Mesa Thunder wins!!!
We don't know. These are three words that every horse racing enthusiast hates to hear. They're even more difficult to hear when you're an owner wondering what to expect from your horse. Prior to Saturday's race, these words hung in the air like a heavy we weight when discussing Mesa Thunder. How would he respond off the layoff? Did the procedure help him? We did not know. The only way to answer the questions was by racing.
Five and a half furlongs later, we have answers. The layoff? No problem. Mesa Thunder broke great then settled easily for jockey Michael Martinez near the back of the pack. He began to rally in the turn then angled out further into the center of the track to wear down the pacesetters late to win by a gradually expanding three-quarters of a length. Mesa Thunder continued on strongly in his gallop out. It also certainly appears that the procedure helped him.
Trainer Craig Dollase said, "The horse had been training great. We know he's a beautiful mover. There were just a lot of question marks going into the race. I was concerned when I saw them run away from him early, but it looks like I had no reason to be worried. I was extremely impressed with the way he settled then kicked on when asked. He showed a nice turn of foot and a lot of resiliency wearing down the speed. I liked the way he finished up."
Jockey Michael Martinez said, "This horse was a total professional. It was like he had been doing it for years. He was really good before the race. He broke and settled perfectly. I had plenty of horse when I asked him. He was still a little green in the stretch. That was really the only thing I can say negative about the race, and that just means he has room to get better if he stays focused on his business."A four-year-old son of Sky Mesa, Mesa Thunder is now one for two in his career. We will look to run him back in April and Santa Anita.