Early Kentucky Derby favorite Bolt d’Oro seeks to widen gap in Juvenile

Oct 20, 2017 by James Scully/Brisnet.com

A dominant winner of the September 30 FrontRunner (G1), Bolt d’Oro towers over the competition heading into the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1). The impressive 2-year-old will be the probable odds-on favorite at Del Mar on November 4 and has established himself as the clear early leader for the 2018 Kentucky Derby.

The Juvenile serves as a qualifier in the American Road to the Kentucky Derby series, awarding points on a 20-8-4-2 scale to the top four finishers.

Bolt d’Oro captured his first two starts at Del Mar, easily breaking his maiden before scoring by nearly a length in the Del Mar Futurity (G1), and garnered a pair of respectable BRIS Speed ratings of 91 and 94, respectively. He stylishly stretched out to two turns in the 1 1/16-mile FrontRunner at Santa Anita, dismissing the competition with an eye-catching turn of foot into the stretch, and earned a sensational 105 BRIS Speed rating for the 7 ¾-length decision.

Dick Vitale would call it a “M & Mer” because the Juvenile shapes up to be a mismatch on paper. Bolt d’Oro appears too fast for the competition, possessing a nine-point edge over a trio of rivals with the co-second best last-out BRIS Speed number. The last three favorites to win the Juvenile – Nyquist (2015), Shanghai Bobby (2012) and Uncle Mo (2010) – did not hold such a significant advantage. In fact, Shanghai Bobby is the only Juvenile winner in the last five years to register a triple-digit Speed rating in the final prep race.

Bolt d’Oro will continue to generate significant Kentucky Derby buzz by performing to expectations in the Juvenile.

A $630,000 purchase at the 2016 Fasig-Tiption Saratoga August yearling sale, the bay colt’s pedigree helps fuel the excitement surrounding his Kentucky Derby prospects.

He’s by Medaglia d’Oro, who captured the 1 ¼-mile Travers (G1) and finished second in back-to-back editions of the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). The sire is still seeking his first Kentucky Derby winner but Medaglia d’Oro has proven to be an excellent source of stamina. Offspring include superstar fillies Songbird and Rachel Alexandra, with the latter capturing the second leg of the Triple Crown during her 2009 Horse of the Year campaign.

Owned by Ruis Racing and trained by Mick Ruis, Bolt d’Oro hails from a mare by the legendary A.P. Indy, broodmare sire of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver; 2017 Preakness victor Cloud Computing; and a host of notable Grade 1 winners. The second maternal dam is by Lord at War, broodmare sire of 2002 Kentucky Derby hero War Emblem and 2009 Kentucky Derby runner-up Pioneerof the Nile, the sire of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

Bolt d’Oro looks the part with powerful strides and an imposing frame. And it’s no surprise to see some observers labeling him as the most likely winner on a two-day, 13-race Breeders’ Cup program.

  • Ticket Info

    Sign up for race updates and more