The Long Way Back to An American Classic: Bolt d’Oro


Reccently, I was asked to dig through the pedigree of a mare with some “buzz” at the track. By “buzz,” we mean the dam of the leading 2-year-old in the United States, and, perhaps, the world, for that matter. In this case, we will say that this pedigree has some “bolt” to it — as in, Bolt d’Oro.

“Bolt” ran past his rivals in the Front Runner Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita like he knows what his future holds. And, in short, Mick Ruis’ colt certainly holds a lot of promise. Like the kind of promise that makes people start jibber jabbering about such things as the Kentucky Derby and Triple Crown, way too soon.

But is it too soon to talk such things with this horse?

Maybe not.

After all, consider what the guy has done already, as a youngster:

Bolt d’Oro – who is by Medaglia d’Oro — ran almost 14 lengths faster than his 2-year-old filly counterparts in the Chandelier Stakes (G1), on the same day at Santa Anita. Usually a good colt will out run a good filly by four to six lengths, not fourteen!

He also ran faster than the glamour girl, Paradise Woods – winner of this year’s Santa Anita Oaks – when she ran away and won the Zenyatta Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita on the same day. That’s the same filly that many said could not lose this year’s Kentucky Oaks.

So, there is interest in “The Bolt.” And, for a lot of darn good reasons.

Let’s take a closer look:

The Bolt’s dam, Globe Trot, was a winner at the track, but not a stakes winner, like each of the other next four dams in the pedigree. In fact, Globe Trot only brought $100,000 in the sales ring as a yearling. And, to put that into perspective, her sire, A.P. Indy, had a yearling average that year of $342,143. On the surface, one could see that as a disappointing sale.

But it didn’t take long before that disappointing sale became a hit. A hit of some major proportions.

You see, it is the pedigree behind Globe Trot that makes her sales/race record and it is the pedigree that holds the secret of why she is now two-for-two in producing stakes winners from two very different sires!

Seth Hancock (right) with long-time partner Adele Dilschneider (left) after Champion BLAME’s victory in the 2010 Whitney Handicap. Photo courtesy of Claiborne Farm.

First, there is Globe Trot’s dam, Trip – who was a long venture away from an American-dominated pedigree. Trip’s sire was Lord at War, an Argentina-bred who became a hit in North American breeding circles, particularly with producing broodmares. Trip was a multiple Graded Stakes winner, including a victory in the G3 Chicago Breeders’ Cup Handicap. All told, she accomplished 11 wins, 4 seconds and 2 thirds in 28 lifetime starts and amassed $888,773 in earnings.

(Forty Niner, who ran in the colors of Claiborne Farm)

And, Lord at War was a great choice for Trip’s dam (Globe Trot’s second dam), Tour. The only semblance of an American horse in Lord at War’s (Arg) pedigree was the British-bred champion, Ribot. And, Tour was by the famous Claiborne-bred sire, Forty Niner.

Tour, who ran for Claiborne Farm, as well, had 28 starts, too, and had 5 wins, 5 seconds and 8 thirds and totaled $254,939 in earnings. She won the Curious Clover Handicap at Hollywood Park, and had two fourth place finishes in Graded Stakes company.

Fun Flight, the fourth dam of Bolt d’Oro, was another Stakes winner, capturing the Martha Washington Stakes at Oaklawn Park. And, Fun Flight’s dam, (The Bolt’s fifth dam) Fun and Tears, was yet another Stakes Winner, having captured the Bewitch Stakes at Keeneland in 1976.

Wow. Now, there is some running power with a pedigree boost, to spare. But just to make things more interesting? Just consider:

Digging back in the tail female line of Globe Trot, you will find the great mare Myrtlewood, who was a world record sprinting mare that won 15 of 22 starts. Myrtlewood is also the 5th and 4th dam, respectively, of Seattle Slew and Mr. Prospector.

So, Tour, already had the Myrtlewood blood brought back since she is by Forty Niner, who was by Mr. Prospector. Now, all Claiborne had to do was add some Seattle Slew blood via A.P. Indy.   Between Globe Trot and her first two dams, they made a collective 73 starts. There is soundness in the pedigree. There is brilliance in this pedigree.

Bolt d’Oro seems to possess both!

Having three different crosses of Myrtlewood in her family shows me why Globe Trot has already become a producer of the highest caliber. It is unfortunate that she died in 2016.

Now, if I can only find a filly with three separate crosses of the great Imperatrice.

The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Rob Murphy

    Rob Murphy

    A horse racing and thoroughbred enthusiast, Murphy has devised his own method for handicapping and breeding. Murphy's company, M375 Thoroughbreds, Inc., has bred, raised and raced successful horses such as Platinum Tiara, Swing and Miss, Diamond Studs, Strike Three and Golden Spikes. Murphy is a former Major League Baseball player. ...

    Full Bio >

More From Rob Murphy