Thunder Gulch

Thunder Gulch

Anne M. Eberhardt/Blood-Horse

Dual Classic Winner, Leading Sire Thunder Gulch Dies

Sire had been pensioned at Coolmore America's Ashford Stud.

Dual classic winner and retired leading sire Thunder Gulch died March 19 at age 26 due to the infirmities of old age at Coolmore America's Ashford Stud. 

Known for his toughness and fighting qualities, Thunder Gulch was the star of the 1995 Triple Crown races when he won the Kentucky Derby (G1) and Belmont Stakes (G1) and finished third in the Preakness Stakes (G1) in the colors of Michael Tabor. In addition to his classic wins Thunder Gulch also earned top level victories in the Florida Derby and Travers Stakes (both G1), which propelled him to the title of champion 3-year-old male of 1995.

Hammonds: The Thunder Rolled

Retired to Ashford Stud for the 1996 breeding season, Thunder Gulch went on to a highly successful stud career, highlighted by a leading sire title in 2001 when his star performers included Horse of the Year and future Hall of Famer Point Given. His other North American-based grade 1 winners included Spain, who earned more than $3.5 million; Circular Quay, Balance, Tweedside, Shotgun Gulch, Sense of Style, and J. B.'s Thunder. Thunder Gulch also left his mark on the international bloodstock scene when he spent seasons in Australia, Japan, Argentina, and Chile during his stud career.

"It is a very sad day for us here at Ashford as Thunder Gulch has been a pleasure to be around all these years and has left a major legacy at the farm as the first champion sire to reside here," said Coolmore America manager Dermot Ryan. "He had a remarkable 3-year-old campaign in the hands of Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens and provided Michael and Doreen Tabor and their family with some great days. 

"He was an incredibly tough and genuine horse on the track and we are very grateful to the Tabor's for entrusting us with his stud career. I also want to say a special thanks to our stallion manager Richard Barry and his team for the exceptional care they have provided Thunder Gulch during his stud career and since he was pensioned from stud duties."