BigDaddy News

Horse Racing News

Unbeaten New York Thunder Rockets to Amsterdam Win

There may be a lively debate over who is the best member of the 3-year-old male division.

But there’s no reason for an argument over the most versatile runner in the crop.

That title belongs to AMO Racing USA’s New York Thunder .

In four career starts, he’s raced on dirt, Tapeta, and turf and he’s yet to suffer a defeat.

The latest world to conquer for trainer Jorge Delgado’s colt was dirt, which the son of Nyquist   scorched in his first race over the earthy brown surface. Keeping his perfect record intact, New York Thunder set blistering fractions on the front end and then pulled away in the stretch to capture the $194,000 Amsterdam Stakes (G2) for 3-year-olds by a decisive 7 1/2-length margin July 28 at Saratoga Race Course.

Sign up for

“This is the kind of race you dream about and it makes you wake up in the morning,” said Delgado, the nephew of Kentucky Derby (G1)-winning trainer Gustavo Delgado. “He’s the best horse I’ve ever trained. I’m worried in the morning because he breezes so fast it’s scary. He can handle any surface.”

With jockey Tyler Gaffalione easing New York Thunder under the wire in the 6 1/2-furlong sprint, the number that was truly dazzling popped up at the sixteenth pole after the speedster completed six furlongs in 1:07.77, under the track record of 1:07.92 for a six-furlong race set by Imperial Hint   in 2019.

“Ooof,” Delgado said when the six-furlong split was mentioned. “It was unbelievable. There are not enough words to describe it. It’s not a regular feeling.”

Bred by Gatewood Bell and Forgotten Land in Kentucky, the son of the Midshipman   mare Start Over was bought for $130,000 from the Threave Main Stud consignment at the Keeneland September Yearling Sale by the American arm of the European-based AMO Racing operation. Delgado said he was told by his bosses that New York Thunder had the pedigree for turf or synthetics and that led to a Nov. 27 debut win by 6 1/2 lengths on the Tapeta course at Gulfstream Park, followed by an allowance optional claiming win on turf at Gulfstream, and then an April 30 date north of the border at Woodbine when he captured the Woodstock Stakes on Tapeta by 7 1/2 lengths.

“They have a lot of horses in Europe and they told me he was good on grass and synthetics and when you win like that first time out you don’t think about switching (to dirt),” Delgado said. “I was looking for rich synthetic races but could only find the Woodbine race.”

Delgado hoped to give the undefeated 3-year-old his first taste of dirt in the June 10 seven-furlong Woody Stephens Stakes (G1) at Belmont Park but a bruised foot thwarted those plans and led him down the road to the Amsterdam.

With just five starters, the complexion of the Amsterdam was turned upside down when Bill and Corinne Heiligbrodt’s Ryvit  stumbled coming out of the gate. On paper, it seemed like New York Thunder and Ryvit were destined to duel on the front end, but as the Steve Asmussen-trained son of Competitive Edge   tracked in third in the early stages, New York Thunder rocketed on the lead through scintillating fractions of :21.48 and :43.56.

New York Thunder with jockey Tyler Gaffalione, right heads to the wire and the win in the 21st running of The Amsterdam at the Saratoga Race Course Friday July 28, 2023 in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Photo  by Skip Dickstein
Photo: Skip Dickstein

New York Thunder pulls away in the stretch of the Amsterdam Stakes at Saratoga Race Course

Approaching the quarter pole, even-money favorite Drew’s Gold , who was chasing in second, took a run at the leader but could not keep pace in the stretch as New York Thunder ($13) moved with the speed of lightning and zoomed off to a three-length lead at the eighth pole and crossed the wire in 1:14.65.

“I just took a squeeze on him and he went on again and galloped out well,” Gaffalione said about the lone foal from Start Over.

James Bakke and Gerald Isbister’s Deer District  (Oscar Performance  ) moved up from fourth and nosed out trainer James Chapman and Stuart Tsujimoto’s Drew’s Gold (Violence  ) for second.

“That’s the fastest race I’ve ever seen,” said jockey Martin Garcia, who rode Deer District for trainer Dale Romans and has nearly 12,000 starts under his belt. “They went a half-mile in :43. My horse is fast, but going :43 is a little quick.”

As for what’s the next challenge for Mr. Versatility, Delgado will stick on dirt and run his unbeaten colt Aug. 26 in the seven-furlong H. Allen Jerkens Memorial (G1) for 3-year-olds at the Spa.

No sense fooling with a winning formula, right?

Video: Amsterdam S. (G2)

Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service


Add Field


Add Field
Choose Image
Choose Video

Want To Earn From Skills ?

Bonus On New ID