THUNDER RUMBLE 1989-2015's Info:
Bred in NY by Dr. Konrad Widmer. Foaled March 31, 1989
19 starts, 8 wins. Career earnings $1,047,552
Racing owner: Ursula Widmer
Trainer: Richard O'Connell, Chris Speckert
Jockeys: Herb McCauley, Richard Migliore
Biggest wins: Travers S (G1) at Saratoga 1992, Jim Dandy S (G1), Saratoga Cup (G3) 1994 Count Fleet S, Montauk H
Other notable races: Competed in the 1992 Breeders' Cup Classic
Stood at Keane Stud, NY until 2006
Sired stakes-placed winners On the Fan, Deputy Shaker, Rumbling Girl, Burning Rambo, December Thunder, The Roscoe Rumble and Real Charmer
Joined Old Friends December 2009
Modified On: 1/20/2015
The first New York-bred winner of the Travers Stakes since 1867
Obit statement from Joann Pepper, Owner of Old Friends at Cabin Creek Farm:
With a broken heart I'm writing to tell you all that we lost Thunder Rumble today (Jan 6, 2015) due to complications from colic. He was the most magnificent stallion I have ever met and am so thankful to have known him and loved him. He enjoyed every minute of his birthday party on Saturday, even had a Cabin Creek Travers race with Wills Way. I'm glad so many people came to see Thunder and all his friends, not knowing we would have to say goodbye so soon. He is buried here, in his favorite place, under his pines. Be free my friend, till we meet again.
Obit press release:
After six years of happy retirement at Old Friends at Cabin Creek in Greenfield Center, Thunder Rumble, the 26-year-old New York bred stallion and 1992 winner of The Travers Stakes died Tuesday with farm owners JoAnn and Mark Pepper, his loving family of caretakers, and volunteers by his side. His death 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.
Thunder Rumble was the first stallion to call Old Friends at Cabin Creek his permanent home and when he 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 and 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 3/4 lengths. His winningest year was 1992 when he won the Jim Dandy Stakes, and the famed Travers Stakes at Saratga Race Course 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 Old Friends at Cabin Creek Birthday Party held la few days before his death 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.
Thunder Rumble resided in Old Friends at Cabin Creek, in the neighborhood of Saratoga Springs, where in the 1990s he proved his greatness. In 1992, he won the Jim Dandy Stakes (G2) at Saratoga with Herb McCauley up. A few weeks later he rolled on to become the first New York-bred winner of the storied Travers Stakes (G1) since 1867. Victories in the Count Fleet Stakes and Montauk Handicap rounded out his spectacular 3 year old campaign.
An injury in the 1992 Breeders’ Cup Classic sidelined him for nearly 2 years, coinciding with injuries from a fall and an equally long recuperation for his trainer, Richard O’Connell. In August 1994, Thunder Rumble stormed to victory in the Saratoga Cup (G3). Under Richard Migliore, he bested a strong field that included future Old Friends resident Wallenda (who finished third). Thunder Rumble left the track at the end of his 1994 campaign with earnings of $1,047,552. Hs honored by a stakes named in his honor, the first in the Aqueduct New York Stallion Series.
Standing at Keane Farm in New York, and later in Virginia, Thunder Rumble sired ten small crops that included multiple stakes winner Frisky Thunder, before retiring from breeding in 2006.
In December 2009, the handsome, nearly black stallion became one of the first residents of Old Friends’ satellite farm in New York, Old Friends at Cabin Creek: The Bobby Frankel Division. As Jeff Scott of The Saratogian put it, “For some people, if there’s anything better than watching a top racehorse in his prime, it’s seeing that same horse settled into a safe and comfortable place after his racing and breeding days are over. At Cabin Creek, Thunder Rumble ended up in one of those places.” Old Friends was proud to give this great athlete a permanent home where he reminisced with his many New York fans.