America's top rated 2-year-old, Bolt d'Oro will stay home at Santa Anita on the road to the Kentucky Derby in May, according to owner/trainer Mick Ruis.
“We appreciate having stalls at Santa Anita and we want to run our horse here,” said Ruis, when reached by telephone Thursday afternoon in New York City. “Right now our plan is to run Bolt d'Oro in the San Felipe Stakes (Grade II, $400,000 in March) as a steppingstone to the Santa Anita Derby (Grade I, $1 million in early April). From there, if all goes well, it's on to the Kentucky Derby on May 5.”
Although disappointed by his colt's third place finish as the heavy 3-5 favorite in the Grade I Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile this past Saturday, Ruis was buoyed by the fact that earlier in the day Daily Racing Form upgraded Bolt d'Oro's controversial Beyer Speed Figure of 100 to 103 in Santa Anita's Grade I FrontRunner Stakes on Sept. 30.
The upgraded Beyer number of 103 is the highest figure earned by any 2-year-old this year. Quoting a story Thursday from Daily Racing Form staff, “The time of the Sept. 30 race was spectacularly fast in comparison with other stakes at 1 1/16 miles on (that day's) card. If that time was taken at face value, Bolt d'Oro would have earned a Beyer Figure of 113, equaling the best performance by a 2-year-old in 25 years.
“Such a figure would have meant that the top four finishers all improved on their previous best efforts by 16 points or more—a highly implausible scenario, in the view of the Beyer team. Accordingly, they assigned the FrontRunner (winner) an arbitrary figure of 100.”
A rousing 7 ¾ length winner of the FrontRunner, Bolt d'Oro entered the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Saturday undefeated in three starts, but was victimized by an outside post position 11 in a field of 12, resulting in an extremely wide trip under regular rider Corey Nakatani.
Although he lost considerable ground around both turns and down the backside, Bolt d'Oro, who was voted Horse of the Meet at Santa Anita's recently concluded Autumn Meet, finished up with good energy while beaten 5 ¼ lengths by the Chad Brown-conditioned Good Magic.
“I still think we have the best horse,” said Ruis on Sunday morning. “He came back sound and happy, ate all his food…We'll give him 60 days to chill out, keep him at the barn and let him graze on some grass. We're looking forward…We're not going to run away from anybody. If we're going to win the big one, we've got to run against the Bob Bafferts and all the other ones.”
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