J. B.'s Thunder

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J. B.'s Thunder
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Mathea Kelley

J.B.'s Thunder: 'A Definite Go' for Juvenile

Son of Thunder Gulch covered four furlongs in :50 flat at Churchill Nov. 1.

J.B.’s Thunder, a 2-year-old son of Thunder Gulch got in his final drill prior to the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (gr. I) when he took to the track the morning of Nov. 1 under jockey Shaun Bridgmohan, who will have the mount in the Nov. 6 1 1/16-mile event.

Walking onto the track in company with stablemate Heritage Hall around 8:42 a.m., J.B.’s Thunder avoided the antics of a loose horse and waited until that one was captured before beginning his preparations.

J. B.’s Thunder, who is out of the Unbridled's Songmare Rebridled Dreams, broke off about one length behind the workmate, who was under exercise rider Randi Melton, and finished on the outside on even terms, clocking the four furlongs in :50 flat. The gallop out was 1:03 1/5, and trainer Al Stall Jr. said it was “all systems go” for the Nov. 6 competition.

“It was a perfect work,” Stall said in a release. “Shaun said he was perfectly relaxed, dragged him up to that horse, and wanted to accelerate on his own when he turned for home. He had to slow him down a little bit, and when he got to the wire he dropped his hands a little bit and ‘J.B.’ took off again with his ears forward. It was a great work.”

The Columbine Stable runner has just two starts under his girth, but both resulted in victories at the 1 1/16-mile distance: a solid maiden score at Saratoga Aug. 21 and an impressive four-length win in the Oct. 9 Dixiana Breeders’ Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland.

“He acts like an old horse; he’s been that way since day one,” Stall said. “He came over here from Keeneland and took to the dirt just like he’d been here his whole life, although he was here for three and a half months from April to mid-July, so we weren’t too concerned. He likes it here. I loved the way he trained here in the spring. He did just fine.”

In both of his starts, J.B.’s Thunder has taken the field wire to wire, but that hasn’t necessarily been by design.

“We had no intention of ever being on the lead, he just kind of ‘out-athleted’ them out there,” the trainer said. “He rates kindly but he just breaks so sharp he usually just spurts away from them. He took a big, deep breath in the middle of the turn at Keeneland and just relaxed and kicked on home on his own so that’s always a good sign, too.

“I just don’t want to deny him the chance of being 2-year-old champion, which is what would happen if he wins this race. He just has to be perfect, he’s got to look perfect, train perfect, his legs have to be perfect, and so far he’s been that way. We’ll see what he looks like tomorrow but we haven’t had any problems with him and the way he worked today I have to say he’s a definite go.”

J. B.'s Thunder was bred in Kentucky by Coffee Pot Stables.