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Storm Cat enriches already great legacy by topping broodmare sire list
It’s official: Storm Cat has done it all. Anyone who has thumbed even casually through Daily Racing Form past performances in recent years has encountered the terms “Storm” and “Cat” too many times to count. This horse is everywhere, omnipresent like the god of racing he is . . . his name synonymous with the best this sport has to offer.
From a purely statistical standpoint, Storm Cat has been an across-the-board wonder. He has twice led general sire lists by progeny earnings (1999 and 2000), and seven times topped the juvenile standings – more often than any other stallion since compilation of data in that category began in 1914.
Now the son of Storm Bird can scratch “leading broodmare sire” off his bucket list. As 2012 slipped into history, Northern Hemisphere numbers (excluding Japan and Hong Kong) supplied by the Jockey Club Information Systems revealed that Storm Cat’s maternal grand offspring had tapped the till to the tune of $14,927,531, more than that earned by any other stallion in the world. Twenty-seven of those runners scored in black-type company, including U.S. Grade 1 winners Bodemeister, Love and Pride, and In Lingerie.
“About time,” some might say of the 30-year-old living legend who, after pounding on this door for a goodly while, finally burst through to the penthouse suite. Yet, it was a hard-earned triumph as Storm Cat finished the season a mere $54,266 ahead of Danehill, with Deputy Minister and Sadler’s Wells not far behind.
Consistency has been a hallmark in this category of late. Over the past half decade, the aforementioned stallions have taken polite turns atop the broodmare sire standings, beginning with Deputy Minister in 2007, then Sadler’s Wells (2008-10), Danehill (2011), and now Storm Cat.
What else does this extraordinary quartet have in common? Male-line lineage. Each was (or, in the case of Storm Cat, is) a son or paternal grandson of the groundbreaking progenitor Northern Dancer.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum long ago observed: “If you want to breed, you need this blood.” He referred, of course, to the platinum-precious plasma of that pint-sized 1964 Kentucky Derby winner, who left such an enduring and outsized imprint on the global Thoroughbred industry. The sheikh’s words remain as true now as they were when he first uttered them.
During the 1970s and 1980s, Northern Dancer was globally transcendent, he and his male offspring dominating statistical lists everywhere such records were kept. Mr. Prospector eventually exploded onto the scene, creating his own brand of genetic magic and grabbing much of the spotlight for himself. But the pendulum ever swings, and these days the scales of influence tip about even between those two colossi of the breed. Of the 50 leading 2012 general sires, 19 hailed from Mr. Prospector in the top stirp of their pedigrees, 18 from Northern Dancer, and another six from the developing sire of sires A.P. Indy. That’s 86 percent, folks.
It is reasonable to expect that such bloodlines would be required to interact with one another, and frequently. No surprise at all, then, that Storm Cat’s standing as a broodmare sire relied heavily on how well his daughters performed when crossed with Mr. Prospector – and A.P. Indy – line stallions, and yes, with others of the Northern Dancer tribe.
Future an open book
Storm Cat got his first stakes winner as a broodmare sire on July 19, 1998, with Sky Hi Cat’s victory in the $30,000 Middleground Maiden Stakes at Lone Star Park. It’s been onward and upward ever since, with his daughters thus far producing 172 stakes winners, 74 graded or group winners, and five champions, including Folklore and Speightstown (third-ranked 2012 general sire). Although Storm Cat has yet to be represented by an American classic winner in this category, Bodemeister signaled that the time might be anon, with scintillating runner-up performances in last spring’s Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.
And so the beat goes on for the old patriarch, who at the dawning of his fourth decade still resides comfortably at Overbrook Farm, his lifelong home on the outskirts of Lexington, Ky.
The Storm Cat well ran dry when he was pensioned after the 2008 breeding season following a long and glorious 21-season breeding career. His final crops are gifts just waiting to be opened . . . including dozens of fillies and mares too young as-yet to have runners on the track. What will be the ultimate impact of these royally bred Storm Cat matrons-to-be, with their untried offspring by Galileo, Bernardini, Tapit, Unbridled’s Song, Tiznow, Medaglia d’Oro, Lookin At Lucky, and Smart Strike? We can’t wait to find out.
Storm Cat’s 2012 graded/group stakes winners as a broodmare sire
LORD KANALOA, 2008 h., by King Kamehameha out of Lady Blossom. 3 wins, $3,644,021, Sprinters S. (Jpn-G1), Longines Hong Kong Sprint S. (HK-G1), Silk Road S. (Jpn-G3).
BODEMEISTER, 2009 c., by Empire Maker out of Untouched Talent. 2 wins, $1,304,800, Arkansas Derby (G1).
LOVE AND PRIDE, 2008 m., by A.P. Indy out of Ile de France. 4 wins, $822,000, Personal Ensign H. (G1), Zenyatta S. (G1), Obeah S. (G3).
IN LINGERIE, 2009 f., by Empire Maker out of Cat Chat. 4 wins, $712,265, Juddmonte Spinster S. (G1), Black-Eyed Susan S. (G2), Bourbonette Oaks (G3).
SHONAN MIGHTY, 2008 h., by Manhattan Cafe out of Luxury. 1 win, $1,466,290, Sankei Osaka Hai (Jpn-G2).
DRILL, 2009 c., by Lawyer Ron out of Cat Dancer. 2 wins, $189,560, San Vicente S. (G2), Lazaro Barrera Memorial S. (G3).
CITY TO CITY, 2007 m., by City Zip out of Stormbow. 2 wins, $325,235, John C. Mabee S. (G2), Buena Vista H. (G2).
NOBLE TUNE, 2010 c., by Unbridled’s Song out of Serena’s Cat. 2 wins, $321,000, Pilgrim S. (G3).
CASTAWAY, 2009 c., by Street Sense out of Priceless Storm. 2 wins, $196,267, Southwest S. (G3).
SNOW TOP MOUNTAIN, 2007 m., by Najran out of Motokiks. 2 wins, $193,040, Suwannee River S. (G3), Edward P. Evans All Along S. (G3).
KITTY IN A TIZZY, 2007 m., by Tiznow out of Puma Kitten. 1 win, $176,858, Chicago H. (G3).
GREAT ATTACK, 2007 h., by Greatness out of Cat Attack. 2 wins, $174,092, Twin Spires Turf Sprint S. (G3).
BUFFUM, 2008 h., by Bernardini out of Storm Beauty. 2 wins, $158,400, Bold Ruler H. (G3).
LONESOME STREET, 2007 h., by Broken Vow out of Street Cat. 1 win, $150,330, Commonwealth S. (G2).
BROKEN DREAMS, 2006 m., by Broken Vow out of Our Dreamer. 2 wins, $134,639, Senator Ken Maddy S. (G3).
UTOPIAN, 2007 h., by Rock Hard Ten out of Storm Alert. 1 win, $132,600, Inglewood H. (G3).
BAUBLE QUEEN, 2008 m., by Arch out of Muneefa. 1 win, $93,000, Robert J. Frankel S. (G2).
THUNDER MOCCASIN, 2009 c., A. P. Warrior out of One Stormy Mama. 1 win, $90,000, Hutcheson S. (G2).
The great sire is still alive at 30.