Bolo shrugs off early trouble to repeat in Arcadia Stakes

Bolo overcame trouble on the first turn to win Saturday's Grade 2 Arcadia Mile on turf for the second consecutive year at Santa Anita.

The win gave Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith a sweep of the two Grade 2 stakes on the afternoon. In the previous race, Smith rode Vale Dori to a win in the $200,345 Santa Maria Stakes for fillies and mares.

Bolo did not look like a winner in the $200,000 Arcadia until the final sixteenth.

Smith had his hands full in the first three furlongs, strongly restraining Bolo while racing on the inside behind pacesetter What a View, who set fractions of 23.74 seconds for the opening quarter-mile and 46.92 for a half-mile.

Bolo settled on the backstretch and was racing on the inside in early stretch when Smith guided his mount off the rail.

Once clear, Bolo rallied quickly to catch Conquest Enforcer and What a View. It appeared Conquest Enforcer led briefly in the stretch, but What a View retook the lead in the final sixteenth before Bolo reached the front.

Bolo ($14.60) was timed in 1:34.51 over a turf course rated "good" because of overnight rain. He finished a head in front of What a View, who was three-quarters of a length in front of Conquest Enforcer.

Ring Weekend, the winner of the Grade 2 Seabiscuit Handicap at Del Mar in November in his last start on turf, finished fourth, followed by Ohio.

Bolo is owned by the Golden Pegasus Racing partnership and Earle Mack and is trained by Carla Gaines. The Golden Pegasus partnership includes Santa Anita chairman Keith Brackpool.

Bolo, a 5-year-old horse by Temple City, had throat issues last summer which led to a layoff. The Grade 2 Arcadia was his only win in four starts in 2016, a campaign that included a second in the Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita last March.

The same race on March 11 could easily be on Bolo's schedule next month.