Off since last July, Bolo returned in top form on Saturday with a stirring victory in the $200,000 Arcadia S. (G2) at Santa Anita Park.
The 5-year-old son of Temple City won this race in 2016, and now has three career stakes wins on the turf and also placed in both the San Felipe S. (G2) and Santa Anita Derby (G1) in 2015.
After a pair of uncharacteristic performances last summer, Bolo underwent minor throat surgery and was given time off before being brought back patiently by her trainer Carla Gaines. The Arcadia drew just five runners, but Bolo got caught between horses early before finally settling down into a smooth stride on the backstretch.
Bolo was still several lengths off the lead coming into the stretch. Mike Smith got the near-black horse in full gear with about a furlong to run, and with giant strides in deep stretch, Bolo passed both What a View and Conquest Enforcer to win by a head in 1:34.51 on the “good” turf.
“Carla and her crew are wonderful,” said Smith. “He had a breathing problem and they’ve taken care of that. They got him to this race and he just ran dynamite. I’m happy he ran the way he did today.”
“He’s something else, this horse,” added Keith Brackpool, speaking on behalf of co-owner Golden Pegasus Racing. “Carla and I were saying, ‘Get third, get third,’ then, “Get second, get second.’ I didn’t think we had won until I saw the replay – amazing. We’ll take a look at the Kilroe (Grade One, one mile on turf, March 11) next.”
Bolo was bred in Kentucky by Spendthrift Farm. Owned by Golden Pegasus with Earle I. Mack, Bolo has now earned $614,045.