‘Bring Him On’: Ruis Has Bolt D’Oro Ready To Meet Justify

The top two in this weekend’s Kentucky Derby Future Wager, Bolt d’Oro and Justify, are scheduled to meet in the Grade 1 Santa Anita Derby on Saturday. The two are quite different: Bolt d’Oro brings in a very strong record, including two Grade 1 wins, while Justify has only an allowance race and maiden victory to his credit. Nonetheless, the highly-touted Justify is expected to mount a serious challenge for Bolt d’Oro.

“Justify? I say bring him on,” trainer Mick Ruis told thoroughbredracing.com. “Bolt’s done his running, and if we’re faster than him, we’ll win, right?”

Tuned to about “70 percent” readiness ahead of the San Felipe last month, Bolt d’Oro stayed on gamely to battle McKinzie down the lane. McKinzie may have had his nose in front at the wire, but stewards ruled that the Bob Baffert trainee had interfered with Bolt d’Oro in the stretch. McKinzie was disqualified, giving the victory to Bolt d’Oro.

With McKinzie out of the Santa Anita Derby due to an unspecified injury, it will be up to his stablemate Justify to seek redemption against Bolt d’Oro. The talented son of the late Scat Daddy will need to finish first or second to make it into the field for the Kentucky Derby, but Ruis believes Bolt d’Oro is even better now than he was going in to the San Felipe.

“He weighed 1,224 pounds going into the San Felipe, and we think he’ll be weighing more going into the Santa Anita Derby,” Ruis said. “It’s incredible — you’d think after being off that long, and what a fight that was, what a dual down the stretch, it would have knocked him down a bit. But no.”

Read more at thoroughbredracing.com.

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