Castellano To Ride Bolt D’Oro In San Felipe Stakes

Javier Castellano will ride Bolt d’Oro when the runner-up for an Eclipse Award in the 2-year-old male division last year makes his 3-year-old debut in the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita on March 10, owner/trainer Mick Ruis said Sunday morning.

Corey Nakatani had ridden the $630,000 son of Medaglia d’Oro in his four career starts, winning three, including the Grade I Del Mar Futurity and the Grade I FrontRunner Stakes, but finished third to eventual Eclipse Award winner Good Magic in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar last Nov. 4, going wide throughout the mile and one-sixteenth test as the 7-10 favorite.

Good Magic broke his maiden in the race at odds of 11-1.

“Castellano’s going to ride Bolt d’Oro the San Felipe,” Ruis said. “I was disappointed in the Breeders’ Cup, but I just don’t want to make excuses.”

Yesterday, Bolt d’Oro had his first workout since the Breeders’ Cup, going three furlongs with Nakatani aboard in 36.80. The bay colt had missed valuable training time up till then due to a pulled muscle, delaying his start on the Triple Crown trail.

The Breeders’ Cup defeat no doubt cost Bolt d’Oro the championship, which he lost by only 18 points, 131-113, the closest margin in any of the 17 Eclipse Award categories.

Castellano, a 40-year-old native of Venezuela who is represented by agent Mike Lakow, a former Santa Anita and NYRA racing executive, won four consecutive Eclipse Awards as the nation’s outstanding jockey from 2013 through 2016, and finished fourth behind victorious Jose Ortiz in 2017. Castellano is one of five finalists for Santa Anita’s prestigious George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award, the winner of which will be announced next month.

Ruis, meanwhile, was off to Kentucky Sunday afternoon for a first-hand look at his new purchase, Chestnut Farm in Lexington, a 169-acre spread formerly owned by Michael House. “I bought it sight unseen,” said Ruis, a major entrepreneur in other business endeavors in addition to Thoroughbred racing.

Ruis will return to Santa Anita Tuesday to oversee training activities.

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