The rivalry doesn’t yet rise to Affirmed vs. Alydar or Sunday Silence vs. Easy Goer, but if Saturday’s first head-to-head meeting between 2017 Eclipse Award finalist and two-time Grade I winner Bolt d’Oro (Medaglia d’Oro) and GISW and ‘TDN Rising Star‘ McKinzie (Street Sense) is a harbinger of things to come, racing fans have much to look forward to. The latter, by 20 cents on the dollar the post-time favorite, crossed the wire a head to the good of his slightly more accomplished foe, but the inquiry sign flashed as soon as the results were posted, with a claim of foul by Javier Castellano–in town to guide Bolt d’Oro–soon after. It took three stewards the better part of 10 minutes to render a decision, but in the end, they unanimously ruled that the second of two bumping incidents as the duo neared the wire was significant enough to cost Bolt d’Oro the victory and the protest was upheld.
Said California Horse Racing Board Chief Steward Darrel McHargue: “The incident inside the sixteenth pole was clear. McKinzie…came out under a left-handed whip and shifted…Bolt d’Oro, out, off his path and cost him a better placing. The margin of win was only a head so therefore, McKinzie was taken down.”
The decision detracted only mildly from a race that delivered precisely what it promised.
In what proved to be easily the afternoon’s most significant Kentucky Derby prep, Bolt d’Oro was allowed to box seat the race after leaving from the one hole and the $ 630,000 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga graduate bided his time just behind the leaders before popping away from the fence to go on the attack three wide nearing the lane. Fractionally in front off the home corner, he dueled grimly outside of McKinzie after the two exchanged bumps for the first time in upper stretch and fought on bravely to the line, but just missed. Head-on replays showed that the even-money favorite came out slightly on Bolt d’Oro in the final 40 yards which, in the eyes of the stewards, was enough to reverse placings.
“This was a steppingstone and that’s all we needed,” said winning trainer Mick Ruis. “He’ll come back good. We wanted to run a good race. I don’t think the fans and everybody else could have had a better finish from the two horses they thought were going to run like they expected. I wasn’t even thinking about the inquiry the whole time. I was just so proud of Bolt, and if he got moved up, he did. This wasn’t the race we were really pointing for. We want to go to the Santa Anita Derby, but getting moved up is awesome.”
McKinzie, who ironically earned his victory in the GI Los Alamitos Futurity in a much-maligned disqualification of stablemate Solomini (Curlin), should have stayed up in the understandably one-sided view of his Hall of Fame trainer.
“That’s some bulls—,” Bob Baffert said. “Javier had a better story, I guess. I’m shocked, after the way he hit us at the top of the stretch. I don’t know what they’re looking at, but apparently he talked them into it. That’s why they should never talk to the jockeys, just watch it themselves.”
Winner of last year’s GI Del Mar Futurity, overcoming a slow start, and GI FrontRunner S., Bolt d’Oro endured a horrific trip as the 7-10 chalk in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and it can be argued that he did well to be third, beaten just over five lengths, while covering a whopping 78 feet (about eight lengths) more than the victorious Good Magic (Curlin). Bolt d’Oro was to have his seasonal debut in the GII San Vicente S., won impressively by Kanthaka (Jimmy Creed), but had that return delayed by a muscle pull.
A half-brother to MSW & MGSP Sonic Mule (Distorted Humor), Bolt d’Oro is a maternal grandson of the talented Claiborne MGSW distaffer Trip, the dam of SW Passport (Pulpit) and the second dam of MSW & MGSP and ‘TDN Rising Star’ Recruiting Ready (Algorithms). Bolt d’Oro’s third dam Tour also carried the Claiborne silks and was responsible for SW Laity (Pulpit), MSW Joke (Phone Trick)–the dam of MGISW Zensational (Unbridled’s Song)–and the dams of SW & GSP The Great War (War Front) and MGSW Departing (War Front). Globe Trot’s Curlin colt of 2016, the mare’s last listed produce, fetched $ 250,000 from Sagamore Farm at last year’s Keeneland September sale. Similar to Saturday’s GIII Gotham S. winner Enticed, who is out of a Mineshaft mare, Bolt d’Oro is bred on the same cross as GI Kentucky Oaks victress Plum Pretty, GISW Dickinson and GSW Cyrus Alexander. Last year’s GI Alabama S. and GI Ruffian S. winner Elate has a second dam by A.P. Indy, while another of Medaglia d’Oro’s Grade I winners, Lochte, is out of a mare by Lemon Drop Kid, who shares second dam Lassie Dear (Buckpasser) with A.P. Indy.
Saturday, Santa Anita
SAN FELIPE S.-GII, $ 400,690, SA, 3-10, 3yo, 1 1/16m, 1:42.71, ft.
*1–BOLT D’ORO, 124, c, 3, by Medaglia d’Oro
1st Dam: Globe Trot, by A.P. Indy
2nd Dam: Trip, by Lord At War (Arg)
3rd Dam: Tour, by Forty Niner
($ 630,000 Ylg ’16 FTSAUG). O-Ruis Racing LLC; B-WinStar Farm,
LLC (KY); T-Mick Ruis; J-Javier Castellano. $ 240,000. Lifetime
Record: MGISW, 5-4-0-1, $ 816,000. *1/2 to Sonic Mule
(Distorted Humor), MSW & MGSP, $ 264,190. Click for
eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree. Werk Nick Rating: A+++
*2–McKinzie, 124, c, 3, Street Sense–Runway Model, by
Petionville. ($ 170,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP). ‘TDN Rising Star’
O-Karl Watson, Michael Pegram & Paul Weitman; B-Summer
Wind Farm (KY); T-Bob Baffert. $ 80,000.
3–Kanthaka, 120, c, 3, Jimmy Creed–Sliced Bread, by
Noonmark. ($ 38,000 RNA Ylg ’16 FTKJUL; $ 140,000 2yo ’17
BARMAR). O-West Point Thoroughbreds; B-Spendthrift Farm
LLC (KY); T-Jerry Hollendorfer. $ 48,000.
Margins: (HD, 6HF), HF. Odds: 1.20, 1.00, 6.00.
*McKinzie finished first, but was disqualified and placed second.
Also Ran: Peace, Ayacara (GB), Aquila, Lombo. Scratched: Calexman. Click for the Equineline.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.