01/07/2005 1:00AM

Roaring Fever fits bill for Questroyal


For the last couple years, Questroyal Stud general manager Chris Bernhard has been looking for a young stallion to complement his roster.

He found it when Edward P. Evans's Roaring Fever won the Alysheba Stakes at The Meadowlands Race Track last autumn.

Roaring Fever will stand his first breeding season in 2005 at Metropolitan Stud, near Pine Plains, N.Y., along with fellow Questroyal stallions Gold Fever and Tomorrows Cat.

"We watched him win the Alysheba and felt it was time to contact Mr. Evans at that point," said Bernhard. "We had spoken to him the previous year about doing something, and he was intrigued about the New York breeding program. But at the time, he didn't have anything that made sense."

In the Alysheba, Roaring Fever raced close to the pace before pulling away to win by nearly three lengths in a good 1:41.83 for 1 1/16 miles, earning a 102 Beyer Speed Figure.

Among his victims in the Alysheba was Tamburello, who later won the Gallant Fox Handicap at Aqueduct.

As a stakes-winning son of Storm Cat, and a full brother to promising young sire Stormin Fever, also bred and owned by Evans, Roaring Fever now made plenty of sense.

The great Storm Cat, with more than 130 stakes winners, is the sire of high-class runners such as Storm Flag Flying, Giant's Causeway, Tabasco Cat, Sharp Cat, Cat Thief, and Sardula.

The 22-year-old Storm Cat is a leader in numerous stallion categories, including graded stakes winners and juvenile winners, and his sons are doing very well at stud.

Storm Cat's sons Giant's Causeway, Bernstein, Tiger Ridge, and Catienus, who stands in New York, are among the leading first-crop sires for 2004.

His sons Forestry, Exploit, Tactical Cat, and Stormin Fever are among the leading second-crop sires, while the same goes for Tale of the Cat and Stormy Atlantic in Storm Cat's third-crop category.

Roaring Fever is also a full brother to Evans's millionaire filly Raging Fever, a multiple Grade 1 winner on the New York circuit.

His dam is Pennant Fever, a daughter of Seattle Slew who placed in the Grade 3 Golden Rod Stakes

Roaring Fever's third dam, Nalees Flying Flag, produced champion filly Sacahuista, winner of the Breeders' Cup Distaff.

It is a family that traces to the New York-bred mare Bourtai, whose daughter Levee won the Coaching Club American Oaks and who was honored as Broodmare of the Year in 1970.

Bourtai's family includes Hall of Fame champions Shuvee and Slew o' Gold.

"It is a brilliant family," said Bernhard. "We felt it was the right time to get aggressive and get Roaring Fever. Some New York stallions have passed on, some have been relocated, and some have been retired. So we thought there was a substantial mare pool we could reach."

According to Bernhard, support from New York breeders has been excellent, and he expects 100 mares to visit Roaring Fever as he begins his stud career later this winter.

New York breeders tend to emphasize good physical stallions that get early runners, Bernhard said.

Roaring Fever fits the bill, having won at first asking at Saratoga, and placing in the Grade 3 Cowdin Stakes as a 2-year-old of 2002.

As a 3-year-old, he had sharp consecutive allowance wins at Saratoga and Belmont.

Last year, in addition to winning the Alysheba Stakes, he placed in the Grade 3 Salvator Mile and Grade 3 William Donald Schaefer.

Roaring Fever retired with four wins from 19 starts and earnings of $219,094.

Evans retains an interest in Roaring Fever, who stands for $5,000, and will support him with some mares.

"Mr. Evans is very excited about participating in the New York program," said Bernhard. "He races in New York, and perhaps down the road he will see his colors carried by sons and daughters of Roaring Fever."

Questroyal stallions enjoyed an excellent season last year.

Gold Fever, winner of the Grade 1 NYRA Mile, was the leading stallion in the Empire State in 2004 and is the sire of multiple graded stakes winner Gold Mover, who was campaigned by Evans.

Tomorrows Cat, another son of Storm Cat, won the Grade 2 Pegasus during his career and is the sire of top New York-bred West Virginia, winner of the Albany Handicap at Saratoga last summer.

Questroyal also manages Strategic Mission, who stands at Liberty Stud in Ghent.

A half-brother to Grade 1 winners Sultry Song and Solar Splendor, Strategic Mission won the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Handicap.

His first foals are 2-year-olds of 2005.