May 3, 2013

Memorial to Storm Cat - influential U.S. sire who died at age 30 last week

Sad news came out last Wednesday that leading U.S. sire of sires Storm Cat was euthanized due to debilitating effects of old age at 30 (approximately 90 in human terms). The grandson of the immortal Northern Dancer out of a Secretariat mare (hence, "Big Red" was known as a top broodmare sire) had been pensioned from stud duty (i.e. retired from the "strenuous" life of sex and leisure) for the last several years at the original owner's farm - William Young (Overbrook Farm). I have copied the incredible stats below, but most impressive is how he infused additional speed and juvenile success into American breeding through sons Hennessy and Stormy Atlantic yet also passed along some stamina through sons Giant's Causeway, Harlan and Tale of the Cat. Not only the impressive sire line, but he is becoming quite the broodmare sire with top sires Speightstown and Bodemeister - last year's top classics performer, to his credit.  Speaking of Classics, Storm Cat will be represented in tomorrow's Derby by five contenders, most notably by his great-grandson Into Mischief with #8 Goldencents and #20 Vyjack.

Storm Cat was a relatively small stallion who produced medium build foals but they were/are known to be feisty S.O.B.'s. I know - my Stable bought a son of Henny Hughes who is a cross to Storm Cat at the third generation. One other special note is that as good as Storm Cat proved to be in the end, he was doubted when his first crop of foals came through the auction ring much smaller than average for top sires. There was one Texas cowgirl in the Keeneland sales pavilion back in 1990 who liked what she saw - offset knees and all - and ended up buying a filly to be named Joy's Baby and recorded the very first of 180 stakes winners for the sire, over 100 of those in Graded company! That cowgirl is Diamond D Ranch's very own (and current Saturday Racing Stable bloodstock advisor) Caroline Dodwell. Please note the amazing stats below and follow the link to read more about his stellar stud career and lasting impressions.        

Storm Cat facts 1983, dk. b. or br. h., Storm Bird—Terlingua, by Secretariat
Breeder: W. T. Young Storage, Inc.
Owner: W. T. Young
Trainer: Jonathan Sheppard
Race record: 8-4-3-0, $570,610
Stakes wins: 1985 Young America S. (G1)
Stakes placings: 2nd in 1985 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1)
Honors at stud: Leading sire (1999, 2000); leading broodmare sire (2012); 
leading juvenile sire(1992, 1993, 1995, 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004)
Foals: 1,452 Starters: 1,110 Winners: 807 Wins: 2,340
Stakes winners: 180 (12%)
Graded/group stakes winners: 108
Earnings: $128,085,381
Average earnings per starter: $115,392

No comments: