Wednesday, January 7th, 2015
Courtesy DRF, by DRF Breeding Staff (Press release from Cabin Creek below [1/7])
New York-bred millionaire and Travers Stakes winner Thunder Rumble died on Jan. 6 following complications from an episode of colic at Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division in Greenfield Center, N.Y. The son of Thunder Puddles was 26.
Thunder Rumble, who was trained for the majority of his career by the late Richard O’Connell, captured three stakes races in the winter and early spring of 1992 at Aqueduct before a virus sent him to the sidelines during the spring classics. He returned for the major summer events at Saratoga Race Course, sweeping the Jim Dandy and the Travers.
An injury sustained while finishing seventh in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Classic cost Thunder Rumble the 1993 season. He returned in 1994 to win the Saratoga Cup Handicap, retiring at the end of that season with eight wins from 19 starts and earnings of $1,047,552.
Thunder Rumble entered stud in New York, where he stood his first four seasons before moving to Albemarle Stud in Free Union, Va. He returned to New York in 2002 to stand at Keane Stud in Amenia, N.Y., until he was pensioned in 2006. He arrived at Old Friends at Cabin Creek, a satellite for Georgetown, Ky.-based retirement organization Old Friends, in December 2009.
Thunder Rumble has sired 56 winners who have earned more than $3.9 million combined, led by stakes winner Frisky Thunder and stakes-placed winners On the Fan, Rumbling Girl, Deputy Shaker, Burning Rambo, December Thunder, and The Roscoe Rumble. He also sired Real Charmer, a champion in the Dominican Republic.
Thunder Rumble was buried at Old Friends at Cabin Creek.
“He was the most magnificent stallion I have ever met and am so thankful to have known him and loved him,” Cabin Creek’s JoAnn Pepper wrote in a statement on the farm’s Facebook page. “He is buried here, in his favorite place, under his pines. Be free, my friend, till we meet again.”
Press release from Cabin Creek:
Greenfield Center, NY–After 6 years of happy retirement at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, NY, Thunder Rumble, the 26 year old New York bred stallion and 1992 winner of The Travers passed away today with JoAnn and Mark Pepper and his loving family of caretakers and volunteers by his side. His passing was due to complications from colic. Thunder Rumble was the Alpha stallion at the farm and left an enduring impression on everyone he met. His illness and death was very sudden and JoAnn, Mark and all the volunteers who loved and cared for him during his last years are grieving his passing.
Thunder Rumble was the first stallion to call Old Friends at Cabin Creek his forever home and arrived in late 2009 during the retirement farm’s first year. He was foaled on March 31, 1989 at Braeburn Farm by breeder, Konrad Widmer. He was trained by Richard O’Connell, who always had many stories to tell about the feisty stallion. On Dec. 23, 1991 at Aqueduct, the 2 year old Thunder Rumble broke his maiden by 12 ¾ lengths . His winningest year was 1992 when he won the Jim Dandy Stakes, and the famed Travers Stakes at Saratoga Racecourse with Herb McCauley aboard. To date Thunder’s time of 2:00 4/5 has not been beaten. Thunder Rumble was the first New York bred to win The Travers since 1867. He also won the Montauk Stakes, the Gate Dancer Stakes, and the Count Fleet Stakes. In 1994 Thunder won the Saratoga Cup Handicap with Richie Migliore aboard. In all, Thunder Rumble had 19 races with 8 firsts, 0 seconds, and 1 third. At stud he sired 10 small crops; his best foal was Frisky Thunder.
In 2012, during the 20th anniversary year of his Travers win, his beloved Ursula Widmer journeyed from Switzerland to visit him. They had a wonderful reunion. The Peppers and all the volunteers at Old Friends at Cabin Creek feel extremely honored to have cared for Thunder Rumble in his retirement years at the farm. The many visitors and fans who loved him made his last years very happy.
At the 6th Annual Birthday Party held last Saturday at the farm, Thunder Rumble greeted guests in all his beauty, glory and majesty showing everyone the striking horse who gave so much joy to those who visited him and cared for him.