Connections would have been slightly concerned as they watched the two-year-old breakthrough the gates before the off. However, they soon dismissed any worries as jockey Brian Hernandez Junior quickly wrangled the colt, got him reloaded before producing a peach of a ride to take the “Win and You’re In” contest. The Kenny McPeek trainee will now look to follow in the hoofprints of his sire Hit It A Bomb and land the Juvenile Turf race on Future Stars Friday as the World Championships return to Del Mar in November.
After the drama of the false start, the race itself worked out surprisingly simple. Breaking well from gate 12, Tiz The Bomb settled into a nice rhythm behind the pacesetters in fifth place. Towards the far turn, it looked for a moment as if his earlier excitable exertions had taken a toll as the colt lost a bit of ground with Hernandez starting to add some encouragement from the saddle. The eventual winner still had plenty to do entering the stretch but produced a superb turn of foot to rally and get home with a bit to spare.
“We were ready, we were set up, and as the last horse was walking in, I turned his head to set him to where we could leave the gate in good order,” said Hernandez as he reflected on the incident at the start. “When he did he got a little anxious and just charged forward one step and the gate popped open. Most of the time when that happens horses have a hard time recovering from it, but when we finally reloaded and he left the gate in good order the second time, we were able to get around the first turn in good order. I was really confident in him, and he took care of it from there.”
McPeek also gave his assessment of the false start adding:
“It’s not a good omen, typically, and yeah, it makes a trainer nervous when it happens, but Brian did a great job wrangling him up and keeping him under control. It’s worse if he comes off or something like that. This horse has got a lot of talent and we’re fortunate to have a guy like Brian who handles things on the oval. He does a great job.”
He also suggested the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf would be “ideal” for his talented runner.
Every chance Tiz The Bomb will be joined on Future Stars Friday by another of Phoenix Thoroughbreds exciting juveniles, with Double Thunder still a potential runner for the Juvenile on dirt. Todd Pletcher’s runner ran a massive race in the G1 Breeders’ Futurity, rallying from a slow start to charge home and grab an eyecatching runners’-up place.
Should both make the trip to Del Mar, they will be the fifth and sixth runners for their Dubai based owners to run at racing’s World Championships following Pocket Dynamo, Splashy Kisses, Axelrod and Crazy Beautiful.