Favorites Bolt d’Oro, McKinzie Tune Up For Santa Anita Derby

Top Derby prospects Bolt d’Oro and McKinzie, who were separated by just a head when last they met, each worked a half mile Monday morning at Santa Anita in preparation for a highly anticipated rematch in the in the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby on April 7.

With regular exercise rider Agapito Delgadillo up, Bolt d’Oro, a Kentucky-bred colt by Medaglia d’Oro, came on Santa Anita’s fast main track at approximately 7:45 a.m.while accompanied by a stable pony.  With stablemate Midnight Harbor jogging off comfortably in front of him, “Bolt” moved by the Winner’s Circle well off the rail. 

As the pair rounded the first turn and began down the backstretch, both horses were set free from their ponies and set down for business at the 4 ½ furlong pole, with Bolt d’Oro about two lengths off his target.  As Bolt d’Oro drew even with his workmate at the quarter pole, he opened up three lengths straightening for home and appeared to prevail by about five lengths at the wire while given an official time of 47 flat.

“I was happy before the work and I’m happy now,” said owner/trainer Mick Ruis, who had his superstar out for his first recorded breeze since winning the Grade II San Felipe Stakes via disqualification on March 10.  “He’s doing so well.  I told Agapito to let him gallop out strong to get some air in him.”

Highly respected private clocker Andy Harrington had Bolt d’Oro getting his first quarter in 23 flat.  “Bolt looked terrific,” said Harrington.  “I had him breaking off two lengths behind the other horse and he looked good.  He’s resilient, for sure.  I had him galloping out five eighths in 59 and four (fifths).”

As for Bob Baffert’s McKinzie, who was disqualified from his grueling head victory over Bolt d’ Oro in the San Felipe, he was on the track at the same time and worked shortly after Bolt d’ Oro did.

“Martin Garcia was on McKinzie,” said Harrington.  “He worked in company with his regular workmate, Downtowner and got five eighths in 59 and two.  I had him getting his half in 48 flat.  Baffert likes ‘em to run out strong around the Club House turn and he did.  He looked solid.”  (This was McKinzie’s second work since the San Felipe, as he drilled a half mile in 47.80 on March 20).

With the Kentucky Derby looming on May 5, Bolt d’Oro is currently second nationally with 64 Derby qualifying points, while McKinzie is 10th, with 40 points.

The winner of the Santa Anita Derby will pick up 100 Kentucky Derby qualifying points, with 40 to second, 20 to third and 10 points to the fourth place finisher.

First post time on Santa Anita Derby Day, Saturday, April 7, is at 12 noon.  Admission gates will open at 10 a.m.  For additional information, or to make reservations, please visit santaanita.com or call (626) 574-RACE.

The post Favorites Bolt d’Oro, McKinzie Tune Up For Santa Anita Derby appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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