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“Big Money Mike” Guides Bolo to Improbable Come From Behind Win in G2 Arcadia Stakes

ARCADIA, Calif. (Feb. 11, 2017)—They call him “Big Money Mike” and anybody who saw him orchestrate an improbable come from behind win aboard the Carla Gaines-trained Bolo in Saturday’s Grade 2, $200,000 Arcadia Stakes at Santa Anita will readily attest Mike Smith is aptly named. Rank under the wire the first time around, Smith somehow got the 5-year-old horse by Temple City to relax and unleash a powerful late rally that resulted in a head victory over an unlucky What a View while getting one mile over a “good” turf in 1:34.51.

“It’s his first race back (since the Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes on July 17) and it’s his first time wearing a rubber bit,” said Smith, who had just guided Vale Dori to victory in the Grade 2 Santa Maria Stakes one race earlier. “I had a bit of trouble. He’s so strong, it’s like pulling on the barn. If you give him daylight, he’ll just run off, which he’s done before.

“I thought I had a good shot through the lane. When Graham Motion’s horse (Ring Weekend) came up on the outside of us, it was like Talladega Nights, time to ‘Shake ’n’ Bake baby!’ He helped me push by What a View.”

Off at 6-1 in a field of five older horses, Bolo paid $14.60, $4.60 and $2.80.

Owned by Keith Brackpool’s Golden Pegasus Racing and Earle I. Mack LLC, Bolo, who also won last year’s Arcadia, notched his fifth win from 13 starts and with the winner’s share of $120,000, he increased his earnings to $614,045.

“He’s something else, this horse,” said an elated Brackpool. “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 I, mile on turf, March 11) next.”

California-bred What a View, who along with Conquest Enforcer, opened up two lengths on the winner at the top of the lane, prevailed by three quarters of a length for the place and paid $5.00 and $3.00.

“I just can’t beat Smith!” said Tyler Baze, who rode What a View and who was also second to Smith in the previous race, the Grade II Santa Maria Stakes. “(My horse) ran good, really good…I thought I had it once I fought off Conquest Enforcer, which I thought was the horse to beat. He came head to head with my horse and my horse dug in hard. Especially that last sixteenth of a mile. I thought, ‘Good, we’re home free. Then Bolo…It’s frustrating.”

The 6-5 favorite with Flavien Prat aboard, Conquest Enforcer held Ring Weekend off by a nose and paid $2.10 to show.

Fractions on the race were 23.74, 46.92, 1:10.98 and 1:23.22.

G2 Arcadia Stakes Quotes

MIKE SMITH, BOLO, WINNER: “It’s his first race back (in seven months) and it’s his first time wearing a rubber bit. I had a bit of trouble. He’s so strong; it’s like pulling on the barn. If you give him daylight, he’ll just run off with me, which he’s done before.

“Carla and her crew are wonderful. 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.

“I thought I had a good shot through the lane. When Graham Motion’s horse came up on the outside of us, it was like Talladega Nights, time to ‘Shake ‘n’ Bake baby!’ He helped me push by What a View.”

TYLER BAZE, WHAT A VIEW, SECOND: “I can’t beat Smith! What a View ran good, really good. I’m just tired of getting beat by Smith today.

“I thought I had it once I fought off Conquest Enforcer, which I thought was the horse to beat. He came head to head with my horse and my horse dug in hard. Especially that last sixteenth of a mile. I thought, ‘Good. We’re home free!’ Then Bolo…it’s frustrating.

“If Bolo was closer to us, and my horse saw him coming, we might have won. He would have dug back in. He wouldn’t have let that horse go by. He’s a nice horse to ride.”

KEITH BRACKPOOL ON BEHALF OF GOLDEN PEGASUS RACING, INC., CO-OWNERS OF BOLO, WINNER: “He’s something else, this horse. 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 1, mile on turf, March 11) next.”

Source: Santa Anita Park

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