By Steve Haskin From The Blood-Horse

Rafael BejaranoCo-owner Keith Brackpool reports that Rafael Bejarano will ride Bolo in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) at Churchill Downs May 2.

The son of Temple City, owned by Golden Pegasus Racing and Earle Mack, was last ridden by Mike Smith, who was aboard for the colt’s third-place finish in the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), only the second dirt start of his career. Victor Espinoza was aboard in his first, a third in the San Felipe Stakes (gr. II).

“At the end of day, the (jockeys) and their agents do what they have to do, and a lot was up in the air with us,” Brackpool said. “We weren’t certain we were going and you can’t ask them to wait. Plus, you had the unfortunate incident with One Lucky Dane (ridden by Bejarano), so that’s where we are. ‘Raffie’ has ridden a lot for me and (trainer) Carla (Gaines) and we’re very pleased to have him on our horse.”

Brackpool realizes that Bolo, winner of the Eddie Logan Stakes on grass at Santa Anita Park Dec. 27, is better on turf than dirt, but feels there are enough reasons to point for the Kentucky Derby.

“We all think he’s a better horse on the grass. That was never the issue,” he said. “The issue is, do we think he’s good enough right now to give a decent showing in a race that can sometimes take an unusual direction? The answer is yes. He has not in any way, shape, or form disgraced himself and he did run 65 feet farther than Dortmund in the Santa Anita Derby. That equates to 7 3/4 lengths, more than he was beaten.”

Trainer Carla Gaines added, “The biggest positive is that he is a very healthy, confident horse and he did lose a lot of ground in the Santa Anita (Derby), so we’ll see. You don’t get this kind of opportunity often.”

Bolo, bred by Spendthrift Farm, has made five starts in his career, winning two with two thirds. He worked five furlongs in 1:00 1/5 April 17 and is scheduled to fly to Kentucky April 26.