Thunder Snow Returns Home To Newmarket, Under Consideration For Irish Guineas

by | 05.12.2017 | 6:28pm
Thunder Snow (post position 2) took a sharp left out of the Derby starting gate before taking off bucking down the stretch.

Thunder Snow's trip to the United States helped the regally-bred colt to develop a whole new fan base, though it probably isn't the one trainer Saeed bin Suroor was hoping for. After leaving the starting gate in the Kentucky Derby from the second post position, Thunder Snow gave jockey Christophe Soumillon a surprising bucking and leaping challenge for a good eighth of a mile down the stretch. The pair were then apprehended by an outrider and escorted into the paddock to watch the rest of the field cross the finish line; an unharmed Thunder Snow walked back to the barn area under his own power.

Of course, the colt's reaction, for which there is still no apparent cause, drew a number of responses on Twitter, such that the name “Thunder Snow” was trending after the running of the Derby. A popular internet joke over the past week has been using the phrase “Thunder Snow” to describe an obstinate moment, whether human or equine.

All in all, the son of Helmet was unharmed by his experience and returned to the track at Churchill early this week. On Tuesday, the Godolphin-owned colt boarded a flight back to bin Suroor's private training center in Newmarket, where he has continued to be on his best behavior.

“We're disappointed in what happened,” bin Suroor said in a Godolphin-produced video released on Friday. “It was really everything going great; we thought we were going to be first or second in the race… But what happened when the horse left the stall, nobody really understands it. But that happens sometimes in racing.”

According to the video, Thunder Snow is now under consideration for the Irish 2000 Guineas at the Curragh on May 27. The country's premier race for 3-year-olds is held over one mile on the turf course, and Thunder Snow is currently the fourth-choice in the expected field with at odds of 8-1. Thunder Snow did win the Group 1 Criterium International on the turf as a juvenile (over about seven furlongs), then transferred his form to score on the dirt in the Group 2 UAE Derby in Dubai earlier this year over a distance of 1 3/16 miles.

  • Richard C

    Blazing Saddles!

  • Kathie J BALFOUR

    Sweet horse…he’s forgiven for his antics.

  • Bryan Langlois

    I still think he saw a spider on the rail…

  • Bella

    Who could not love Thunder Snow! I think he just felt the drama going on around and in front of him, and said “not me”. That is having a mind of your own, and I admire that.

    • Always Curious

      His pedigree screams Northern Dancer who was a handful and almost gelded because of it. Maybe those genes kicked in.

    • OopsyDaisy3

      Bella, you have company with your comments. 20 hours on a plane to get to the states. 20 days in isolation. loaded into a gate on a nasty sloppy track, then expected to race on it. No doubt he prefers turf and possibly had never run on
      a sloppy sludgy track. He is handsome, i noticed that the last time i watched him race. Good luck Thunder Snow. Linda in Texas

  • Mindy

    recall, though, in the UAE Derby, before getting his act together enough to (just barely) win, he almost dropped his jockey coming down the stretch, watch the head on, it’s why his jockey doesn’t have complete control of the reins at the wire, it was all he could do to stay on, after Thunder Snow ducked about

    • Always Curious

      The jockey got him focused and he recovered. Jockey had him under control at the wire. Amazing race wasn’t it? The undefeated Japanese horse is the one set to complete in the Belmont.

      • brucefdb

        Yes, looking forward to the Belmont…….Epicharis is certainly a talented horse.

      • Mindy

        I was actually more impressed with Epicharis’ race in the UAE Derby, where has he been since then? back to Japan? Britain?

  • Brent T

    He didnt run a jump, and became the star of the field. More people will remember him than any horse in the field in 20-30 years.

    • Jbumi

      The way people still talk about Dayjur’s Breeders’ Cup!

      • Always Curious

        Wow! What a race. Thank you I have not seen it before.

        • Jbumi

          I’m happy to have introduced you to it! I remember while watching it live on tv that the announcer said horses from France are unaccustomed to seeing shadows on the track. I always said he was doing the gentlemanly thing to allow Safely Kept the victory!! 😉

    • Always Curious

      I am yet to see any pictures of his action by fans from the side. There could be an Eclipse winning photo out there;-) I love AP’s picture caught mid air at Saratoga. It’s my computer screen.

  • Ida Lee

    What a beautiful and sweet boy ….definitely not a bad boy….just a “what the hell is this doo doo on the track” boy …or maybe he saw a mouse …. horses hate “meeses to peeses”…

  • Always Curious

    Atta Boy! Thunder Snow! I love this horse. He is quite the athlete. He jumps going forward at the UEA Derby in March. I never saw such sustained jumping by a horse to catch up. He was spooked by the big screen. Tremendous heart. I am thinking put some blinkers on him! I look forward to his return to the turf and I will bet on him again if I can figure out how to do it:-$ Other than the KY Derby & Dubai Derby he is professional. Maybe he is going through an adolescent phase. Lol I am following him on Twitter.

  • serralinda

    I really like this horse and was so sorry for the connections that he got so spooked. Regardless, I am a permanent fan.

  • George

    There is a decency among horse people which transcends all politics. Saeed bin Suroor is a class act, and his owner will be looked on by history as a preserver of the thoroughbred.

    Of course, Derby day was disappointing, No big deal. As the video shows, no grudges against the colt. Kiss him on the nose as he angles for a playful nibble. There will be another day.

    It was sporting and a long shot to try him on Churchill dirt. Now. Do the right thing. Get him back to European turf.

    • Always Curious

      I wish it had been dirt. Lol Agree on the love of the horse to bring people together. So why can’t we just get along:-(

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Another top runner overseas but just medicore at best here in the USA. Another proven fact, just refrence Ky. Dby. 143 2017, it speaks for itself.

  • ctgreyhound

    In an attempt to put his best foot forward, Thunder Snow showed his benevolent side in this video. No doubt that he is normally a willing participant, but the bad boy side showed up at Derby time. It’s unfortunate to come all this way & throw a tantrum. It was hoped that he would stay awhile like Lani. Good luck in future endeavors, Thunder Snow.

  • 33horses

    His first rodeo. He’d probably never seen water on a racetrack

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