Bolt d’oro wins the FrontRunner Stakes
(Benoit Photo)

Bolt d’Oro; winner of the FrontRunner Stakes

by Alastair Bull

Bolt d’Oro deserved favoritism for the FrontRunner Stakes after his three-quarter length Del Mar Futurity (G1) victory. But few would have predicted he’d destroy the field by 7 ¾ lengths, putting himself clearly at the front of the West Coast 2-year-old division.

His performance may be enough to earn him favoritism for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1) Nov. 4, depending on how the Eastern contenders perform this weekend in the Claiborne Breeders’ Futurity (G1) at Keeneland and the Champagne Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park. It also gives him 10 points on the Road to the Kentucky Derby points table.

Bolt d’Oro is one of 19 group/grade 1 winners by Darley’s excellent stallion Medaglia d’Oro. His eight wins include three at grade 1 level: the Travers Stakes (1 ¼ miles), the Donn Handicap (1 1/8 miles), and the Whitney Handicap (1 1/8 miles).

Intriguingly, 11 of his 17 northern hemisphere-bred top-level winners have been fillies (including Songbird, Rachel Alexandra, Marketing Mix, Plum Pretty, and Elate), while both his southern hemisphere-bred group 1 winners, Vancouver and Astern, are colts. But with his American-bred colts including Mshawish, Violence, and Warriors Reward, he’s clearly capable of producing good males.

A $630,000 yearling purchase at the Saratoga yearling sale, Bolt d’Oro clearly handles the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile trip of 1 1/16 miles, as he showed in the FrontRunner. Whether he can stay 1 ¼ miles in the Kentucky Derby is another question.

Medaglia d’Oro’s progeny have excelled at a variety of distances, winning stakes races from six furlongs up to 1 ¾ miles on turf, so his genes shouldn’t hold Bolt d’Oro’s stamina back.

All three wins by Bolt d’Oro’s dam Globe Trot (A.P. Indy) were at a mile, and his second dam Trip (Lord at War) won 11, including stakes races up to 1 1/16 miles. Her third dam Tour (Forty Niner) was a stakes winner at six furlongs; her descendants include the top-class sprinter Zensational.

Many of the black type performers in the family were sprinters, but there are enough good performers at a mile and further to offer optimism about Bolt d’Oro’s stamina. It’s best to continue watching his performances when trying to assess his prospects of staying the Derby trip, should he get there.

Additional Prep Race Pedigree Profiles:

BULL: Iroquois Stakes, The Tabulator

BULL: FrontRunner Stakes, Bolt d’Oro

BULL: Beresford Stakes, Saxon Warrior (JPN)