Breeders' Cup - At The Races


Bolt d'Oro
  • Trainer: Mick Ruis
  • Likely Jockey: Corey Nakatani
  • Owner: Ruis Racing LLC
  • Age & Breeding: 2-year-old colt; Medaglia d'Oro – Globe Trot
  • Season Form Figures: 111
  • Career Highlight: Winning The FrontRunner by almost eight lengths in an impressive time

It goes without saying that the ultimate goal of the two-year-old colts that line up for this year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile will be the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Currently one-two in the market for the “Run for the Roses” are a pair of horses that share a wealth of similarities, not least massive potential and ability.

Bolt d'Oro and Montauk – both expensively-purchased, unbeaten sons of Medaglia d'Oro - come into this Juvenile on the back of wide-margin wins. Montauk has had the sole run so far, and bolted up in maiden company, scoring by 11 lengths in the style of a future top notcher. Trained by Todd Pletcher, he is in the right hands but might find the cut and thrust of the Juvenile a bit overwhelming after just one run, and it may be that connections choose not to overface him so early in his career.

Bolt d'Oro, conversely, is three starts into his career and relatively battle-hardened. He didn't make his debut until August, but is already a dual Grade 1 winner, landing the Del Mar Futurity in gritty, determined fashion before looking all class last time in the FrontRunner Stakes. In truth, he looked to get a perfect trip that day, but there was no doubting his superiority as he came home a near eight-length winner, looking extremely straight-forward and recording a triple-figure Beyer – no mean feat for a juvenile.

The race is even more impressive when the raw time is considered. Bolt D’Oro ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.54 Paradise Woods, the Grade 1-winning 3-year-old filly, had won race 5, the Zenyatta Stakes, by 5 1/4 lengths, going the same 1 1/16 miles in 1:44.34.

Paradise Woods received a 105 on the Beyer scale, Bolt D’Oro only a 100 over the same racing surface. Andy Beyer explained the decision to Marcus Hersh of Daily Racing Form, saying the figure he might have received, 113, seemed implausible.

"If we were to take Bolt d’Oro’s time at face value, he would equal the fastest Beyer Speed Figure by a two-year-old in the last 25 years," Beyer emailed in a post shared on DRF Live.

"Is that possible? Certainly," Beyer wrote. "Bolt d’Oro is well-bred, lightly raced and undefeated. We have no way of knowing how good he might be.

"But if Bolt d’Oro ran a 113, the colts finishing 2-3-4 would have earned figures of 100, 96 and 91. Each of the top four finishers would have improved between 16 and 28 points over his previous career best. My experience in making figures tells me that such a scenario is almost unbelievable."

Still, the figure assigned already makes Bolt D’Oro a standout, and the knowledge that Beyer’s typical methodology would make the figure higher than that makes him look odds-on.

Bolt d'Oro will be one of the more experienced runners in the field and boasts the best figures. Allied with a potent engine and a fine attitude, it is likely to take a very good performance to stop him from solidifying his position at the head not only of the BC Juvenile market, but also for next year’s Kentucky Derby.