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Thunder Gulch

June 29 2012 at 1:07 AM

  (Login Paseana)
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I know....here she goes again. But just indulge me in my old age, OK?

I got to wondering what happened to him. He was a GI winner at 2 (Hollywood Futurity). He completed a rare race trifecta at 3 by winning the Derby, Belmont, and Travers, and that was after having thrown in the Florida Derby for good measure. He was retired after his 3yo season with earnings of nearly $3M.

In his first crop, he got Spain, the 3yo upset winner of the BC Distaff, who went on to become the highest money-earning female of all time, up to that point. In his second crop, he got Point Given, a 5-time GI winner who notched an unprecedented four $1M GI's in a row. In that same 2nd crop, he also sired the forgotten Tweedside, who won the CCA Oaks on the dirt (back when it was still 12 furlongs), and captured the GII Sheepshead Bay the following year at 11 furlongs....on the turf! And also in that crop was little Inky (Invisible Ink), who won't be remembered for much of anything except laying an "invisible" nose on Congaree for 2nd in the 2001 Derby.

One would think, after that kind of start, that Thunder Gulch was on his way. Guess not. The next memorable name for him didn't come along until 2003, which would be his 7th crop. Her name was Balance, a 3-time GI winning daughter. After that, there's pretty much nothing, at least domestically.

Thunder Gulch is 20 years old now, which is enough to make those of us who are of a certain age choke on our Raisin Bran! His 2yos of 2011 (foaled in 2009) represent his 13th crop to race, if my math is correct. My question is, how and why did he just "fizzle" like he did, after the success that he had with his first couple of crops? I'm wondering if maybe all the shuttling might have had a negative effect on his books here. His progeny list on pedigreequery.com is loaded with Argentine-breds and, to a lesser extent, Aussie-breds, and I'm wondering if maybe Coolmore just overdid it.....over-reacting perhaps to his early success. I doubt that they are still shuttling him at age 20, and his fee for this past 2012 season was $10K.

It just puzzles me how he could start out so good and end up as just another $10K stallion, though really, I guess it happens all the time.

 
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Jason Baker
(Login JBaker826)
UpInClass Member

Re: Thunder Gulch

June 30 2012, 2:00 PM 

Never really had an affinity for his ilk, but after meeting John Fleming and reading this post I now follow his offspring. Belmont Race #3 6-30-12 #6 TOY CANNON as a second time starter for Mott/Alvarado romps on the grass at 9-1.

Am interested to track the old boys proginey now.

 
 

(Login keystone-king)
UpInClass Member

Re: Thunder Gulch

July 4 2012, 10:37 PM 

Coolmore has thrown top class mare after top class mare at him and he hasnt produced a stand out offspring yet. they wont give up on him because he is the first Ky Derby winner for coolmore.

 
 


(Login Paseana)
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Re: Thunder Gulch

July 8 2012, 11:13 PM 

..."he hasn't produced a stand out offspring yet.".....

Excuse me....Spain and Point Given were chopped liver I guess. Granted, those two were in his first two crops, and other than Balance, he's not gotten much else....which was the point of my post. But Spain was a BC Distaff winner at 3 and, at one point, was the highest money-earning female in North America. And I'm not even going to talk about Point Given. Having to make an argument in his case is beyond silly.

 
 

UpInClass
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Re: Thunder Gulch

July 9 2012, 4:42 PM 


 
 

elk-
(Login elk-)
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Re: Thunder Gulch

July 12 2012, 12:10 PM 

I think Point Given's lack of sucsess has hurt him as well.  PG has only 3 Grade 1 winners and no real stars, though Go Between was a darn good.    At a certian point those high $ stud fees are for the potential of a horse to become a good earning sire.   With TG, even his best runner has mostly failed as a sire.   Doesn't inspire a lot of confidence that you a breeding the next Storm Cat, which other than breeding a derby winner, is every breeders dream/goal.

 
 

Paseana
(Login Paseana)
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Re: Thunder Gulch

July 12 2012, 9:49 PM 

Good point, Eric. That's something I didn't even think about, and it makes sense for sure. Point Given came along so early in Thunder Gulch's stud career, and he was such a great racehorse. When he fizzled at stud, it had to have a major effect on Thunder Gulch's desirability.

