08/30/2011 5:12PM

Saratoga: J B’s Thunder starting comeback

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Adam Coglianese/NYRA
J B's Thunder wins his debut at Saratoga in the summer of 2010.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - J B’s Thunder’s career got off to a bang here last summer. On Thursday, trainer Al Stall Jr. is hopeful his comeback will begin the same way.

J B’s Thunder launched his career one year ago with a wire-to-wire, 1 3/4-length maiden special weight victory over the Saratoga turf course. He made his next start on the Polytrack at Keeneland, stepping right up to Grade 1 company to dominate the Breeders’ Futurity by four lengths over Santiva. That performance earned J B’s Thunder, a son of Thunder Gulch, a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile, where he finished a tiring and well-beaten ninth behind Uncle Mo.

J B’s Thunder developed bone bruises following the Breeders’ Cup, and Stall has patiently given him all the time necessary to recuperate from those issues. J B’s Thunder has trained steadily and forwardly for his return, which comes against older horses under second-level optional claiming and allowance conditions at a mile over the inner turf course in Thursday’s seventh race.

“It’s time to run him, and I’m glad this race came up, although it’s a tall order for a 3-year-old who hasn’t raced since November to go up against older horses like this in an upper allowance race,” said Stall.

Stall said he’s hoping J B’s Thunder can duplicate his career debut over the local course a year ago but that he is primarily looking for just a good effort the first time back.

“He won first time out against 2-year-old maidens but this is a whole different ballgame now and I imagine he might need a race against this kind,” said Stall.

Stall also reported that he has already sent his multiple graded stakes winner Apart, who finished a well-beaten ninth in the Grade 1 Whitney, back to Keeneland to prepare for his next start to come in the Hawthorne Gold Cup.