08/09/2007 11:00PM

Hennessy dies at age 14


LEXINGTON, Ky. - Grade 1 winner Hennessy, the sire of 2001 juvenile champion Johannesburg and numerous Grade 1 performers, died Thursday of a heart attack while standing the Southern Hemisphere season at La Mission Stud in Argentina, Coolmore Stud confirmed Friday.

Hennessy, a chestnut son of Storm Cat and the Grade 1-placed Hawaii mare Island Kitty, was 14. He last stood in the Northern Hemisphere at Coolmore's Kentucky division, Ashford Stud in Versailles, in 2007 for a $60,000 fee.

Bred by Overbrook Farm, Hennessy sold for $500,000 to the late Bob Lewis at the 1994 Keeneland July select yearling sale. Lewis and his wife, Beverly, placed the colt with trainer D. Wayne Lukas, and he became one of the couple's earliest Grade 1 performers.

Hennessy finished second in his debut, a maiden special weight at Hollywood Park, but came back to win his next four races with ease, by a combined total of 25 lengths. Three of those four races were graded stakes, headed by the Grade 1 Hopeful. He also won the Hollywood Juvenile Championship and Sapling Stakes, both Grade 2, as part of that streak.

After his Hopeful win, Hennessy did not win again, though he finished second behind Unbridled's Song in the the 1995 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and second in the Grade 3 Hollywood Prevue Breeders' Cup Stakes before retiring to stud as part of the Coolmore roster.

Coolmore shuttled Hennessy from Kentucky to Australia and Argentina, and he had notable stakes winners around the globe. He got off the mark in North America quickly with Johannesburg, winner of the 2001 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and the juvenile champion in North America, Europe, and England in 2001. Hennessy also sired Australia's champion older horse of 2005, Grand Armee, the Turkish champion Perfect Storm, and the Japanese Grade 1 winner Sunrise Bacchus.

In North America, his best runners include Grade 1 winners Henny Hughes, Madcap Escapade, and Harmony Lodge; graded winner and millionaire Silver Tree; and graded winner and sire Wiseman's Ferry. Through Friday, Hennessy had sired eight crops of racing age and at least 33 graded stakes-winners, for total progeny earnings of $53,730,087.