07/01/2010 12:00AM

Thunder Puddles, sire of Thunder Rumble, dies at 31

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LEXINGTON, Ky. - Thunder Puddles, the sire of Grade 1-winning millionaire Thunder Rumble, has died at age 31.

A top sire in New York, Thunder Puddles died June 29 at Carl Lizza and Jospeh Bartone's Highcliff Farm in Delanson, N.Y. He had stood there since 1985 and was pensioned from stud duty in 2003.

A homebred for Herbert Schwartz and Dr. Robert Boggiano's Rockwood Stables, Thunder Puddles was New York's richest statebred from 1983 to 1985 with purse earnings of $791,695. The Speak John horse won the 1982 Rutgers Handicap, a Grade 2 event, and the West Point Handicap in 1982, and also placed in that year's Grade 1 Rothmans International Stakes, Washington D.C. International, and Man o' War Stakes. He followed up with victories in the Grade 2 Red Smith Handicap and the Kingston Stakes in 1983. He was named New York-bred champion turf male in 1983 after a season that also included runner-up performances in two more Grade 1 races, the Turf Classic and Rothmans International.

Thunder Puddles retired to Highcliff with seven wins, all on the grass, from 25 lifetime starts, and his New York record bankroll.

At stud, he got 1992 Travers and Jim Dandy winner Thunder Rumble, as well as graded winners Thunder Achiever and Thunder Regent and multiple stakes winner Factual Contender, among other stakes winners. His progeny earnings to date are above $8.7 million.

Thunder Puddles, a son of the Delta Judge mare Big Puddles and a half-brother to stakes winner Always Run Lucky, was buried at Highcliff.