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Storm Damage Dies

December 13, 2010

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Storm Damage, the great son of Bret Hanover, who won $659,296 during his two season’s of racing in 1979 and 1980 died on Monday, Dec. 13, at the Jerry and Betty Smith family farm in Niles, MI at the age of 33.

The Smiths purchased a one-third interest in the strapping bay colt from Castleton owner and breeder Fred Van Lennep. The son of a Worthy Boy mare named Breath O Spring was trained throughout his career by Jerry Smith, with Betty Smith as his caretaker.

Storm Damage started his career off strongly with several wins in his first few starts and in any other era would likely have been at the head of his class. But in the summer of his freshman season, he would go head-to-head with the great Niatross, who was in the middle of a perfect 13-race season and on his way to Horse Of The Year honors.

Storm Damage won seven of 14 starts at two, and though he never was able get the better of Niatross, he won $93,556 in 1979. It was more of the same at three, with Niatross defeating Storm Damage every time they met with the exception of Niatross’s  disastrous tumble over the rail in the Battle of Saratoga. The race was won by Trenton Time and Storm Damage finished fifth. Both colts met again in the for the $1 million Meadowlands Pace, but Niatross demolished the field winning by open lengths in 1:53.3. But Storm Damage would have his moment to shine when he won the Adios in straight heats over Justin Passing and Fundamentalist, while taking his mark of 1:53.2. He also won a sire stake in Kentucky and the Hayes Memorial at Du Quoin.

In their final meeting, the 1980 Little Brown Jug, Niatross got the better of Storm Damage for the last time, with Storm Damage finishing second in the final heat. Both pacers were then retired from racing.
Standing stud at Castleton Farm in New York and Kentucky and lastly in Indiana at Hill Crest Farm, Storm Damage - a half-brother to $400,000 winner Race Time  - ultimately sired the winners of $67 million, including millionaire pacers Redskin, Ramblin' Storm and Call For Rain. He retired from breeding completely in 2004 and spent his remaining years with the Smith family in Michigan.


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