Ruis Racing’s Bolt d’Oro emerged as the pro tem leader of the West Coast’s two-year-old set with a victorious stakes debut in Monday’s $301,380 Del Mar Futurity (G1). He didn’t achieve it with warp speed like Usain Bolt, but rather a long sustained rally that suggests he’ll handle longer distances on the road to the 2018 Kentucky Derby (G1).

Trained by Mick Ruis and well ridden by Corey Nakatani, the 7-2 chance bided his time off the hot pace until the far turn, when he improved his position. Bolt d’Oro went after new leader Zatter, a Bob Baffert trainee who began to look like the Hall of Famer’s 14th Del Mar Futurity winner. The further down the stretch they went, however, the stronger Bolt d’Oro proved, and he overtook Zatter near the wire. After completing seven furlongs in 1:22.91 on the fast track, the winner paid $9.80.

Bolt d’Oro was coming off a first-out win at Del Mar on August 5, so he’s now unbeaten from two starts. By Medaglia d’Oro – the sire of recently-retired champion Songbird and 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra – he is out of a mare by Hall of Famer A.P. Indy. With a pedigree and physique to match, he was a $630,000 yearling purchase.

Next up for Bolt d’Oro is a Kentucky Derby points race, likely the FrontRunner (G1) on September 30 at Santa Anita. That 1 1/16-mile event, a “Win & You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) back at Del Mar November 4, would mark his first try around two turns.

Photo courtesy Benoit