Santa Anita full of Breeders’ Cup implications Saturday – Orange County Register

ARCADIA — Trainer Mick Ruis might not have a full-blown case of Kentucky Derby fever quite yet, but if Bolt d’Oro wins the FrontRunner Stakes, one of five Grade I Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge races with purses of $300,000 each Saturday at Santa Anita, he might crack out the thermometer.
Bolt d’Oro, a son of Medaglia d’Oro, has kicked off his career like a colt with serious Derby potential. He won his debut Aug. 5 at Del Mar by 2 1/4 lengths despite a slow start and then navigated his way into the Grade I ranks, holding off Zatter for a half-length victory in the Del Mar Futurity on Sept. 4 despite another tardy start from the gate.
Now comes his first try around two turns, always a challenge for a 2-year-old with Kentucky Derby hopes to see if he or she is capable of running the Derby’s mile-and-a-quarter distance. Seeing as though Bolt d’Oro was sired by Songbird’s daddy, he should have little trouble with Saturday’s FrontRunner distance of 1 1/16 miles versus eight other juvenile colts.
“I’m really happy with how he’s coming up to the race,” said Ruis, part owner and trainer of the $630,000 yearling purchase.
Bolt d’Oro, who’ll be ridden again by Corey Nakatani, is the 2-1 morning-line favorite. Zatter, trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Ahmed Zayat — he of American Pharoah fame — is the second choice at 5-2. Baffert and Zayat have another colt in the race to keep an eye on. Solomini broke his maiden at first asking by 1 3/4 lengths at Del Mar on Sept. 2, and the son of Curlin looked like a good thing while doing it. He’s 4-1 and will be ridden by Flavien Prat.
After he won the Del Mar Futurity, Ruis told reporters in the winner’s circle he had gone to the window before the race and bet Bolt d’Oro with supreme confidence. He returned $9.80 that day for each $2 investment, with Ruis telling everyone, “I’d show you my tickets, but I don’t want the IRS to get me.”
Ruis said he had Bolt d’Oro only…

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