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Bolt d'Oro Gets Kentucky Derby Respect + Early Derby Odds

by Jon White

November 30, 2017

Even though Bolt d’Oro’s perfect record was spoiled when he finished third in the Grade I Breeders’ Cup Juvenile at Del Mar on Nov. 4, he ended up being the 7-1 individual favorite when Pool One of the 2018 Kentucky Derby Future Wager (KDFW) closed last Sunday.

Listed at 11-1 among the 23 individual horses in Pool One of the KDFW was Good Magic, who won the BC Juvenile by 4 1/4 lengths for trainer Chad Brown.

As expected, the “All Others” option in Pool One closed as the 6-5 favorite.

Bolt d’Oro, conditioned by Mick Ruis, was sent away as the 3-5 favorite in the 1 1/16-mile BC Juvenile following Grade I victories in the Del Mar Futurity and Santa Anita’s FrontRunner. But in the BC Juvenile, Bolt d’Oro experienced a ridiculously wide trip when he lost by 5 1/4 lengths. How wide? According to Trakus, Bolt d’Oro traveled 78 feet (or approximately nine lengths) farther than Good Magic. Thoro-Graph takes wide trips into account when formulating a horse’s figure for a race. I was not surprised to learn that despite the fact Bolt d’Oro finished third in the BC Juvenile, he received a better Thoro-Graph figure for that race than the winner.

According to Ruis, Bolt d’Oro will make three starts next year at Santa Anita leading up to the Kentucky Derby. Ruis told Daily Racing Form’s Steve Andersen the plan is to run the Kentucky-bred Medaglia d’Oro colt in the San Vicente at seven furlongs, San Felipe at 1 1/16 miles and Santa Anita Derby at 1 1/8 miles prior to the 1 1/4-mile Run for the Roses on the first Saturday in May.

As for Good Magic, it is true that he won the BC Juvenile as a maiden. But I do not think there was anything fluky about it. A $1 million yearling purchase, Good Magic went into the BC Juvenile off a good runner-up effort in the Grade I Champagne at Belmont Park on Oct. 7, a race he finished just a half-length behind the winner, Firenze Fire.

The Champagne not only was flattered when Good Magic went on to capture the BC Juvenile, but also when Enticed won last Saturday’s Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club at Churchill Downs after having finished third in the Champagne.

McKinzie (12-1) and Montauk (17-1) were the only other two horses to close at lower than 20-1 in Pool One of the KDFW. They both have raced only once to date. Both won impressively.

At Santa Anita on Oct. 28, McKinzie registered a 5 1/2-length victory and recorded a 99 Beyer Speed Figure in a seven-furlong maiden race. The Kentucky-bred Street Sense colt is scheduled to make his next start in the Grade I Los Alamitos CashCall Futurity at 1 1/16 miles on Dec. 9. McKinzie worked five furlongs in a bullet :59.80 at Santa Anita on Nov. 21, followed by another bullet drill there this week on Monday, six furlongs in 1:12.80.

Montauk romped to an 11 1/4-length triumph in a seven-furlong maiden race at Belmont on Oct. 7. Todd Pletcher conditions the Kentucky-bred Medaglia d’Oro colt.


In terms of Beyer Speed Figures, Good Magic recorded a 100 for his win in the BC Juvenile. Bolt d’Oro’s Beyer for that race was 91.

When Bolt d’Oro won the 1 1/16-mile FrontRunner by 7 3/4 lengths on Sept. 30 in a brilliant performance, he originally was assigned a 100 Beyer, a figure that proved to be quite controversial. I wrote that I felt that figure should have been higher, a sentiment shared by a number of others.

Bolt d’Oro’s final time in the FrontRunner was 1:43.54. On that same track that same afternoon in a race at the same distance, Paradise Woods, a 3-year-old filly, won the Grade I Zenyatta in 1:44.34.

Andy Beyer said Bolt d’Oro’s “raw figure” in the FrontRunner was 113. But Beyer was adamant that he did not believe 113 was an accurate figure for two main reasons. First, a 113 for Bolt d’Oro would have meant that the top four finishers all improved on their previous best efforts by 16 Beyer points or more. That, Beyer stated, was a highly implausible scenario. And second, a 113 would have equaled the best performance by a 2-year-old in 25 years. This added to Beyer’s skepticism as to the validity of a 113.

And so Beyer arbitrarily lowered Bolt d’Oro’s figure for the FrontRunner all the way down to 100.

I do not have a problem with Beyer having deemed it appropriate to lower Bolt d’Oro’s figure for the FrontRunner from 113. I just thought he went way too far to lower it to 100. I felt -- and still do -- that Bolt d’Oro deserved to get a better speed figure than Paradise Woods for their respective performances on the same day.

Paradise Woods was assigned a 105 Beyer Speed Figure for the Zenyatta, a figure that Beyer said he considered “to be rock solid.” It was my view that assigning Bolt d’Oro a 106 or 107 rather than a 100 would have been more appropriate under the circumstances. A 106 or 107 would have made Bolt d’Oro’s Beyer Speed Figure better than Paradise Woods’ 105.

Thoro-Graph and TimeFormUS validated my opinion. They both came up with a better figure for Bolt d’Oro in the FrontRunner than Paradise Woods in the Zenyatta.

