|Dam||Line Of Thunder|
|Breeder||Peter M. Brant|
|Trainer||D. Wayne Lukas|
American Classic Race wins:
Kentucky Derby (1995)
Belmont Stakes (1995)
|U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt (1995)
Leading sire in North America (2001)
|Last updated on February 4, 2007|
Thunder Gulch (foaled March 23, 1992 in Kentucky) is a Champion American thoroughbred racehorse best known for his wins in the Kentucky Derby and the Belmont Stakes in 1995, which earned him the title of U.S. Champion 3-Yr-Old Colt.
At Churchill Downs, he left the starting gate at 25-1 odds in 1995 and won the Kentucky Derby in 2:01.2 from post 16. He was ridden by jockey Gary Stevens. D. Wayne Lukas, his trainer, entered three horses for the 121st "Run for the Roses".
Following his win in Louisville, Thunder Gulch finished third to his stablemate Timber Country in the Preakness Stakes. In the Belmont Stakes, Thunder Gulch was made 3/2 favourite after Timber Country was withdrawn from the race with a fever. He won by two lengths from Star Standard, giving Lukas the first individual Triple Crown, his fifth consecutive win in the series. Thunder Gulch also won in the Travers Stakes, in which he overcame a bad start to record a four and a half length victory over Pyramid Peak. Other victories in 1995 included the Swaps Stakes, and the Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap.
Thunder Gulch was retired in the fall of his three-year-old campaign after finishing fifth to American Horse of the Year Cigar in a "much-anticipated showdown" for the Jockey Club Gold Cup. After the race, it was discovered that he had fractured his left front cannon bone.
Among the many horses Thunder Gulch has sired are the graded stakes race winners Spain, Balance, Point Given, and Circular Quay. Point Given was 2001 3 year old Horse of the Year after winning the Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes that year. Circular Quay was among trainer Todd Pletcher's many Kentucky Derby entries of 2007, but ran a disappointing sixth in that race and fifth in the Preakness. He also sired Alittlebitearly, whose birth date made it impossible for her to be raced (in December), but has had a successful breeding career, as she was dam to Bayern, a Breeders' Cup Classic winner.
In 2015, Thunder Gulch was pensioned from stud duties at Ashford Stud and will live out the rest of his days at the farm. He was selected as the "babysitter or sorts" to be a neighboring pasture companion and calming influence to the newly retired Triple Crown champion, American Pharoah.
- "Thunder Gulch Horse Pedigree". Pedigreequery.com. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "HORSE RACING; A Sweet 16". New York Times. 1995-05-07. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- Ed Schuyler Jr (1995-06-11). "Lucas Thunder Gulch proves to be the right tonic". Southeast Missourian. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "Thunder Gulch takes Travers". The Vindicator. 1995-08-20. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- John Nelson (1995-10-05). "Lukas to send Thunder Gulch against Cigar". Sunday Gazette. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "Cigar beats Thunder Gulch". Ocala Star-Banner. 1995-10-08. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "Thunder Gulch fractures leg". Boca Raton News. 1995-10-09. Retrieved 2011-12-29.
- "Thunder Gulch, stalllion directory, horse breeding". Thoroughbredtimes.com. 2011-03-13. Retrieved 2011-12-29.