03/09/2017 2:26PM

Bolo gets together with a bunch of old friends in Kilroe Mile

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Barbara D. Livingston
Bolo trains Saturday at Santa Anita for his start in the Frank Kilroe Mile.

ARCADIA, Calif. – All seven runners in Saturday’s Grade 1 Frank Kilroe Mile on turf are graded stakes winners, proof of the depth of the turf-mile division in California.

Bolo won the latest major stakes for the group, the Grade 2 Arcadia Stakes, here on Feb. 11. In his first start since July, Bolo closed from third in the final furlong to finish a head in front of What a View, who is part of the Kilroe field along with Conquest Enforcer and Ring Weekend, who were third and fourth in the Arcadia.

These guys can’t get rid of each other.

Bolo has won the Arcadia the last two seasons, returning from long layoffs each time.

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Ring Weekend won the 2015 Frank Kilroe Mile. What a View won the race last year. The other runners in the $400,000 Kilroe are Bal a Bali, who won the Rio Triple Crown in Brazil in 2014; Dortmund, the winner of the 2015 Santa Anita Derby who has never raced on turf; and Flamboyant, who won two Grade 2 stakes on turf last year.

“Everyone looks kind of the same,” said Phil D’Amato, who trains Conquest Enforcer.

KEY CONTENDERS

Bolo, by Temple City

Last 3 Beyers: 100-93-74

◗ In the 2016 Kilroe, Bolo was second as the 2-1 favorite, unable to catch What a View, who led throughout.

◗ What a View, Conquest Enforcer, and Dortmund will ensure a quick pace.

◗ Trainer Carla Gaines expects another top-level performance from Bolo, who races for the Golden Pegasus Racing partnership and Earle Mack.

“They run a huge race off the layoff, and you think you come out of it well, and they’ll bounce,” she said. “I don’t think it’s the case with this guy.

“He came out of the race really well, with good energy. I have no reason to believe he won’t put in that race or better, the way he’s training and acting.”

Conquest Enforcer, by Into Mischief

Last 3 Beyers: 97-99-96

◗ Conquest Enforcer won the Grade 2 Mathis Brothers Mile for 3-year-olds on turf in his California debut on Dec. 26. In the Arcadia, Conquest Enforcer was the 6-5 favorite. He led with a furlong to go but finished three-quarters of a length behind Bolo.

◗ After the Arcadia, Conquest Enforcer was found to have a quarter crack, which D’Amato said affected his rally in the final furlong. The foot was patched and is no longer a concern.

“We’re going into it the right way,” he said. “Since we put the patch on, it’s not an issue.”

◗ D’Amato is more concerned about the competition, particularly Dortmund, who will have his first start on turf Saturday.

“The X factor is Dortmund,” D’Amato said.

Dortmund, by Big Brown

Last 3 Beyers: 100-110-102

◗ Dortmund was winless in four starts last year, all Grade 1 or Grade 2 stakes. He was fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile in November in his latest start.

◗ Dortmund was transferred from Bob Baffert to Art Sherman on Jan. 1 after Baffert and owner Kaleem Shah parted ways. Sherman considered the Kilroe and Grade 1 Triple Bend Stakes for sprinters on Saturday before opting for the turf race.

“It gives me a chance to see how he handles the grass,” Sherman said. “It’s perfect timing.”