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Storm Cat (1983 - 2013)

The passing of a legendary stallion.

Giant's Causeway, just one of the many of Storm Cat's powerful offspring.
Giant's Causeway, just one of the many of Storm Cat's powerful offspring.
Julian Herber / ALLSPORT; Getty Images Sport

1985 BC Juvenile Stretch Drive

Legendary stallion Storm Cat was euthanized this morning following "complications from infirmities of old age", according to a report in the Blood-Horse. He was 30 years old.

Storm Cat was bred by Overbrook Farm in 1983 as a royally bred son of Storm Bird out of the Secretariat mare, Terlingua. He finished second to Tasso in the 1985 Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Aqueduct before winning the Grade 1 Young America Stakes at the Meadowlands (a race won in prior years by Swale, Deputy Minister, Lord Avie and Spectacular Bid).

While Storm Cat achieved success on the track, it wasn't till his racing career ended that he secured his place in thoroughbred history. A powerful force in the breeding shed, Storm Cat would eventually command a stud fee of $500,000. His success in the sales ring is unmatched in recent years. From the Blood-Horse article:

Of his yearlings, 462 sold at public auction for over $319 million, including 91 yearlings which brought $1 million or more. By comparison, his grandsire, Northern Dancer ranked second with 52 yearlings which brought $1 million or more, according to Overbrook.

Among the horses Storm Cat produced during his illustrious stud career are:

  • Forestry - Winner of the King's Bishop and the Dwyer Stakes and sire of Shackleford.
  • Giant's Causeway - 2000 European Horse of the Year, two-time leading sire in North America, winner of the St. James's Palace Stakes, Ecllipse Stakes, Sussex Stakes, Juddmonte International and Irish Champion Stakes, and runner-up to Tiznow in the 2000 Breeders' Cup Classic.
  • Tabasco Cat - Winner of the 1994 Preakness and Belmont Stakes
  • Hold That Tiger - 2002 European Champion Juvenile.
  • Storm Flag Flying - Winner of the 2002 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and 2002 Champion Juvenile Filly; winner of the Matron, Frizette, Personal Ensign and Shuvee.
  • Cat Thief - Winner of the 1999 Breeders' Cup Classic.
  • Bluegrass Cat - Winner of the Haskell, Nashua, Remsen and Sam F. Davis. Second in the 2006 Kentucky Derby, Belmont and Travers Stakes.
  • Seeking the Dia - Winner of 10 Group 1 races in Japan, including the 2005 Japan Dirt Cup.
  • Life Is Sweet - Winner of the 2009 Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic.
  • Sweet Catomine - Winner of the 2004 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, 2005 Santa Anita Oaks; 2004 Champion Juvenile Filly.
  • Sharp Cat - Winner of the G1-Hollywood Starlet, G1-Matron, G1-Santa Anita Oaks, G1-Las Virgenes, G1-Acron, G1-Beldame and G1-Ruffian.

Storm Cat's stallion duty ceased in 2008, after which he spent his remaining days at Overbrook Farm in well-deserved retirement. And while Storm Cat's life has come to an end on this late-April Wednesday, his legacy and influence on today's thoroughbreds will live on for decades and decades.

Storm Cat slide show from Barbara Livingston of the Daily Racing Form.