05/07/2007 12:00AM

Cormorant dead at age 33

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Cormorant, a leading New York stallion who sired the 1994 Kentucky Derby winner, Go for Gin, died of old age on May 4. He was 33. The His Majesty stallion had been pensioned at Jerry Bilinski's Waldorf Farm in North Chatham, N.Y., since 1996.

"I would certainly call him Mr. New York," Bilinski said. "I would have to rate him as definitely being one of the top New York stallions, historically."

Cormorant, a son of the Tudor Minstrel mare Song Sparrow, earned his Grade 1 stripes with a victory in the 1977 Jersey Derby. That was one of five stakes wins for Cormorant, whose other graded victories came in the Grade 2 Gotham and Grade 3 Bay Shore Stakes, also in 1977. He set a stakes record of 1:10.80 for six furlongs in the Bay Shore.

In addition to siring Go for Gin, Cormorant also got the 1992 champion 3-year-old filly, Saratoga Dew; Grade 1 winner and millionaire Grecian Flight; millionaire and Grade 1-placed Gander; and more than 40 other stakes winners. At his death, Cormorant had $32,337,859 in progeny earnings.

Ben Roach bred Cormorant in Kentucky, and the horse raced for C. T. Berry Jr. He began his stud career in Maryland before moving to Dutch Acres in New York in 1980. That farm later became Waldorf Farm.