First Time They've Teamed Up
By Dick Downey
Photo by Zoe Metz Photography
Javier Castellano was at Santa Anita this morning, away from his Florida winter base, to get on top of Bolt d’Oro for a six-furlong workout from the gate. It was the colt's final work before the March 10 San Felipe Stakes.
The runner-up for last year's 2-year-old male champion honors was timed in 1:12 flat and was given gallop out times for seven furlongs in 1:25 flat and a mile in 1:39.80 by Santa Anita clockers.
Castellano, who has ridden other Kentucky Derby prospects, is committed to Bolt d’Oro for the San Felipe. Beyond that, things are up in the air.
Bolt d’Oro came onto the track through a gap near the quarter pole, backtracked around the far turn and proceed up the backstretch to the starting gate, which was positioned in the seven furlong chute at the three-quarter pole.
He worked in company with 3-year-old maiden colt Eskimo Roses. Bolt d'Oro broke slowly but was quickly into stride and about a length and a half behind his workmate after a quarter-mile. Castellano asked Bolt d’Oro to pick up the pace, and he was a length behind Eskimo Roses after another quarter-mile. He took command after another sixteenth of a mile. Eskimo Roses, with jockey Juan Ochoa up, finished about 10 lengths behind Bolt d’Oro at the wire and was given a six furlong time of 1:14 flat.
Bolt d’Oro appeared to finish well and was ridden out around the clubhouse turn to the seven furlong pole.
“He breezed good, I really like the way he finished,” said Castellano. “He got some dirt in his face, and it didn’t bother him. I asked him little by little to pick it up around the turn and he did it very easy. I rode him the way they asked me, and it was a good, solid work.”
Owner-trainer Mick Ruis, who watched the work in Santa Anita’s box seat area near the finish line while seated with his wife Wendy and fellow trainer Eric Kruljac, accompanied his horse on foot back to his barn.
“He went a little quick early, but he finished really good,” Ruis said. “I think we’re where we need to be. He’s a very smart horse, and he can get very relaxed behind the gate. I’m really glad we worked out of the gate today, because he’ll be much sharper next time.”
Respected private clocker Andy Harrington gave Bolt d’Oro high marks.
“I thought it was a really good work,” said Harrington. “I had him in 47, 1:11 and four and out seven eighths in 1:25 and two. The jock asked him and he got a lot out of him…He went by that other horse in about four strides. Every drill, he gets a little better. This work was encouraging.”
Bolt d'Oro was unbeaten in his first three starts, including a pair of grade I tallies in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 4 and in the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita on Sept. 30. He ran third behind 2-year-old champion Good Magic, beaten 5 1/4 lengths as the 3-5 favorite, in a field of 12 in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Nov. 4. He's been away from the races since.