11/01/2010 4:13PM

Dirt not a concern for J.B.'s Thunder in Breeders' Cup Juvenile

Barbara D. Livingston
Grade 1 winner J.B.'s Thunder apparently dislikes dirt, so trainer Al Stall will allow the 3-year-old to focus on races contested on Polytrack or turf.

Though Saturday’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile will be the first dirt race for J. B.’s Thunder, trainer Al Stall is quite content that his horse has had enough experience over that surface.

The colt’s first seven breezes were over dirt – including his first five at Churchill Downs – before he won his debut on the grass at Saratoga and the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity over Keeneland’s synthetic surface. Stall said he chose to race J. B.’s Thunder over those surfaces because he wanted to run the horse around two turns.

On Monday, J. B.’s Thunder returned to the dirt, working four furlongs in 49.80 seconds in company with Heritage Hall, a move that Stall thought was “perfect.”

Though he was tossing his head in the air while galloping to the half-mile pole, J. B.’s Thunder quickly settled down under Shaun Bridgmohan while beginning the breeze just off the hip of stablemate Heritage Hall, ridden by assistant trainer Randi Melton. The two were side by side in midstretch and finished the work together while also galloping out in tandem.

“Little bit excited going to the pole today – there was a loose horse out there that got him stirred up,” Stall said. “I wasn’t worried about the dirt, I just wanted to make sure. But he was really good I thought. Shaun raved about him. He said 10 yards from the wire that he let him blitz a little bit and let him spurt away, and he pulled him right up.”

◗ At Aqueduct, Boys At Tosconova worked five furlongs in 1:01.12 under jockey Ramon Dominguez. Aqueduct clockers timed his fractions in 25.28, 37.56, and 49.24, and caught him galloping out six furlongs in 1:13.74.