ARCADIA, CA – Natalie (Jill) Baffert’s Dr. Dorr rewarded those who made him the prohibitive 1-2 favorite at the betting window with a dominating performance in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Californian Stakes at Santa Anita.
Off sharply from post 4 under Joe Talamo, Dr. Dorr dueled alongside Soi Phet through opening splits of :23.28, :47.81, and 1:12.29. Taking command heading into the far turn, Dr. Dorr kicked clear in the stretch under mild urging. The 5-year-old gelded son of Lookin At Lucky responded well, hitting the wire first by 7 1/4 lengths in a final time of 1:49.84 for the 1 1/8-mile main track event.
“He handled the added distance, no problem,” Talamo said. “He was very professional, stalked that horse and when I asked him there, he really took off. It was great to see him finish up like that. He’s scary-good right now, that’s for sure.”
Prince of Arabia rallied late to take second by a neck over The Lieutenant, with Full of Luck a nose behind in fourth. Soi Phet faded and outlasted only Curlin Road.
Dr. Dorr’s win was his third in as many starts in 2018 and improved his record to 11-5-0-1 with earnings of $288,320. The frequent workmate of the likely Kentucky Derby favorite Justify will likely make his next start in the Grade 1 Gold Cup here at the end of May for Bob Baffert, who along with training was Dr. Dorr’s co-breeder.
“I give a lot of credit to Talamo,” he said. “He rode him very patiently and he rode him like he’s a good horse. I was really surprised myself, the way he kicked into gear. It was really good that he didn’t need the lead today, that was good.”
Dr. Dorr returned $3 to win, $2.20 to place, and $2.10 to show. Prince of Arabia brought back $5.80 to place and $3.80 to show, while The Lieutenant paid $3.20 to show.