Derby Trainer and Horse: Mick Ruis and Bolt d'Oro

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D.S. Williamson

March 18th, 2018

Mick Ruis might have the most interesting story in horse racing. Contrary to popular belief, Ruis has been involved in horse racing as an owner since he sold his first construction company for $2.5 million. After 5 years as an owner, Ruis was $1 million in debt. That's when he went back into the construction business.

After Ruis sold American Scaffolding for $78 million, he decided to get back into the thoroughbred racing game. Ruis returned as an owner. Then, in Mach last year he secured a license as a trainer. It was the second time Ruis took the exam. This is what Mick Ruis said per an article on CTBA.com, “I had a trainer’s license before, 10 years ago. I didn’t see why I had to take it again. Eventually, they made me and I passed with a 98.”

Ruis currently trains the horse ranked first on the Kentucky Derby Point Standings, Bolt d'Oro. Bolt d'Oro recently won the Grade 2 San Felipe after McKinzie and Bolt d'Oro bumped in the stretch. Check out the race:

Bolt d'Oro's performance actually impressed me. Will he regress? I don't think so. I believe he was short. We must remember that it was the first time jockey Javier Castellano rode Bolt d'Oro. Bolt d'Oro looked great around the turn. As soon as he bumped with McKinzie, he lost interest.

It didn't appear that he was able to re-rally. This might have been because he wasn't as ready for the San Felipe as he could have been. I doubt Mick Ruis fully had Bolt d'Oro cranked up for the Grade 2 prep race. Bolt d'Oro currently has 64 points on the Kentucky Derby Point Standings. He only must finish in the top 3 for enough points to get him into the starting gate on the First Saturday in May.

Will Mick Ruis get Bolt d'Oro ready for a better race in the Santa Anita Derby? I think he will.  The Santa Anita Derby is in about 2 weeks. Bolt d'Oro should be more comfortable. If Ruis has his spacing correct, the son of Medaglia d'Oro will improve some in the Santa Anita Derby before showing his best in the Kentucky Derby.

Not bad for a trainer who called an audible on himself because things weren't working out the way he thought they would. As one of the few owners/trainers in the business, Ruis could provide some magic in the 2018 Kentucky Derby. Right now, I've put Bolt d'Oro at the top of my Derby Rankings.