Dortmund to Korea?

FB & Twitter are all in an uproar over this tweet
Have yet to find any actual news about it.

ETA: according to Bonita Farm’s FB page Dorty has been sold & is no longer at their facility.
However, I’ve not been able to find any export paperwork, so no idea if he’s been shipped out of the US yet.

Really a shame.

He only covered 13 mares in 2020.

Didn’t find a date on this article from the Baltimore Sun but maybe a prescience of the future???

with a notable quote…

At Bonita Farm in Darlington, workers walked three new stud horses into the sunshine while Boniface extolled their virtues. The guests snapped cellphone pictures and took notes. They marveled at Dortmund, a tall and broad stallion with a striking chestnut coat and a record of nearly $2 million in winnings.

Sorry to hear that it was reported no stipulations :frowning: Wonder if the truth will come out. This sounds like it was reported for the first time a few months ago but still no notable articles from TB-related webpages.

If Dortmund wasn’t getting mares, something needed to happen… 13 mares probably doesn’t cover the horse’s care for the year. :frowning:

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The fact that they sold him without any kind of parachute is deeply troubling. What would it have taken to add that to the contract? It isn’t like the Koreans are going to want him if he isn’t making it for them. What do they have to lose by allowing him to be guaranteed a trip home?


We don’t actually know for sure that Dortmund was sold with no stipulations but given how quietly he was sold, I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t one.

On the flip side, and not saying it was the right thing to do, if the sellers are going to guarantee a return ticket home then the sellers better be prepared financially to pay for that return ticket and subsequent re-homing somewhere in the US. The sellers may not have the financial means to offer the stipulation.

Additionally, if Dortmund was outright sold to a buyer in Korea, a ‘right of first refusal’ for a horse owned in Korea is worth just about as much as the same thing when the horse is in the US. If the new owner sells the horse on rather than honoring some repatriation or other re-purchase by the original seller, what remedy does the original seller have? Usually not much. Didn’t some of the articles that mentioned stallions being sold to Korea say that some had been sold on to other buyers in Korea?


I’m surprised that Korea is even in the market for a stallion this year considering the state of racing there.

I am guessing that they didn’t pay much, which is even more problematic for the horses future welfare imho.

Even Korea doesn’t need that kind of bad press. Hopefully, it will make others considering selling to Korea more circumspect.

It’s Kaleem Shah, who owned him during his racing career, who OWES this horse.

He needs to be held accountable to repatriate Dortmund. It’s really a shame. I don’t normally cry and moan over horses going overseas but with the recent news on aftercare in Korea, or lack thereof, I’m not happy for Dortmund.


Why does a race owner OWE a horse? My opinion is that the race owner doesn’t OWE the racehorse anything other than a suitable retirement.

Having said that, in the BH article from 10/20/2017

Shah, who is retaining full ownership of Dortmund, agreed.

I was unable to find out if Kaleem Shah subsequently sold Dortmund to Bonita or retained full ownership until Dortmund was sold to South Korea in which case, yes, shame on the Shah for selling him on with no repatriation as the Shah can, at least as best as I can tell, afford it… Bonita maybe not so much.

I find it somewhat ironic that people came down on TSG for a double standard (I get it) when TSG came out against selling TBs to Korea, TSG’s coming out against that strategy certainly raised the issue in the public eye.

I think Shah maintained ownership through his breeding career, or at least majority ownership.

MD breeding has been spiraling down the toilet since Northern Dancer was pensioned. Every now and then someone finds a plunger and makes it seem like it’s on the rise, only to realize nothing but :poop: remains.

In 2017, Stronach, who literally owns the Maryland Jockey Club, was supposedly going to shift his breeding interests from KY and Ontario to regional markets in MD, CA, and AB. Between that and some recent money delegated for purses and breeding incentives, it was like someone took a plunger to the toilet yet again. Everyone started talking about how MD was back on the upswing. Then Shah made the decision to stand Dortmund at Bonita, which was exciting because he was literally the best racehorse to begin his career in MD in decades.

There is no one more optimistic (or naive) than MD horsemen, because no surprise, nothing panned out like it should. Stronach never invested, actually screwed Alberta and Cali by pulling out his good stock and leaving farm owners to fire sale the rest. State money didn’t flow like it was supposed to. We went through a million more rounds about closing Pimlico. Then covid…

Anyway, I’m sad to learn this. It’s not surprising. Dortmund opened really high and never got many mares while here.

This would be the perfect time for the Stronach group show they are serious and intervene, but I doubt that will happen. Also, I don’t trust how they would “intervene.”

According to the BH article Dortmund’s initial stud fee was $7,500 so maybe high for MD or other regional stallions but not that much higher than many regional stallions.

I just looked at another regional stallion. Smiling Tiger, who I don’t think had the race record Dortmund had, stands in CA for $7,500 (for 2021) and he is throwing babies that are performing on the track.

I suspect the time for ‘intervention’ is over if the contract has been signed. We don’t even know where in the export process Dortmund is. Why should, or how could TSH intervene… they have no ownership interest in the horse?

$7500 is insane for an unproven sire in Maryland given our dwindling market.

Regional sires certainly can reach that or more, but generally not until they are proven.

Edited to add: TSG made a big stink that we should stop export to South Korea. Seeing as how they own the tracks, the could certainly limit access to those who choose to sell their horses there. I don’t necessarily condone that type of action, I’m just saying they could.

Remember the $7500 was when Dortmund was retired… what, 4 years ago?

I would agree that unproven in a smaller regional market, overpricing won’t do any stallion any good…
You also gotta wonder at not reading between the lines when Dortmund was retired in Feb 2017 with a stud deal being 'negotiated. In mid-July Dortmund returning to Los Al for training before being retired for good in October 2017.

Yeah, they ‘could’ but given the overall state of TB racing in CA (shaky), I don’t know that I’d want to ban an owner who does support the local market (even if not much). Kaleem’s biggest year in CA appears to be in 2014 and slowly tapering off since then. No graded stakes wins in 2020.

His first season was 2018. His retirement was announced fall of 2017. I was at his first public stallion showing.

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Ok, so 3 years ago :slight_smile:

His first crop would be hitting the track this year if I calculate correctly.

Bonita did NOT ever have any ownership of Dortmund. Shah retained ownership the entire time he stood at Bonita Farms.

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Adding this…
it’s from 7 weeks ago. So he’s been gone for awhile now.

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@mommy_peanut Thanks for confirming that! I was told they didn’t own him back his first season, but things can change.

It sounds like this deal was done in advance of the news about about Private Vow.

That’s what I was wondering (if the deal was done before the Private Vow thing came out). If so, that’s really bad timing but maybe they could change the agreement now and add a return clause.