By Jon Forbes | 08/21/2010 05:22 PM ET
J. B.’s Thunder made some noise at Saratoga Race Course when he scored by 1 ¾-lengths in his debut, a 1 1/16th-mile event over the Mellon Turf Course on Saturday.
With the victory J. B. Thunder joins the New York Watch, which profiles up-and-comers that have recently cleared the maiden ranks at Aqueduct, Belmont Park, and Saratoga.
Unchallenged for the early lead, J. B.’s Thunder was kept under a snug hold by Shaun Bridgmohan as he carved out fractions and 49.93 and 1:14.31 while receiving mild pressure from Bonaroo. After Bridgomohan shook the reins at the top of the stretch, J. B.’s Thunder opened to a three length advantage and was never threatened as Santiva reduced the final margin to 1 ¾ lengths.
“He’s a sharp horse – he’s good in the gate and is very intelligent,” said winning trainer Al Stall, Jr. “He had done everything right to this point, and I thought he’d lay close. I told Shaun, ‘Take what they give you on the front end. He took the lead comfortably because a couple of horses took back. But if someone had gone to the lead, he would have been able to rate off of them. On the first turn I felt very good. His ears were flicking back and forth on the backside, and he was able to kick.”
J. B.’s Thunder trained on dirt at Churchill Downs and at Saratoga earlier in the summer before Stall elected to try the son of Thunder Gulch on the Oklahoma Turf Course on August 11. After working four furlongs around dogs in 48.90, handily, Stall decided to keep the bay colt on the grass.
“As we started to train him long, he looked like a horse we’d like to try in a seven-furlong race, or possibly on the turf. We had a good foundation on him from the summer in Kentucky. We didn’t have any major plan for him as we just wanted to give him one race to set him up for the fall.”
Stall, who purchased J. B.’s Thunder for $42,000 at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale, believes he has found a bargain.
“We were sitting and waiting to pay more money for him,” said Stall. “That price doesn’t look like much, but I think he’s worth more than that.”
Out of the stakes-winning and Grade 2-placed mare Rebridled Dreams, J. B.’s Thunder is a half-brother to Doncaster Rover, a sprinter who has won a listed stakes in England and placed in two Group 3 events.