Bolt D’Oro is the shortest price M/L favorite in the late P4 and is very likely to be favorite come post time. And there’s a good amount to like about him. Is he your single after dominating the west coast prep series, especially after his 7 3/4 length win routing in the Frontrunner stakes? How about his 2 wins over the track and possible 2YO Eclipse award? With all the evidence, he seems like a clear winner and worthy of single status. That said, there’s still a great amount of talent — some unrevealed in the Juvenile, and if Bolt D’Oro isn’t himself, there are going to be some decent prices on the board.
US Navy Flag was flattered by Mendelssohn, who won the Juvenile Turf yesterday after losing to US Navy Flag by 2 1/2 lengths in the last start. The catch? It was on the turf in Europe. There’s some dirt pedigree, but that’s the $64,000 question — can US Navy Flag run on the dirt? Actually, it’s not just run on the dirt but route on the dirt — two things he’s never done. He’ll be a trendy pick — 8-1 is a dream, he might fall to 7/2, or somewhere in between. Twitter responses put him in that range. If you’re trying to beat Bolt D’Oro, he almost has to be on your ticket b/c of the chance he likes dirt (choose your acceptable price).
Tellingly, there’s only 1 other California horse and that’s Solomini, who was soundly beaten in his second lifetime start by Bolo D’Oro. One huge plus is Bob Baffert, who owns 2YO and 3YO racing, and another is that he’s racing this well after only two starts. Turning the tables is possible. Then there’s the large contingent of Eastern/Midwestern horses coming in to take their shot. The Champagne sends us its winner, Firenze Fire and 4 other horses, including second place finisher, the Chad Brown-trained Good Magic. Both are second-time routing, but Good Magic has had less experience and may have more in potential than Firenze Fire. Chad Brown is finding his way into dirt winner’s circle again and again and may find it today.
There are other G1 and G3 winners in the race, but all would need to improve to find the winner’s circle. Free Drop Billy was dominant in a slow race at Keeneland. The Tabulator won the Iroquios. Plus, you have to notice when Javier Castellano on a 20-1, as he is here on Givemeaminit. This LA-bred would need to route much better than he did last time, and I don’t think even Javier can get it done.
So, we have a race with a clear favorite, and he may just be a single. But if you’re price-shopping (and it is Breeders’ Cup Day, so so shop away!) and think Bolt D’Oro falters, look for the other California horse — Solomini to turn the tables. Also, keep an eye on US Navy Flag, if he floats around 5 or 6 to 1.