09/06/2001 11:00PM

Storm Cat will stand for half a million


LEXINGTON, Ky. - The stud fee for Overbrook Farm's leading sire Storm Cat will rise from $400,000 to $500,000 for the 2002 breeding season, making his the highest fee in North America for next year.

Storm Cat, an 18-year-old son of Storm Bird, is the sire of more than 85 stakes winners worldwide and has current progeny earnings of more than $64 million. This year alone, his runners have earned more than $3.9 million.

This is the fourth increase in his fee since 1999, when he stood for $200,000.

Overbrook advisor Ric Waldman confirmed the increase Friday, days before the opening of Keeneland's September yearling sale, at which Storm Cat has been a dominant force. Storm Cat's sons and daughters have been among the priciest lots at the sale, which runs this year from Sept. 10-22. The stallion was the auction's leading sire by average progeny price last year, with 17 yearlings selling for a total of $22,468,000 and an astronomical average price of $1,321,641. The 2000 auction's top-priced lots, a sale-record $6.8 million colt out of Hum Along and a world-record $4.4 million filly out of champion East of the Moon, were both by Storm Cat.

Last month, a Storm Cat--Gone to Venus colt brought a $3.3 million bid to top Fasig-Tipton's Saratoga selected yearling auction. At Keeneland's July yearling sale this year, Storm Cat was the second-leading sire by average price, behind the late Mr. Prospector, with five yearlings sold for $8,850,000, an average price of $1,770,000.

Coolmore Stud privately purchased a set of lifetime breeding rights to Storm Cat in 1999 and has added its substantial financial support for the stallion's auction yearlings. Coolmore's purchases included the $6.8 million record sale-topper at last year's Keeneland September auction.

Matty G to stand at Darby Dan in Kentucky

Darby Dan Farm in Lexington announced Friday that Matty G, the sire of Grade 1-placed juvenile Mayakovsky, will stand there

in 2002. Matty G, an 8-year-old Capote horse, began his stud career in Florida, then moved to California's Pegasus Ranch, where he stood in 2001 for $4,000. Darby Dan plans to resyndicate the Grade 1-winning Matty G but has yet to announce his 2002 fee.

From just 33 named foals and 15 starters, Matty G has sired five winners to date. In addition to Mayakovsky, who set a track record of 1:03.32 for 5 1/2 furlongs in his July 25 debut at Saratoga, Matty G also is the sire of Grade 3-placed Divine Angel in his first crop. Matty G has progeny earnings of $202,245.

Matty G is out of the stakes-placed Pia Star mare Star Gem. He is a half-brother to the Grade 1-winning millionaire Star of Cozzene, now a sire in Japan; to Grade 3 winner J. F. Williams; and to Grade 3-placed King of Swing.

"For years at Darby Dan we have been in need of a sire that produces quick-developing speed without it being just 'cheap' speed," said the farm's managing partner, John Phillips. "Given his limited opportunity, what Matty G has accomplished is amazing."

Housebuster to stand at Blue Ridge in Virginia

Two-time champion sprinter Housebuster will stand at Virginia's historic Blue Ridge Farm in Upperville, for the 2002 breeding season.

The 14-year-old Mt. Livermore horse will stand for a $7,500 fee and will be syndicated, according to George Grayson of Blue Ridge. Donna Hayes's The Stallion Company, which purchased Housebuster privately last month from East Stud in Japan, will act as syndicate manager. Housebuster is expected to arrive at Blue Ridge on Sept. 24.

Housebuster's runners include 2001 Grade 2 winner Buster's Daydream and Grade 3 winner Morluc.

Blue Ridge, established in 1903, is Virginia's oldest breeding farm. The Grayson family has owned it since the 1920's, when Admiral Cary T. Grayson purchased the property.