10/13/2010 3:25PM

J. B.'s Thunder, To Honor and Serve still on fence for BC Juvenile


Uncle Mo and Boys At Tosconova certainly bring star power to this year’s $2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile. It remains to be seen how much depth there will be to this year’s field.The connections of several good 2-year-olds have yet to commit to the Juvenile. That list includes J.B.’s Thunder, the front-running winner of the Grade 1 Breeders’ Futurity, and To Honor and Serve, a very good-looking maiden winner at Belmont Park.

J.B.’s Thunder is 2 for 2, with wins on turf and synthetic. But trainer Al Stall said he chose races on those surfaces more so because of distance – both races were 1 1/16 miles – than surface. Stall said J.B.’s Thunder would likely make his dirt debut in either the Juvenile or the Delta Jackpot in November at Delta Downs.

“This horse, he’s not pigeon-holed as a turf horse or a Polytrack horse,” said Stall, who trains J.B.’s Thunder for Andrea Pollack’s Columbine Stable. “Ask those guys who bet on him first time out, they bet on him because of his works on the dirt.”

At Saratoga, J.B.’s Thunder worked a bullet half-mile in 47.11 seconds on July 29 and a bullet five furlongs out of the gate in 1:01.05 over a muddy track.

It would be a lot ask a horse to go from a seven-furlong maiden race to the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, but To Honor and Serve might be the kind to be able to do it. Still, the conservative nature of Hall of Fame trainer Bill Mott has him considering races such as the Nashua at Aqueduct on Nov. 6 or the Iroquois at Churchill Downs on Oct. 31 as much as the Breeders’ Cup.

“Everything is an option at this point,” said Mott, who trains To Honor and Serve, a son of Bernardini, for Live Oak Plantation. “I think ability-wise and class-wise he’s a good horse, but whether he’s ready for that kind of a test 3 1/2 weeks from now would be pressing it a little bit.”

Blue Laser, winner of Sunday’s Grey Stakes at Woodbine, is also being considered for the Delta Jackpot, according to Elliott Walden, racing manager for WinStar Farm.

“Being a young horse, he could benefit from a little more time,” Walden said. “We think he has a bright future for next year and we don’t want to do anything that keeps that from happening.”

At Hollywood Park on Wednesday, Del Mar Futurity winner J.P.’s Gusto worked five furlongs in 1:01.60. Trainer David Hofmans said J.P.’s Gusto would do all of his work at Hollywood before shipping to Kentucky on Oct. 31 or Nov. 2.