New York champion Thunder Puddles, the only New York-bred to sire a New York-bred millionaire, died June 29 at Carl Lizza Jr. and Joseph Bartone’s Highcliff Farm near Delanson, N.Y., where the 31-year-old son of Speak John had stood since entering stud in 1985. He resided there as a pensioner the last several years.
Thunder Puddles, out of the Delta Judge mare Big Puddles, raced as a homebred for Herbert Schwartz and Dr. Robert Boggiano. Bred in the name of Thunder Puddles Syndicate, he was campaigned in the name Rockwood Stable and was trained by John P. Campo.
Thunder Puddles was the New York champion turf male of 1983. During his career, he captured four stakes on grass, including the Rutgers Handicap (gr. IIT) and a division of the Red Smith Handicap (gr. IIT). He placed in such grade I turf stakes as the Rothmans International Stakes (twice), the Turf Classic, and the Washington, D.C., International Stakes while facing the likes of All Along, April Run, Majesty’s Prince, and Naskra’s Breeze. He retired with seven wins and eight placings from 25 starts and earnings of $791,695.
As a stallion, Thunder Puddles is represented by nine stakes winners and the earners of $8.7 million. His best runner, millionaire and two-time New York champion Thunder Rumble, won the Travers Stakes (gr. I) and the Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga in 1992 and returned to win the Saratoga Cup Handicap in 1994. Thunder Puddles also sired New York grade II winner Thunder Achiever.
Thunder Puddles was buried at Highcliff.