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.
Hey Thunder Snow, Lani would like a word with you about stealing his craziest UAE Derby winner title
— Mark (@ShamIAmNot) May 6, 2017
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 skybets.com 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.
— Godolphin (@godolphin) May 12, 2017
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