Storm Cat, whose stallion career was legendary for its production of champions, was euthanized at Overbrook Farm due to complications from old age, the farm said Wednesday. He was 30 years old.
Storm Cat was retired from breeding in 2008.
He recently enjoyed a 30th birthday party at Overbrook, which he celebrated with his former trainer, Jonathan Sheppard on Feb. 27.
"Storm Cat was a once-in-a-lifetime horse and the key to the success that Overbrook Farm enjoyed. My father often said that Storm Cat made him look like a genius." Overbrook Farm owner William T. Young Jr. said in a news release from the farm.
The horse who was once largely ignored by breeders went on to stand for an American high of $500,000 for a six-year stretch, siring eight champions and 108 graded stakes winners with progeny earnings of more than $127 million.
Ric Waldman, who managed Storm Cat's stud career said, "Storm Cat was a major impact
sire - a major impact on the future of the breed and a major impact on the lives of those of us at Overbrook."
Most impressive was the fact the son of Storm Bird achieved his success from relatively humble beginnings. Having started out at a fee of $30,000 in 1988, Storm Cat was able to produce runners early on from books of less-than-fashionable mares.
Not since the legendary Northern Dancer stood at Windfields Farm was one stallion so responsible for a farm's success the way Storm Cat was with Overbrook -- the operation founded by the late William T. Young.
"Storm Cat enabled so much for the farm through all the stud fees, through the successes his progeny had, and that really put Overbrook on the map long before we won the Kentucky Derby (with Grindstone in 1996)," Waldman told the Herald-Leader for a story last year. "Mr. Young wore his success proudly. It furthered his belief that nobody really knows what's going to happen."
Four hundred sixty-two of Storm Cat's yearlings sold at public auction for more than $319 million including 91 yearlings that brought $1 million or more. By comparison, his grandsire, Northern Dancer ranked second with 52 yearlings which brought $1 million or more.
The volume of top runners Storm Cat produced is gaudy with such champions and classic victors as Giant's Causeway, Storm Flag Flying, Sweet Catomine and Tabasco Cat among his 110 graded stakes winners. With Giant's Causeway now one of the industry's leading stallions at Coolmore Stud, and other sons of Storm Cat pumping out stakes winners, his reputation as a sire of sires is on track to keep his influence going for decades.
During his racing career, Storm Cat won the Grade I Young America Stakes and finished second in the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Stakes in 1985, on the way to
$570,610 in career earnings.
Storm Cat retired from racing in 1987 to stand stud at Overbrook Farm.
He was buried at Overbrook Farm.
Published in Lexington Herald-Leader from Apr. 24 to Apr. 25, 2013