02/13/2015 4:10PM

Leading Kentucky sires: Stormy Atlantic

Lee Thomas
Stormy Atlantic stands at Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington, Ky.

Leading Kentucky juvenile sire by stakes winners (tie) and stakes wins
Leading Kentucky synthetic sire by stakes winners (tie) and stakes wins

As Stormy Atlantic begins to settle into his 20s, he remains a stallion for the young at heart.

Since his first foals hit the track in 2002, runners by Stormy Atlantic, a 21-year-old son of Storm Cat, have shown a knack for starting fast as juveniles. That trend continued last year, as Stormy Atlantic led all Kentucky sires by 2-year-old stakes wins and stakes winners.

Stormy Atlantic’s five juvenile stakes winners tied him with Kitten’s Joy and Scat Daddy for the most among Kentucky sires in 2014, while the eight stakes races won by his progeny gave him that title.

He also was leading Kentucky sire by stakes winners and stakes wins over synthetic surfaces, propelled largely by the success of his runners over the Polytrack at Woodbine. His four all-weather stakes winners tied Stormy Atlantic with Harlan’s Holiday and Giant’s Causeway, but his five progeny stakes wins over the surface put him alone at the top of that category.

Stormy Atlantic stands at Hill ‘n’ Dale Farms in Lexington, Ky., for a fee of $25,000.

“He’s a fantastic sire,” said Hill ‘n’ Dale’s John G. Sikura. “He’s been leading 2-year-old sire in the past. They run dirt, turf, long, short, colts, fillies, anywhere from five furlongs to a mile and a quarter. He has great versatility of surface and sex. They run at 2, and they train on.”

Last year was the first time that Stormy Atlantic finished at the top of Kentucky’s standings by juvenile stakes winners, as well as the two synthetic criteria.

It was the second time that he led by 2-year-old stakes wins after tying with Officer in 2006 during a season that saw Stormy Atlantic finish atop all North American sires by juvenile earnings, led by Canadian champion Leonnatus Anteas and Grade 1 winner Stormello.

In 2014, Stormy Atlantic was represented by 37 juveniles, the fewest runners among the top 20 juvenile sires by earnings. He had 15 winners and his progeny earnings of $1,543,333 were good for seventh among North American sires.

Leading the charge of juveniles was Conquest Typhoon, winner of the Grade 2 Summer Stakes and runner-up in the Grade 3 Grey Stakes at Woodbine. He also won the Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes on turf at Del Mar in which Stormy Liberal, a fellow son of Stormy Atlantic, finished second. Conquest Typhoon is owned by Conquest Stables, which also campaigned multiple stakes-winning juvenile Conquest Tsunami by the same sire.

He also was represented by juvenile stakes winners Unhindered, Imperial Dreams, and Cyclogenisis.
Sikura said that Stormy Atlantic’s female family was a likely factor in the precociousness of his runners. The stallion is out of the Grade 1-winning Seattle Slew mare Hail Atlantis, whose five winners from seven foals to race includes stakes winner Mr. Katowice and stakes-placed Divine Dixie.

“He’s got a spectacular pedigree that traces back to Moccasin,” Sikura said. “It’s one of the deepest pedigrees in the world, and the dam by Seattle Slew gives it the dirt conversion. Storm Cat provides versatility as well. It’s one of those unique blends that works on both surfaces. There are very few horses like that in the world, and he’s one of them. We’re glad we’re standing him.”

In an intriguing twist, Stormy Atlantic made 13 of his 15 career starts at age 4, winning six races in New York and the Mid-Atlantic circuit for earnings of $148,126. He won the listed Damitrius Stakes at Delaware Park and the Havre de Grace Stakes at Pimlico during that campaign.

“He’s a real favorite of ours,” Sikura said. “Both him and [late Hill ‘n’ Dale stallion] Mutakddim are horses that were sort of not talked about, a bit obscure in people’s minds, and we loved their pedigree even though they maybe had limited race records, and both have sired [about] 100 stakes winners, which is a great accomplishment.

“I’m not taking all the credit, the breeders have to support the horse, but it’s nice when a horse that you like and have a strong feeling about makes it.”