Thunder Bullet Rolling Now

The day Thunder Bullet was claimed for $32,000, the son of Valid Wager did not do much to justify the price.

Making his debut in a six-furlong sprint for maidens, Thunder Bullet finished ninth of 10 at 8-1 while racing for owner Jennifer Saavedra and trainer Anthony Saavedra.

Taken by trainer Jeff Mullins for owner Robert Bone, the Florida-bred chestnut has certainly redeemed himself in 10 subsequent starts.

Thunder Bullet has won five times and earned more than $132,000 and will be favored in today’s seventh at Santa Anita, a $57,000 optional claimer at about 6 1/2 furlongs on the turf.


A winner twice on the main track, the gelding seems to have found a home on Santa Anita’s hillside course. He has won two in a row and was second, beaten by a head, in his lone defeat on the layout.

One of Thunder Bullet’s opponents today is the comebacking Van Rouge. A gray son of Red Ransom owned by Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Moss and trained by John Shirreffs, Van Rouge hasn’t been seen since he won the Ascot Handicap, a Grade III, on May 12 at Bay Meadows.

His comeback works have been sharp and he broke his maiden by 3 1/2 lengths at today’s distance on the Santa Anita grass. Gary Stevens will ride.

The rest of the field includes Kifissos, Devil’s Horn (who has won three of six on the course), Holdthehelm, Macward and Pelirrojo (making his first start since finishing sixth in last year’s San Rafael Stakes).

Race of the day: Mananan Mclir drops out of six consecutive graded stakes for trainer Wally Dollase against five opponents in today’s third at Santa Anita. River God, Devine Wind, Academy Spy, Total Impact and Platinum Duke complete the field in the $61,000 optional claimer at 1 1/8 miles on the turf.

Who’s hot: Anthony Dutrow. The trainer won with 12 of 30 starters at Laurel.

Who’s not: Ron Moquett. The trainer lost with 38 of 40 starters at Oaklawn Park.

Exotically speaking: A pick four singling Intricate in the fifth, using Cantaloupe, Bye Bye Birdie and Bitingly Cold in the sixth, Thunder Bullet and Van Rouge in the seventh and Lucky Louise and Roar Madness in the eighth.


Winners: Previous day/meet total: 4/134. Money: Previous day/meet total: $17/485.40. Total money bet: $874.