Updated on 09/15/2011 12:36PM

Can colt follow his sire's example?


With the classic season a matter of history, Thunder Blitz can concentrate on making his mark in the remaining events for the 3-year-old division. He will begin here at Monmouth Park on Sunday in the $100,000 Long Branch Breeders' Cup at 1 1/16 miles.

If he can follow the example set by his sire . . . Holy Bull had a disappointing experience in the Kentucky Derby, set it aside, and then went on to do the best he could. His best was good enough. He never lost another race that year, sweeping the Met Mile, the Dwyer, the Haskell, the Travers, and the Woodward, all of which earned him Horse of the Year honors.

Thunder Blitz, who won Hialeah's Flamingo Stakes this spring, did better in the Kentucky Derby than his sire. He finished fourth, almost three lengths ahead of Point Given, who went on to capture the Preakness and the Belmont Stakes. Thunder Blitz passed the Preakness, was dull in the Belmont, finishing sixth. The Derby proved to be a severe race for most participants and it is conceivable that, as a May foal, he could have bounced a little higher.

But that was then. He had a brief holiday and has trained nicely for Joe Orseno, who has Jorge Chavez set to ride him Sunday for the first time. It should be an interesting afternoon. Among those lined up in competition is the hard-hitting Burning Roma, winner of the Sir Barton at Pimlico and the Leonard Richards at Delaware Park.

"The Long Branch should tell us how to plan the rest of the season for Thunder Blitz," Orseno says. "There are three races coming up: the $600,000 Jim Dandy at Saratoga on Aug. 4, the $1 million Haskell Invitational at Monmouth on Aug. 5, and the $500,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Park on Aug. 11. We'll go for one of them, based on the kind of race he runs in the Long Branch."

Orseno could hold a strong hand in the 3-year-old division this fall if Mucho Uno returns on the same level at which we saw him last. The Breeders' Cup Juvenile winner and 2-year-old champion was set aside at season's end to mature physically and hasn't run this year. But he is not too far from a race, judging by his six furlongs in 1:13 last weekend Women's racing tales well-told John McAvoy, who gave us one of the most entertaining books of last year with his "Great Horse Racing Mysteries," has produced another gem in "Women in Racing" in their own words (Eclipse Press, Lexington, Ky. $19.95) Written in collaboration with his daughter, Julia, an award-winning documentarian on radio, "Women in Racing" is a collection of 18 first-person stories of what it is like to be a pioneer.

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