Bolt d’Oro won the Grade II, $400,000 San Felipe Stakes, a Kentucky Derby prep race, after even-money favorite McKinzie was disqualified for interference in heavy drizzle at Santa Anita on Saturday in Arcadia, Calif.
Video replays showed McKinzie, on the inside under Mike Smith, making contact with Bold d’Oro on the outside at the top of the stretch and then again 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 Javier 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.
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“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.
“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.”
▪ Junior Alvarado guided Enticed to a win in the Grade III Gotham Stakes, a Kentucky Derby prep race at Aqueduct Park in New York. Enticed closed outside to win the mile race by 2¾ lengths in 1:38.24.
The Gotham was Enticed’s second graded stakes victory after he captured the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club at Keeneland by a head.
▪ Quip, with Florent Geroux aboard, won the Grade II Tampa Bay Derby as a 19-1 shot. Rodolphe Brisset is the trainer for the Kentucky Derby hopeful.