By virtue of impressive wins in the FrontRunner (G1) and Del Mar Futurity (G1), Bolt d’Oro established himself as a top contender for the 2018 Kentucky Derby. A troubled third as the 3-5 favorite in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) did little to harm his reputation and the well-built son of Medaglia d’Oro will make his much-anticipated return to the races in Saturday’s $400,000 San Felipe (G2) at Santa Anita.
It’s not an easy spot with well-regarded McKinzie also entered and the 1 1/16-mile San Felipe will award a total of 85 points (50-20-10-5) as a Road to the Kentucky Derby series qualifier.
Co-owned and trained by Mick Ruis, Bolt d’Oro stylishly captured his first three starts and registered BRIS Speed numbers as high as 105. The bay colt will receive a rider switch to Javier Castellano.
McKinzie brings an excellent slate of BRIS Speed ratings (100-100-104) and undefeated record into his fourth career start. An eye-catching debut winner in late October, the Bob Baffert pupil was placed first in his stakes debut, the Los Alamitos Futurity (G1), after stewards disqualified stablemate Solomini for interfering with another rival. The Street Sense colt exits a facile 3 ½-length tally in the January 6 Sham (G3) at Santa Anita and regular rider Mike Smith has the call.
Lombo and Ayacara, the 1-2 finishers in the February 3 Robert B. Lewis (G3), are back for the San Felipe. The former picks up a new jockey in Rafael Bejarano while the latter keeps Kent Desormeaux in the boot.
San Vicente (G2) winner Kanthaka figures to be rolling in his first two-turn attempt. Conditioned by Jerry Hollendorfer, the son of Jimmy Creed rallied boldly to win his last start going away by 3 ¼ lengths and Flavien Prat sticks with the late-running chestnut.
Maiden winners Aquila, Calexman and Peace complete the line-up.