SAN FELIPE TO AWARD 50 KY DERBY QUALIFYING POINTS TO WINNER & IS FINAL MAJOR STEPPINGSTONE TO GRADE I, $1 MILLION SANTA ANITA DERBY ON APRIL 7
ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 26, 2018)–Ridden for the first time by four-time Eclipse Champion Javier Castellano, top Derby candidate Bolt d’Oro worked six furlongs out of the gate this morning at Santa Anita in 1:12 flat and was given gallop out times for seven furlongs in 1:25 flat and a mile in 1:39.80 by Santa Anita’s official clocking crew.
With Castellano committed to the Kentucky-bred colt by Medaglia d’Oro for Santa Anita’s Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at 1 1/16 miles on March 10, Bolt d’Oro came on the track through an in-gap near the quarter pole at about 7:50 a.m. PT, backtracked around the far turn and proceed up the backstretch to the starting gate, which is positioned in the seven furlong chute at the three quarter pole.
Paired in the gate with speedy stablemate, 3-year-old maiden colt Eskimo Roses, “Bolt” broke slowly but was quickly into stride and about a length and a half behind at the half mile pole. With Castellano gradually asking Bolt d’Oro to pick up the pace, he was a length off his prey at the quarter pole and took over while well within himself three sixteenths of a mile from home.
With a couple subtle reminders, Bolt d’Oro appeared to finish well and then was ridden out vigorously around the Club House turn to the seven furlong pole. (Eskimo Roses, with jockey Juan Ochoa up, finished about 10 lengths behind Bolt d’Oro at the wire and was given a six furlong time of 1:14 flat).
“He breezed good, I really like the way he finished,” said Castellano after he had dismounted at owner/trainer Mick Ruis’ barn. “He got some dirt in his face and it didn’t bother him. I asked him little by little to pick it up around the turn and he did it very easy. I rode him the way they asked me and it was a good, solid work.”
Ruis, who watched the work in Santa Anita’s box seat area near the finish line while seated with his wife Wendy and fellow trainer Eric Kruljac, accompanied his horse on foot back to his barn.
“He went a little quick early, but he finished really good,” Ruis said. “I think we’re where we need to be. He’s a very smart horse and he can get very relaxed behind the gate. I’m really glad we worked out of the gate today, because he’ll be much sharper next time.”
With a full complement of racetrack observers on-hand, highly respected private clocker Andy Harrington gave Bolt d’Oro high marks.
“I thought it was a really good work,” said Harrington. “I had him in 47, 1:11 and four and out seven eighths in 1:25 and two. The jock asked him and he got a lot out of him…He went by that other horse in about four strides. Every drill, he gets a little better. This work was encouraging.”
Unbeaten in his first three starts, including a pair of Grade I tallies in the Del Mar Futurity Sept. 4 and in the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 30, Bolt d’Oro was adversely affected by an outside post position in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile on Nov. 4 and he ran third, beaten 5 ¼ lengths as the 3-5 favorite in a field of 12.
Purchased by Ruis for $630,000 at the August, 2016 Fasig Tipton New York Saratoga Select Yearling Sale, Bolt d’Oro, who is out of the A.P. Indy mare Globe Trot, has three wins from four starts and has earnings of $576,000.
Note: The Grade II San Felipe Stakes on March 10 will award the winner 50 Kentucky Derby qualifying points. The second, third and fourth place finishers will each receive 20, 10 and 5 points.
Zoe Metz Phototgraphy throughout