The 142nd Preakness Stakes is just around the corner on May 19th, but word is still humming about who is going to enter in an attempt to knock off Justify. Good Magic is slated to be involved, but Bolt d’Oro is still a question mark. No horse’s stock has fallen more, even though players remain high on his overall ability.
Bolt d’Oro remained in Kentucky and jogged out at a stable located on Keeneland’s facility. Mick Ruis, who made a triumphant return to the sport as an owner and trainer, has a personal farm nearby and took the time to relax a bit after a disappointing performance in the derby where his prized colt finished 12th and never factored.
There are definitely a litany of reasonable excuses as to why Bolt d’Oro just never fired in the derby. Weather was certainly against the California trained horse, and even seeing Justify after getting stomped in the Santa Anita Derby might have derailed his confidence. After the race, Ruis was leaning towards forgoing the 142nd Preakness but his mind has shifted back after some reflection.
“Hell no,” Ruis retorted recently. “You’ll know by Wednesday if he’ll run in the Preakness.” That’s the day that entries close and odds are released along with the post draw for the 142nd Preakness.
It might not be fair to say that Bolt d’Oro never factored, but he had a moment to challenge Justify and seemed spooked at the top of the final turn. The memory of Santa Anita, where he fought valiantly to try and close an impossible gap, may have suddenly caught him. “He came out of it good and we’re still baffled why he stopped like that,” Ruis stated. “I don’t know what to say. I’m still scratching my head. We’re hoping he didn’t like the sloppy track and he may have hyperventilated a little, but we scoped him and everything, and everything looks good. He just went with [Justify] and he spit it out.”
Losing two giant races like the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile to Good Magic and the 2018 Kentucky Derby to Justify, along with the Santa Anita Derby on the trail, probably has Bolt d’Oro on the ropes. Whether Ruis feels like he can rally his charge in time for the 142nd Preakness remains to be seen but the outlook won’t be nearly as promising.