Stylish Bolo Wires Shoemaker Mile
Courtesy of Curtis Kalleward of the Racing Dudes
ARCADIA, CA - Absent from the track for nearly two years until last month, Golden Pegasus Racing's Bolo broke alertly from the gate and never looked back, stylishly taking the field gate to wire at monstrous odds to win Monday's $500,000 Shoemaker Mile Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park.
The Shoemaker Mile is a Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” event, with Bolo receiving an automatic berth in the Breeders' Cup Mile at Santa Anita Park on Saturday, November 2.
Dismissed by the betting public at 32/1 odds as he exited post 6 under Florent Geroux for the first time, Bolo immediately secured command and crossed over safely to the rail before passing the grandstand for the first time. Establishing himself as lone speed up front, Bolo posted opening fractions of :23.51, :46.95, and 1:10.44 while Ohio and Sharp Samurai led a field that was struggling to make up ground.
Midway through the far turn, as Ohio and Sharp Samurai began to range up within striking distance, Geroux gave Bolo the cue to go, and off he ran. By the time the rest of the field hit the 1/16 pole, River Boyne had joined the fray of foes fighting for the front, but none were fast enough to catch the loose-on-the-lead Bolo.
Under steady urging from Geroux, the Carla Gaines-trained Bolo hit the wire with a 1 1/4-length advantage in a final time of 1:34.07 for the mile-long event over the good turf course.
"He was doing it very easy right from the beginning," Geroux said. "At the 1/4 pole, when I felt the other horses coming to him, I didn't see anybody (getting too close), and he just kept giving me more. There was a moment in the race when I thought we might get beat (in the far turn when the field began closing), but from there to the wire, he was the best horse."
River Boyne won a hard-fought photo for second by a nose over Bowies Hero, who was closing quickly down the middle of the lane but ran out of real estate. Sharp Samurai faded to fourth, necking out Catapult for that position. Another neck back came Ohio, who weakened along the rail in the stretch to finish a head past Delta Prince. The 9/5 favorite, Delta Prince seemed to spin his wheels in the far turn and lose too much position when it counted.
Completing the order of finish came Le Ken and Desert Stone.
Bolo's win was his first since taking the Arcadia Stakes (G2) here on February 11, 2017, and improved his overall record to 19-6-1-4 with $976,870 earned. The 7-year-old gelded son of Temple City had been absent from the track due to a myriad of issues since finishing sixth in that year's Shoemaker Mile. He returned as a first-time gelding on April 28 and finished fifth in a 1 1/8-mile turf allowance event behind Marckie's Water, winner of Saturday's Charles Whittingham Stakes (G2).
"I'm about to cry right now," an emotional Gaines said in the winner's circle. "I'm really happy for my team. (The owners) allowed me to take the time to get the horse back at a very gentile and slow pace, and it worked. It's hard to say in words what this means; I can't verbalize it. He means everything to our barn. He's the chief."
Bolo returned $67.80 to win, $22.60 to place, and $11.80 to show. River Boyne brought back $7.80 to place and $4.80 to show, while Bowies Hero paid $8.40 to show.
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to racingdudes.com
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