10th-place run in the 2016 Preakness Stakes (G1)—surged by under jockey Martin Garcia, and completed the mile in 1:36.76.
"He ran some really big races last year," Baffert said of the City Zip colt's wins in the Sham Stakes (G3), Sunland Park Festival of Racing Stakes, and Lexington Stakes (G3). "So he was taking a big class jump here, but he's been training really well and he's so fresh. The owners are patient people and we thought this would be a good spot. It turned out well. There were some tough horses in there."
One horse in the race, Baffert knows all too well. The Hall of Famer trained Dortmund to a pair of grade 1 victories early in his career and brought him to the 2015 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (G1) with an undefeated record.
But when Baffert and Shah ended their business relationship at the end of 2016, Dortmund moved to the barn of Art Sherman. The 5-year-old son of Big Brown finished sixth in his first start for Sherman, the March 11 Frank E. Kilroe Mile (G1T), then had a rough go in the Santana Mile.
He bobbled at the start under jockey Victor Espinoza, squeezed through a pair of horses entering the first turn, and was a head off the first quarter in :22.70 set by Magic Mark. Dortmund put a head in front through a half in :46.10 and was already dropping back in third after six furlongs in 1:11.19. He hit the wire fourth, a half-length ahead of Magic Mark.
"He felt great going into the gate," Espinoza said. "When he stumbled, I put him into the race. Going into the first turn I realized there were three of us going for it, and I thought about taking hold of him, but he was already there.
"He never really got into his stride today, all the way around there. I know he's better than this."
It was the sixth consecutive loss for Dortmund since his last victory in the 2015 Native Diver Stakes (G3).
Collected improved his record to 5-1-0 from eight starts and has earnings of $480,500. He was bred in Kentucky, out of the Johannesburg mare Helena Bay, by Runnymede Farm and Peter Callahan.