Storm Cat – A True Legend

Here and Elsewhere

Storm Cat

Top Cat. A true legend, Storm Cat

Earlier in the week, it was announced that outstanding US stallion Storm Cat had died of old age. He was 30 at the time of his death 

Storm Cat, who had been pensioned in 2007, was one of the great stallions of the past fifty years. His legacy is one of not only a top-class sire, but also that of an exceptionally successful commercial stallion. Storm Cat also became a successful sire of sires and prolific broodmare sire. His influence remains very potent around the world, with his sons having met with global success.

From the first crop of Storm Bird, Storm Cat, whose dam was the lightning fast Terlingua (who herself lived to the ripe old age of 32) was a top-class juvenile. He won the Gr1 Young America Stakes over subsequent Gr1 Belmont Stakes winner Danzig Connection (Danzig), and was beaten the shortest of short heads in the 1985 Gr1 Breeders Cup Juvenile.

He ended his racing career, having made just eight starts, winning four and placing in his remaining three outings.
Retired to his owner/breeder’s Overbrook Farm, Storm Cat stood his initial season at stud for a stud fee of $30 000. That fee would drop to $20,000 before Storm Cat’s ability as a sire shone. Eventually, Storm Cat would stand for a stud fee of $500,000 – and cover the world’s finest mares.

The stallion’s first crop were foaled in 1989. This crop produced no fewer than eight stakes winners.  Storm Cat’s initial crop included G1 winners Harlan and November Snow, as well as successful sire Storm Boot. Harlan himself would go on to sire leading sire Harlan’s Holiday and multiple Gr1 winner Menifee before his premature death.

Storm Cat would eventual sire no fewer than 27 Gr/Gp1 winners, including five Breeders Cup winners. His progeny performed well in both North America and Europe, and included official champions Giant’s Causeway, Storm Flag Flying and Sweet Catomine. While Storm Cat never sired a Kentucky Derby winner, his son Tabasco Cat won the 1994 Gr1 Preakness Stakes and Gr1 Belmont Stakes, and sons Bluegrass Cat and Cat Thief were second and third in the Kentucky Derby respectively.

Storm Cat’s European G1 winners included Aljabr, Denebola, Giant’s Causeway, Hold That Tiger, Mistle Cat, One Cool Cat and Sophisticat.

His offspring eventually included 180 stakes winners and they earned over $171 000 000.

Storm Cat also became North America’s most consistent successful sire in the sales ring. During his stud career, Storm Cat sired no fewer than 91 yearlings who sold for $1 000 000 plus. The highest priced Storm Cat yearling to go through a sales ring was subsequent Gr3 winner Jalil, who fetched $9 700 000 at the 2005 Keeneland September Sale.
Storm Cat’s descendants have also more than made their presence felt on Breeders Cup Day.
At the 2012 Breeders Cup meeting, no fewer than four winners were male line descendants of Storm Cat, including subsequent Horse of the Year Wise Dan.

Storm Cat is also the broodmare sire of Breeders Cup winners Folklore, Hightail and Speightstown. He has already been a champion broodmare sire, and, to date, his daughters have produced over 180 stakes winners, including such Gr1 winners as Buddha (Wood Memorial Stakes), Magnificent Song (Garden City BC Stakes), Mujahid (Dewhurst Stakes), Dialed In (Florida Derby), Bodemeister (Arkansas Derby), Misty For Me (Irish 1000 Guineas), and champion sprinter Lord Kanaloa. He is also the damsire of successful US sire Jump Start.

While Storm Cat never quite reached the heights of Northern Dancer or Mr Prospector as a sire of sires, his sons have still consistently done well at stud. His greatest sire son is Giant’s Causeway, a triple champion sire in the USA. To date, Giant’s Causeway has sired over 117 stakes winners, including such Gr1 winners as Frost Giant, Footstepsinthesand, Shamardal, Maids Causeway, Heatseeker, Eskendreya and Aragorn.
He is also establishing himself as a successful sire of sires (Shamardal, First Samurai etc), and top broodmare sire. Already Giant’s Causeway daughters have produced such Gr1 winners as Beauty Parlour, Soft Falling Rain, Verrazano and Planteur.

Other successful sire sons of Storm Cat include Hennessy, Forest Wildcat, Bernstein, Tale of The Cat, Stormy Atlantic and Pure Prize.

Hennessy, who died at the age of 14, left behind 76 stakes winners including champion Johannesburg, dual Guineas winner Special Duty and Gr1 winners Henny Hughes, Madcap Escapade and Grand Armee. One of Hennessy’s sons, Wiseman’s Ferry, is the sire of 2012 US Horse of the Year, Wise Dan. At the 2012 Breeders Cup meeting, Hennessy’s male line descendants left behind three winners – Wise Dan (Mile), Beholder (Juvenile Fillies) and Trinniberg (Sprint).

Forest Wildcat never reached the very top echelon as a stallion, but he did leave behind over 50 stakes, and has become a successful broodmare sire. Bernstein did well at stud both in the USA and Argentina – topping the sires list twice in South America. Unfortunately he died at the early age of 14, but left behind 76 stakes winners. Bernstein’s progeny included Gr1 winners Miss World, Dream Empress and champion Storm Military. In total, Bernstein sired 17 individual Gr1 winners – with the majority of his success being in Argentina.

Tale of the Cat has been consistently successful, and the Coolmore based horse has also produced a successful sire son in Lion Heart. While his paternal half-brother Pure Prize may not be one of his sire’s more commercial standouts, he has built up a solid record at stud in both the North and South Hemispheres. To date, Pure Prize has sired nearly 30 stakes winners, including the Gr1 winning fillies Pure Fun and Pure Clan.

Another Storm Cat son to have left a mark is Forestry, a descendant of the great mare Frizette. A Gr1 winning half-brother to Breeders Cup winner Cash Run, Forestry is the sire of stakes winners, including multiple Gr1 winner Shackleford (Preakness Stakes) and promising young sire Discreet Cat.


Storm Cat in South Africa

At the time of writing, there are five sons of Storm Cat at stud in South Africa. They include proven Gr1 producers Tiger Ridge and Mogok. Storm Cat is also the broodmare sire of successful local stallion Windrush.
Outstanding stallion Var is a son of one of Storm Cat’s most consistent sire sons, Forest Wildcat. No doubt, Var will be represented by a son at stud sooner rather than later!


Few people could have imagined when witnessing the 1985 Young America Stakes that they had just seen such a breed shaping stallion, but that is exactly what Storm Cat was.

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