In its two years of operation, Ruis Racing has done its best work during the summer at Del Mar.
In 2016 Union Strike took the Del Mar Debutante (G1) in her second start, and in 2017 Bolt d'Oro provided owner/trainer Mick Ruis another top-level juvenile win in the $300,000 Del Mar Futurity (G1) Sept. 4.
Eighth in the field of nine early behind fast fractions, jockey Corey Nakatani made a four-wide move in the turn to get into contention, then wore down Zayat Stables' Zatter to win by three-quarters of a length in a final time of 1:22.91 for the seven furlongs over a fast main track.
"I was pretty confident going into the race," Nakatani said of Bolt d'Oro, who overcame a troubled start to win his debut Aug. 5 at Del Mar. "I thought he was the horse to beat—that they'd have to pick their feet up to beat him. But he's a very talented colt. He's very classy."
Master Ruler broke the best from post 2, but Soul Streit rushed up on the inside under jockey Mike Smith to take command and set fractions of :21.88 and :44.54 through a half-mile. Bolt d'Oro broke slow and was squeezed between horses at the start, but settled well near the back of the pack.
"He got wiped out again in the beginning—again," Ruis said. "He can go to the front, he can come from the back. We were, what, six wide around the turn to take the lead? I had this horse maybe 70% cranked. I'll have him a little bit tighter for the FrontRunner (G1, at Santa Anita Park Sept. 30). Then we'll see about the (grade 1 Sentient Jet Breeders' Cup Juvenile)."
Zatter, who defeated Bob Baffert-trained stablemate St Patrick's Day in his debut Aug. 20 at Del Mar, broke well from the outside post, settled into a stalking fourth early on, and moved by the frontrunners on the outside in the turn. With a furlong to run, he held a one-length lead on Bolt d'Oro, but could not hold the closer off.
"I had a good position—right where I wanted to be," said Zatter's jockey, Rafael Bejarano. "When we went for home, I asked him and he responded. He never stopped running. The winner was just too much today."
Run Away, who came into the Futurity undefeated in three starts and off a 3 1/2-length victory in the Best Pal Stakes (G2), was involved in the hot pace early and finished third, 4 3/4 lengths behind Zatter.
"I'm drawn inside (in post 3), so I've got to go—no choice" said Run Away's jockey, Flavien Prat. "I got going too fast, but what are you going to do? No real excuses for me, but I wish we would have been drawn outside. You might have seen a different result."
Dia de Pago, who closed to finish second in the Best Pal, again came running late to finish fourth in the Futurity. He was followed by Soul Streit, Tatters to Riches, Gracida, Master Ruler, and Fleetwood to complete the order of finish.
The victory was the first grade 1 win for Ruis as a trainer. His daughter, Shelbe Ruis, trained Union Strike when she won the Debutante.
Bred in Kentucky by WinStar Farm, out of the A.P. Indy mare Globe Trot, Bolt d'Oro was a $630,000 purchase out of the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale. He now has $216,000 in earnings.