Breeders' Cup International Horse Profile: Thunder Love

December 31st, 2021

Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint

A precocious filly who won twice early in the season on Polytrack, the Amo Racing runner has found turf stakes company a tougher challenge.

Like Juvenile Turf Sprint pre-entrant Quick Suzy, Thunder Love is from the first crop of Profitable. Her dam Nantyglo, by classic-winning miler Mark of Esteem, placed in the 2005 Mill Reef (G2) versus the boys at two and scored in the 2006 Conqueror S. Thunder Love sold twice under the Tattersalls banner, last fetching £18,000 as a September yearling.

Thunder Love furnished an auspicious beginning not only for her freshman sire, but for young trainer George Boughey, when bolting up in her Mar. 31 debut at Kempton. Profitable’s first starter, the 15-8 favorite showed speed to chase the pace before kicking clear in the five-furlong dash. Thunder Love was even more heavily favored at 2-5 next time over the same course and distance May 5. She worked out a similar trip, but raced more keenly pressing the leader rounding the right-handed turn. And despite shouldering top weight of 131 pounds, she racked up a gaudier 5 1/2-length margin of victory.

Not seen again until the Aug. 21 Roses at York, Thunder Love zipped straight to the lead in her first turf attempt. But the fifth and final furlong down the straightaway taxed her a bit too much, and she faded to fifth behind Attagirl and Caturra.

Thunder Love tried new hold-up tactics in the Sept. 12 Flying Childers (G2) at Doncaster, which might have worked better if not for a troubled trip. Checked off heels at the decisive stage, the 33-1 shot regrouped to finish with interest in fifth to fellow Roses alum Caturra and Armor. Thunder Love was turning the tables on Roses winner Attagirl, who was sixth.

An extra furlong in the Cheveley Park (G1) at Newmarket was definitely a bridge too far, as her 50-1 odds implied. Thunder Love flamed out after attending the pace and trailed home last of 14.

With her speed and right-handed proficiency at Kempton, Thunder Love could enjoy another turning circuit at Del Mar. She’d need to step up on her bare form to win at the Breeders' Cup, but she wasn’t beaten far by Armor at Doncaster.