Legendary thoroughbred sire Storm Cat has died in Kentucky at the age of 30.
The leading sire and Group 1 winner was euthanized on April 24 at the Young family’s Overbrook Farm in Lexington, due to complications from infirmities of old age.
By Storm Bird and out of the stakes winning Secretariat mare Terlingua, Storm Cat was bred and raced by William T. Young. During his racing career he captured the Young America Stakes (gr. I) and finished 2nd in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Stakes (gr. I) in 1985, on the way to $570,610 in career earnings.
Storm Cat retired from racing in 1987 to stand stud at Overbrook Farm. Breeding his first book of mares in 1988 at a stud fee of $30,000, he was pensioned in 2008 after a 20-year stud career that saw his fee rise to as high as $500,000.
After he retired from active stud duties, he led a quiet life at Overbrook Farm. His schedule included daily care from Eduardo Terrazas, his original stallion manager and regular visits from his life-long veterinarian, Dr. Robert Copelan.
In early 2009, a new procedure developed at Texas A&M University enabled Storm Cat to continue breeding via AI. He remained at stud for quarter horse mares for a fee of $US20,000.
In the thoroughbred world, Storm Cat sired earners of over $127 million, 8 champions and 108 graded stakes winners including winners of the Preakness S., Belmont S., Kentucky Oaks and five Breeders’ Cup races, ranking second on the all-time Breeders’ Cup sire list, along with numerous European Group 1 races. He topped the general sire list twice, the juvenile sire list a record seven times and was leading broodmare sire in 2012.
At public auction 462 of his yearlings sold 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.
“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.
Overbrook Farm dispersed its thoroughbred operations in late 2009, retaining only a small racing stable. “The retirement of Storm Cat ended a phenomenal era at Overbrook,” Young said at the time.
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.”
Storm Cat was buried at Overbrook Farm.