When Thunder Gulch hooked the leader at the top of the lane, Krone was arm-weary from trying to keep her horse from lugging out, and Stevens knew he could take the lead. Krone kept pushing her colt with a furious lefthanded whip, but Thunder Gulch drew clear when Stevens asked him to move at the 16th pole.
As Thunder Gulch hit the wire, Lukas allowed himself a small smile before heading for the track. All along the way, fans reached out to shake his hand or slap his back. "It surprised me a little bit," Lukas said. "I remembered Timber Country and thought, Holy mackerel, we pulled it off anyhow."
A Triple Crown with a double dip by a singular trainer. Surely that will sate even Lukas's appetite for success—at least until it's time to gear up this year's 2-year-olds for next year's Kentucky Derby.