BOLT D’ORO STAMPS HIMSELF A-LIST JUVENILE WITH ROUSING 7 ¾ LENGTHS WIN IN GRADE I, $300,000 FRONTRUNNER STAKES; OWNED & TRAINED BY RUIS AND RIDDEN BY NAKATANI, HE GETS 1 1/16 MILES IN 1:43.54
RACE IS ONE OF FIVE GRADE I BREEDERS’ CUP ‘WIN & YOU’RE IN’ CHALLENGE STAKES
ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 30, 2017)—Corey Nakatani might finally have himself a Kentucky Derby winner and owner/trainer Mick Ruis appears to have struck gold as they teamed for victory in Saturday’s Grade I, $300,000 FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita with Bolt d’Oro. A Kentucky-bred colt by Medaglia d’Oro, he steamed to a 7 ¾ lengths win while getting a mile and a sixteenth in 1:43.54—which was more than three seconds faster than undefeated 2-year-old filly Moonshine Memories, who took the Grade I Chandelier Stakes one race earlier.
Fresh off victory going seven furlongs in the Grade I Del Mar Futurity Sept. 4, Bolt d’Oro settled nicely in second position going into the Club House turn and pulled Nakatani alongside pacesetter Take the One O One approaching the quarter pole and opened up through the lane like a colt with a limitless future.
Unbeaten now in three starts, Bolt d’Oro was off at 4-5 in a field of nine and paid $3.80, $2.80 and $2.20.
Owned by Ruis Racing, LLC, Bolt d’Oro, in his first try around two turns, picked up $180,000 for the win, increasing his earnings to $396,000.
Ridden by Flavien Prat and trained by Bob Baffert, Solomini proved second best, finishing 2 ½ lengths in front of Take the One O One. Off at 3-1, Solomini paid $3.80 and $3.00.
Ridden by Joe Talamo, Take the One O One, a 72-1 longshot, finished 3 ½ lengths in front of Ayacara and paid $7.00 to show.
Fractions on the race were 23.17, 47.23, 1:11.88 and 1:36.96.
FRONTRUNNER STAKES QUOTES
GRADE I, $300,000
COREY NAKATANI, BOLT D’ORO, WINNER: “I was more impressed when I watched the replay. I really liked the way he did it. He’s confident wherever he is at, he is a special animal. Mick gave me the instructions and the horse did the rest. I’m looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup as well as the first Saturday in May in Kentucky. Mick had his friend, the great Hall of Famer Lynn Swann, here today. He was my idol as a kid. I always wanted to play like Lynn.”
MATT NAKATANI, JOCKEY AGENT AND SON OF COREY: “This is amazing. A year ago, I was begging my dad to come back to ride because I knew he was the best guy in the jock’s room. My dad has never won the Kentucky Derby, it’s the one race that he hasn’t won. To think that we’re now just eight or nine months away from possibly having that opportunity…It’s an unbelievable feeling and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.”
FLAVIEN PRAT, SOLOMINI, SECOND: “He ran a great race. That was only his second start and he did everything I asked him to do. He was just beat by a good horse that has more experience. But he ran a great race.”
MICK RUIS, BOLT D’ORO, WINNER: “This was pretty cool. We thought he was going to run a good race. We thought he could run two turns, and now we know he can.
“Ike Green (Ruis’ racing manager) picked him out at as a yearling at the Saratoga Select sales. He loved him when he broke him. When we got him to San Luis Rey Downs they said he just moved fantastic. We got him into our barn here in March and everyone that got on him said he was special. He’s still proving everybody right.
“We learned that he could break today. We always knew he could but we didn’t want him to think he was a sprinter in those other races so I think we’re on the right track. We’ll see how he comes out of this race and just go from there.
“He always did break well. I just didn’t want to rush him out in his 6 ½ furlong debut or his 7 furlong race. Our goal was this race and the Breeders’ Cup, and then give him a chance to grow up. Hopefully what dreams are made of is what this guy might be able to get us to. That’s why we tried to stay on course and not get too excited about the Grade I at Del Mar. That was all on his natural talent.”