By the way, Point Given's 3 GI winners are, I believe, Go Between, Point Ashley, and Coil. Worth mentioning for Point Given, however, is that he did get the wonderful Canadian champion Sealy Hill. She was the first Canadian Triple Tiara winner, won the Can-GI E P Taylor, and took down THREE Sovereign Awards in 2007 as HOTY, Grass Female, and 3yo Filly. She also finished 2nd by less than a length in the BC F&M Turf in 2008 to Forever Together.

Point Given has been a disappointment in the shed, but I still like to give them credit where it's due. wink.gif

Excellent answer to my question though. Thanks Eric.

 
 

Nick
(Login nickvito)
UpInClass Member

Re: Thunder Gulch

July 25 2012, 8:43 AM 

[linked image]
Hey Pas,
Not sure if this worked( 1st time trying to post a picture) but this is the actual saddlecloth worn by Thunder Gulch while winning the Travers Stakes. I have it hanging in my Restaurant/Bar. Bought it a few years back at auction .

 
 


(Login Paseana)
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Re: Thunder Gulch

July 25 2012, 10:39 PM 

Nick, that is just "way cool"! And I love the way you cut the matting to accommodate the photographs and still be able to display his name......or perhaps you bought it already framed and matted? Either way, that's very nicely done!

How did you come to bid on it? Were you a big fan of Thunder Gulch?

Frankly, I don't remember much about him. Due to circumstances in my life, I was terribly out of touch with racing from the fall of 1994 through most of 1997 (I missed Cigar, believe it or not, except for watching a couple of his races on TV). I didn't even realize that Thunder Gulch won the Hollywood Futurity until doing a little research for this thread!

I was, and am, a big fan of his sire Gulch, though. It so happened that just when I was working my way back into the game, awareness-wise, Thunder Gulch's first youngsters hit the track, and the exploits of 3yo Spain and 2yo Point Given in 2000 made me sit up and take notice of him. But other than Tweedside, and a little later, Balance, there's been very little heard from him since, and I find that a little puzzling.

Anyway, thanks for posting that picture.....pretty neat stuff!

 
 

Nick
(Login nickvito)
UpInClass Member

Re: Thunder Gulch

July 26 2012, 7:46 AM 

Nick, that is just "way cool"! And I love the way you cut the matting to accommodate the photographs and still be able to display his name......or perhaps you bought it already framed and matted? Either way, that's very nicely done!

How did you come to bid on it? Were you a big fan of Thunder Gulch?


Pas, I bought the saddlecloth , then contacted the NYRA photographer and ordered the Travers Photo, Had a brass plate made stating exactly what was inside the frame. I had my local picture framing guy do it for me.

There was a local guy who used to run theese horse racing memorabilia auctions a few years back ( can't remember his name) I do remember having to bid by phone and he would hand deliver the stuff. This was before the internet. I used to collect all kinds of stuff- programs , glasses, pictures, condition books. Now that i have figured out how to post pictures I am going to try to start a collectors thread on this board.
Yes I was a fan of TG- Actually bought a filly of his a couple years ago named Thunder Jewel who won a race for us at Saratoga. We sold her and she is now at Finger Lakes


    
This message has been edited by nickvito on Jul 26, 2012 7:48 AM


 
 

(Login DPB714)
UpInClass Member

Where is it today?

April 21 2014, 9:35 PM 

I'm curious, do you still have the Thunder Gulch Travers cloth?

 
 


(Premier Login Badactor)
Forum Owner

Re: Thunder Gulch

April 22 2014, 3:06 PM 

Welcome to the forum, Dennis! happy.gif


Here is a link to Mr. Spagnola's
VITO'S PIZZA & BEER restaurant...
http://www.vitospizzaandbeer.com/

Also, @ Facebook...
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vitos-Pizza-and-Beer/107567394846

 
 

Nick
(Login nickvito)
UpInClass Member

Re: Thunder Gulch

April 23 2014, 12:00 AM 

Hey Dennis,
Actually I ended up selling it to a guy who had all of TG's saddlecloths, after he saw it here on Upinclass he contacted me and I ended up selling it.

 
 
Dennis
(Login DPB714)
UpInClass Member

Good to hear

June 25 2014, 10:37 PM 

I actually joined this forum because I recently bought the saddle cloth and wanted to know some of its history. The Thunder Gulch winning Travers saddle cloth is still in great shape;however, I have removed it from the frame.

Any history on owners would be very interesting to me.

Dennis

 
 
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