On This Day...
Photo: NYRA/Bob Coglianese
Bold Lad in 3-year-old debut
April 3, 1965
Bold Lad

The big attraction at Aqueduct April 3 wasn't the $50,000-added Gotham Stakes for 3-year-olds, but the return of the previous year's champion 2-year-old colt Bold Lad in the $8,500 Mowlee purse.

"Bold Lad's return to the races was easily the highlight of a bright sparkling but chilly day which brought out 55,578, largest crowd of the young season," wrote The Blood-Horse's William Rudy about the Wheatley Stable star. "The son of Bold Ruler--Misty Morn was the handsomest as well as the best of last year's 2-year-olds, and the winter has served him well."

Taking on four older horses, Bold Lad raced slightly off the pace in third and took charge in the stretch to win by three lengths and run his win streak to eight. The time, 1:10 3/5, was just a fifth of a second slower than the fastest time of the meeting.

Bold Lad next appeared in the Wood Memorial Stakes at 1 1/8 miles at Aqueduct. He proved no match for Gotham winner Flag Raiser while finishing third. The last of his Derby preps came in the mile Derby Trial, which he won in the good time of 1:35 1/5 the Tuesday before the big race.

Although there was suspicion about Bold Lad handling the Derby distance, that didn't deter bettors from sending him off as the 2-1 favorite. Unfortunately for them, he finished well behind winner Lucky Debonair.

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