Kentucky Derby favourite Bolt d'Oro named after Usain

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

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SANTA ANITA, California — His name is Bolt d'Oro .

One of the early favourites for the Kentucky Derby is indeed named after Usain Bolt.

Ike Green coined the name — a mix of homages to the Jamaican sprinter and its sire, Medaglia d'Oro — after watching Bolt on TV during the Rio Olympics. Green was one of Bolt d'Oro's early trainers at owner Mick Ruis' ranch in Montana.

“If you've ever just seen him run across the pasture, he just does it so easy and effortlessly,” Green said. “You ever notice how when Usain Bolt gets in front, he just starts grinning? Any time you watch him race, as soon as he's in front, he gets a smile. The horse did everything so easy, I think it was kind of the same deal.”

In 2002, Medaglia d'Oro finished fourth at the Kentucky Derby and second at the Belmont Stakes. Bolt d'Oro was foaled St Patrick's Day 2015.

Bolt d'Oro was actually the third choice for a name when Green's wife, Aidan, went to submit it just before a February 1, 2017 deadline.

“I think, originally, Mick had wanted to name him Alvin after himself [Alvin “Mick” Ruis], and when Aidan tried to submit that, she found out that Mick had already had the name Alvin registered a few years ago. [Ruis] had already forgotten,” Green said. “The second name she submitted for him was The Notorious One, but that was trademarked by fighter Conor McGregor.

“I think, after the first couple got rejected, [Ruis] just said, just get him named. He didn't care, if I recall right.”

The Notorious One” would have been a much more intimidating name, but Bolt d'Oro just fits the sport a bit better.

The Kentucky Derby will take place May 5.

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