Mick Ruis holds more than a modicum of hope that Bolt d'Oro, a finalist for 2017 champion 2-year-old male, will embark on the Triple Crown trail after missing valuable training time recently due to a pulled muscle.
The $630,000 son of Medaglia d'Oro , owned by Ruis and his wife, Wendy, galloped at Santa Anita Park this morning. While he's now unable to make his anticipated 3-year-old debut in the San Vicente Stakes (G2) Feb. 10, he will be pointed toward the March 10 San Felipe Stakes (G2) going 1 1/16 miles, Ruis said by phone early Sunday morning.
From his ranch in Big Fork, Mont., where he was looking over his yearlings, enthusiastically calling them "a nice bunch of babies," Ruis said Bolt d'Oro "was a little stiff and off for three days because we wanted to be really careful, and sure nothing was wrong. We gave him a good (nuclear) scan, he came back fine and is back galloping.
"My first preference would be to run in the San Felipe and then the (April 7) Santa Anita Derby (G1), because I would love to stay here and run where we've been stabled, and it looks like we'd do that, for sure.
"I'd love to get a race in beforehand, but I don't think that's going to work time wise. So it's looking like the San Felipe and then the Santa Anita Derby. That was my original plan anyway, until I was going to try and squeeze another race in there to sharpen him up, but it looks like I'll have to do that with a couple of works in company."
Understandably, Ruis has a vested interest in the outcome of the Jan. 25 Eclipse Awards, and even though the votes are in but not yet announced, he took a moment to lobby for his two-time grade 1 winner.
"Going into the (grade 1) Breeders' Cup (Juvenile), he was the biggest favorite of the day," Ruis pointed out. "He ended up having a bad trip, going wide around both turns to where Corey (Nakatani) couldn't get in, but we were closing at the end and the only ones really finishing.
"It was unfortunate, and it would really be unfortunate, I think, if he loses an Eclipse Award because of one disappointing race. (The Juvenile victory) was Good Magic's only win last year, but when these things are left in the hands of the voters, this is what you face."