Sports

Bolt d'Oro wins San Felipe after McKinzie disqualified

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

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ARCADIA, California (USA) (AP) — Bolt d'Oro won the $400,000 San Felipe Stakes after even-money favourite McKinzie was disqualified for interference in heavy drizzle at Santa Anita on Saturday last (March 10, 2018).

Bolt d'Oro and McKinzie hooked up through the stretch, with McKinzie poking his head in front at the wire.

But a stewards' inquiry was posted immediately. Bolt d'Oro's jockey, Javier Castellano, lodged an objection, too.

Video replays showed McKinzie, on the inside under Mike Smith, bumping Bold d'Oro on the outside into the stretch and then lugging in deep stretch.

McKinzie keep coming out, keep coming out. He bump it, bump it, bump it. A light bump, but still he intimidated my horse,” said Castellano, who was on Bolt d'Oro in a race for the first time.

The three stewards were unanimous in their ruling on the DQ and placed McKinzie second.

“I am shocked, after the way he hit us in the top of the stretch,” said Bob Baffert, who trains McKinzie. “Javier, he should have been a lawyer. I don't know what they're looking at, but apparently, he talked them into it. That's why they should never talk to the jockey and just watch it themselves.”

Darrel McHargue, chief steward of the California Horse Racing Board, said video of the first bump at the top of the stretch was inconclusive as to which horse initiated the contact. He said the second bump inside the sixteenth pole was clear and showed McKinzie drifting out under Smith's left-handed whip and shifting Bolt d'Oro out of his path, which cost him a better placement.

Smith disagreed.

“I was just trying to ride my own race and he was on top of me,” the Hall of Fame jockey said. “At the quarter pole, after the quarter pole and through the lane he hit me and turned me out. I mean, he's got the whole racetrack and he's on top of me on the fence. I didn't feel that I did anything.”

Baffert and McKinzie's connections were already in the winner's circle when they had to wait out the inquiry that lasted at least 10 minutes. When McKinzie was DQ'd, they cleared out and Bolt d'Oro's owner-trainer Mick Ruis and his group moved in to begin a soggy celebration.

“I wasn't even thinking about the inquiry the whole time,” Ruis said. “I was just so proud of Bolt, and if he got moved up, he did. This wasn't the race we were really pointing for. We want to go to the Santa Anita Derby, but getting moved up is awesome.”

Bolt d'Oro earned 50 points in the system used by Churchill Downs to determine the 20-horse field for the Kentucky Derby. That moves the colt to the top of the standings with a total of 64 points. McKinzie earned 20 points and is sixth with 40 points.

The winner ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.71.

The colt's only loss came in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile last year at Del Mar.

Kanthaka was another 6 lengths back in third.

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