Double Thunder marked himself out as a colt with massive potential after a stunning last to first performance in the G3 Bashford Manor Stakes at Churchill Downs on Saturday (June 26).
The Todd Pletcher juvenile has now recorded two wins in as many starts, having scored at Monmouth on his debut, and owners Phoenix Thoroughbreds will be dreaming of what might be in store in the future.
However, those dreams looked more like nightmares in the early stages of the Churchill Downs event, with son of Super Saver seemly outpaced. A good five to six lengths detached at the back of the ten-strong field jockey John Velazquez soon encouraged his mount to chase some rapid fractions set by the leaders. Still, with the entire field in front of them as they swept for home, Velazquez and Double Thunder stuck to the rail and began to make some inroads. By the time the pair were halfway down the stretch, they had started to pick off runners one by one before switching to the outside to challenge the leaders. Momentum was with them and in the end, Double Thunder was moving away to record an impressive victory.
“I didn’t think he’d break like that; he was a little slow out of there,” Said Velazquez post-race. “After that, I wanted to try and put him among horses and see how he does.
“He took about a 16th of a mile to get used to the dirt and I kept on the inside all the way around. Once I got to the quarter pole, I knew he was going forward and I was feeling good. By the time I got him to the outside at the three-sixteenth pole, I knew he was coming home very nicely.
“I knew there was going to be a lot of speed; I just didn’t want to be last. That’s a lot for a two-year-old to make up, but he did everything perfectly. You don’t expect that from a horse that has had just one race. He took dirt and handled it well and I think he can move forward a lot from that.”