If we’re to believe recent history, the 2017 Frontrunner Stakes is a pivotal stop on the Road to the Kentucky Derby. Lookin At Lucky, Nyquist and American Pharoah are all recent winners who have gone on to find success as three-year-old colts. Attempting to join their ranks is Bolt d’Oro, one of the top end two-year-olds who made an emphatic statement at Santa Anita over the weekend.
Going off as a 4/5 favorite, Bolt d’Oro parked himself right behind Take The One O One, a massive 70/1 longshot who set the pace early with fractions of :23.17, :47.23 and 1:11.88. Behind them were the highly regarded Zatter and Solimini who each shared 3/1 odds and wrestled each other for third or fourth as the race unfolded.
Bolt d’Oro slammed his foot on the gas pedal early on, taking the lead from Take The One O One around the far turn and was absolutely untouchable down the stretch as he buried his rivals in the dust. The Mick Ruis colt would win the 2017 Frontrunner Stakes in a time of 1:43.54, which isn’t legendary by historic standards but was more than enough considering his competition on the day.
The victory is the most substantial for Ruis Racing LLC, a new ownership group that was formed just last year. Former jockey turned entrepreneur turned horse owner Mick Ruis has seemingly hit gold early on in his newest venture, and the sky’s the limit for this blazing colt. The 2017 Frontrunner Stakes not only gave up 10 derby points, but also grants Bolt d’Oro a berth in the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile which will be hosted by Del Mar.
“This was pretty cool,” Ruis said following the win. “We thought he was going to run a good race. We thought he could run two turns, and now we know he can.” What’s even more important is that Bolt d’Oro ran the 2017 Frontrunner Stakes with a patient, capitalizing style that’s needed to win on the grand stages.
“We learned that he could break today,” Ruis continued. “We always knew he could, but we didn’t want him to think he was a sprinter in those races, so I think we’re on the right track. 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.”
Jockey Corey Nakatami was equally excited after winning the 2017 Frontrunner Stakes. “I’m looking forward to the Breeders’ Cup, as well as the first Saturday in May in Kentucky,” Nakatani said. That’s enough indication as any that Bolt d’Oro is the colt to watch for the next seven months as we get ready for yet another fantastic run up to the 2018 Triple Crown.
Coming in second was Solomini, followed by 2017 Frontrunner Stakes frontrunner Take The One O One. Zatter finished a disappointing fifth.