(Photo : Bloodhorse/WP Stock)
“CATCHING THE LAST OF THE CATS”
We’re about a week away from the arrival of Summerhill’s first son of Storm Cat, the $3 million foal, Brave Tin Soldier. Conceived when his sire’s stud fee stood at a lofty $500,000, the sum paid for our man was the highest ever for a foal at that time. The Blood Horses’ Deidre Biles reports on his final three yearlings to hit the sales ring at Keeneland’s September sale this week, ironically coinciding with Brave Tin Soldier’s arrival at our barn.
Storm Cat is to the thoroughbred marketplace what UCLA was to college basketball in the 1960’s and 1970’s. UCLA when coached by John Wooden, earned 10 NCAA championships, including seven consecutively, and was undefeated in four of those seasons. Storm Cat has been North America’s leading sire of sales yearlings, based on the average price brought by his offspring, seven times.
The 27 year old son of Storm Bird earned his first title in 2001, which started a string of five straight No.1 finishes. He added two more crowns, in 2008 and 2009.
Storm Cat was pensioned because of fertility problems in May 2008 after covering 32 mares at the Young family’s Overbrook Farm near Lexington. The only three horses in his final crop are now yearlings, and they have all been entered into sales.
“Owning one of Storm Cat’s last offspring is exciting”, according to Earle Mack, a former US Ambassador to Finland. But he decided to send her to the Keeneland September Sale instead of keeping her to race because it was a “good” business decision.
“Storm Cat is on a normal turnout schedule, as if he were resting between breeding seasons - out at night and in during the daytime,” said Ric Waldman, who managed the former stallion’s stud book for Overbrook Farm. “Even though he’s starting to show a little bit of his age, he looks great. You might think he was in his early 20’s. When I saw him the other day, he tried to bite my hand off, so he’s still feeling his oats”.