Bolt d'Oro, Nakatani Win Del Mar Futurity
Bolt d'Oro © Benoit Photo
Ruis Racing’s Bolt d’Oro, a $630,000 purchase as a yearling, rallied from next-to-last under jockey Corey Nakatani to wear down Zatter late in the stretch and win the Grade I $300,000 Del Mar Futurity Monday on the 36th and final day of the 2017 Del Mar summer racing season.
Sent off as the 7-2 third choice in an outstanding field of two-year-olds, Bolt d’Oro scored by three-quarters of a length in 1:22.91 for the seven furlongs. Zatter, a game second under Rafael Bejarano, had taken the lead in the upper stretch from the unbeaten and 5-2 favored Run Away, but then was unable to hold off the winner.
Zatter, one of two Bob Baffert-trained youngsters seeking to provide the trainer with his 14th Futurity success, was almost five lengths clear of Run Away at the end. Fourth was longshot Dia de Pago, beaten a nose for third. Well-regarded Tatters to Riches, bought for $1 million last April in Florida, was sixth in the field of nine.
Bolt d’Oro, a Kentucky-bred son of Medaglia d’Oro trained by owner Mick Ruis, broke his maiden in his career debut August 5, leading virtually from wire-to-wire. He demonstrated his versatility in scoring from off the pace Monday after trouble at the break.
To his backers, the colt returned $9.80, $5.60 and $3.80 while earning a purse of $180,000. Zatter paid $4.60 and $3.20. Run Away, previously unbeaten in three races, including a triumph in the Best Pal Stakes, returned $3.
In the first of two supporting features on the closing-day program, well-supported Miss Sunset and jockey Mike Smith won the $99,485 C.E.R.F. Stakes by a length and three-quarters over Bad Ju Ju, with even-money favored Classy Tune a disappointing third in the six-furlong sprint for older fillies and mares.
Miss Sunset, a three-year-old daughter of Into Mischief owned by Klein and Lebherz and trained by Jeff Bonde, was timed in 1:09.82 and paid $8.40, $4 and $2.60 in scoring her sixth win in ten starts. Bad Ju Ju returned $4.80 and $2.80, while Classy Tune paid $2.20 to show.
Terra’s Angel, a 19-1 longshot, provided jockey Sasha Risenhoover with her first Del Mar victory as she won the $100,000 Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf by a half-length over One Fast Broad, a stablemate of Bolt d’Oro owned/trained by Ruis and ridden by Nakatani at odds of 45-1. Multiplayer was third, a half-length behind the second horse and a head in front of Klosters in the field of 14 fillies.
Terra’s Angel, a daughter of Drosselmeyer trained by Dallas Keen, accomplished the one-mile over the grass in 1:37.57 and returned $40, $20.80 and $13.20 while earning first money of $60,000. She finished third a month ago in the Sorrento Stakes on the main track. One Fast Broad paid $31.60 and $14.40, while Multiplayer returned $7.40 to show. Terra’s Angel is owned by Texans Johnny Evans and Terry Eoff.
COREY NAKATANI (Bolt d’Oro, winner) – “I was pretty confident going into the race. I thought he was the horse to beat; that they’d have to pick their feet up to beat him. But he’s a very talented colt; he’s very classy. I knew I’d have to have some patience today; to just wait some. And it worked out. In the lane he was big. I have to thank Mick (trainer Mick Ruis). He gave me this shot and I’m glad it worked out.”
RAFAEL BEJARANO (Zatter, second) – “I had a good position; right where I wanted to be. When we went for home, I asked him and he responded. He never stopped running. The winner was just too much today.”
FLAVIEN PRAT (Run Away, third) – “I’m drawn inside, so I’ve got to go. No choice. I got going too fast, but what are you going to do. No real excuses for me. But I wish we would have been drawn outside. You might have seen a different result.”
MIKE SMITH (Soul Streit, fifth) – “No excuses today. He just got outrun.”
MICK RUIS (Bolt d’Oro, winner) – “He got wiped out in the beginning, again. But this horse has so much talent. He can go to the front, he can come from the back. We were, what, six wide around the turn to take the lead. I had this horse maybe 70 percent cranked. I’ll have him a little bit tighter for the Front Runner, so we’re real excited about that. Then we’ll see about the big race here (Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) What does the sign say up front -- Fifty Nine Days away?”
FRACTIONS: :21.88 :44.54 1:09.89 1:22.91
The stakes win was the second of the meet for rider Nakatani, but his second (Winning Pact, 1993) in the Del Mar Futurity. He now has 106 Del Mar stakes wins, second-most all time.
The stakes win was the first at Del Mar for trainer Ruis. It was also his first Grade I win.
The trainer is also the owner.