Considering that I have felt Bolt d’Oro’s Beyer Speed Figure for the FrontRunner should have been higher than 100, I was delighted by what Beyer did after the BC Juvenile. On Nov. 9, five days after the BC Juvenile, Daily Racing Form reported that “Bolt d’Oro’s winning Beyer Speed Figure in the FrontRunner Stakes at Santa Anita has been adjusted from 100 to 103, the highest number earned by a 2-year-old this year.”

The Racing Form story noted that “the top two finishers in the FrontRunner, Bolt d’Oro and Solomini, were soundly beaten in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile by Good Magic, who earned a no-doubt-about-it figure of 100.”

Beyer said: “The Breeders’ Cup confirmed that the figure for the FrontRunner couldn’t have been a 113. But it made us conclude that our figure [of 100 for FrontRunner winner Bolt d’Oro] should have been a little higher.

“We believe the 103 defines Bolt d’Oro properly,” Beyer added. “He’s not the fastest 2-year-old of the millennium, but he’s certainly one of the best in the last few years.”

I applaud Beyer for retroactively boosting Bolt d’Oro’s figure for the FrontRunner. But I still think the colt’s Beyer Speed Figure for that race should be higher than 103.


American Pharoah was the individual favorite in Pool One of the 2015 KDFW. He went on to win the Kentucky Derby. If you had bet $2 to win on American Pharoah in Pool One, you would have collected $27.60. On race day, American Pharoah paid only $8.80 for a $2 win wager.

Nyquist was individual favorite in Pool One of the 2016 KDFW. He went on to win the roses. If you had bet $2 to win on Nyquist in Pool One, you would have collected $21.80. On race day, Nyquist paid just $6.60 for a $2 win wager.

Classic Empire was the individual favorite in Pool One of the 2017 KDFW. He finished fourth at 6-1 in the Kentucky Derby won by Always Dreaming. Always Dreaming was one of the “all others” in Pool One of the 2017 KDFW, which closed as a 6-5 favorite.

Will Bolt d’Oro be like fellow recent Pool One individual favorites American Pharoah and Nyquist and go on to win the Kentucky Derby? Or will Bolt d’Oro not win the roses, like Classic Empire last year? Time will tell.

Here are the final odds for Pool One of the 2018 KDFW:

6-5 All Others
7-1 Bolt d’Oro
11-1 Good Magic
12-1 McKinzie
17-1 Montauk
22-1 Solomini
27-1 Principe Guilherme
29-1 Avery Island
29-1 Enticed
29-1 Untamed Domain
31-1 Mendelssohn
33-1 Free Drop Billy
37-1 Dak Attack
40-1 Tiz Mischief
45-1 Copper Bullet
47-1 Mask
49-1 Firenze Fire
56-1 Engage
56-1 Sporting Chance
65-1 Quip
70-1 Givemeaminit
81-1 Talent Scout
91-1 Gotta Go
99-1 Lone Sailor


The Wynn Race Book in Las Vegas listed these 32 horses at under 100-1 in its 2018 Kentucky Derby future-book odds listed Monday:

12-1 Bolt d’Oro
14-1 Good Magic
20-1 Enticed
20-1 McKinzie
22-1 Montauk
30-1 Solomini
30-1 Tiz Mischief
40-1 Sporting Chance
40-1 St Patrick’s Day
45-1 Avery Island
45-1 Principe Guilherme
50-1 Dak Attack
50-1 Engage
50-1 Free Drop Billy
50-1 Mendelssohn
50-1 Promises Fulfilled
50-1 Runaway Ghost
50-1 Untamed Domain
60-1 Copper Bullet
60-1 Hollywood Star
60-1 Mask
65-1 Nero
65-1 Zulkifhar
75-1 Firenze Fire
75-1 Mississippi
75-1 Regulate
75-1 Talent Scout
85-1 Airtouch
85-1 Arogsy Fleet
85-1 Biblical
85-1 Curlin’s Honor
85-1 Saxon Warror


“All others” and Medaglia d’Oro closed last Sunday as co-favorites at 5-1 in the Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager, which provides bettors an opportunity to bet on the sire of the 2018 Kentucky Derby winner. This was the third straight year that a Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager was offered.

Medaglia d’Oro is the sire of Bolt d’Oro, Montauk and Enticed.

Closing at 6-1 was Curlin, sire of Good Magic and Solomini, who finished one-two in the BC Juvenile.

Here are the final odds for the 2018 Kentucky Derby Sire Future Wager:

5-1 “All Others”
5-1 Medaglia d’Oro
6-1 Curlin
8-1 Tapit
11-1 Street Sense
16-1 Into Mischief
18-1 Pioneerof the Nile
24-1 Bodemeister
24-1 Uncle Mo
26-1 Scat Daddy
27-1 Ghostzapper
27-1 Violence
28-1 Union Rags
28-1 Malibu Moon
29-1 Candy Ride
35-1 Distorted Humor
35-1 Quality Road
36-1 Bernardini
37-1 Tiznow
44-1 More Than Ready
44-1 War Front
52-1 Giant’s Causeway
68-1 Overanalyze
80-1 Speightstown