Vinery Ltd. continues to strengthen its New York stallion operation and on Sept. 30 announced it has partnered with WinStar Farm to stand leading second-crop sire Bluegrass Cat at Vinery’s New York operation at Sugar Maple Farm in 2012. The grade I-winning son of Storm Cat will stand as a Vinery/WinStar Venture.
“We identified Bluegrass Cat as a top stallion and approached WinStar with the idea of partnering,” said Tom Ludt, president of Vinery. “We wanted to give the New York Breeders another reason to stay home, and have the type of stallion that Kentucky breeders will follow. At only 8 years old, Bluegrass Cat has it all—race record, looks and one of the best pedigrees in the stud book. Already at stud, he has several current graded stakes runners, big books, and a lot of foals in the pipeline. So we feel like everything is in place for him to be the leading sire in New York for many years to come.”
In a crop of sires that may be regarded as one of the best of this decade, Bluegrass Cat ranks as the fourth-leading second-crop sire behind Bernardini , Congrats , and War Front by cumulative progeny earnings for 2010 and 2011, through Sept. 30. He has sired top 3-year-olds such as multiple graded stakes-winning filly Kathmanblu and Canadian champion colt finalist Blue Laser. Bluegrass Cat already has eight juvenile winners from his second crop including a pair of colts—Big Blue Nation and Laurie's Rocket—who were third and fourth, respectively, in the Three Chimneys Hopeful Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga.
“We’re ready to make a big splash in New York. It’s a market we’ve looked at with great interest for some time now because of the unlimited potential,” said Elliott Walden, WinStar president and chief executive officer. “Going into New York with a top-caliber stallion like Bluegrass Cat, and partnering with an established forerunner in New York like Vinery, fit the bill for us.
"WinStar has been fortunate to have enjoyed success in venture stallions such as Tiznow and Speightstown , and we’re looking forward to continued success with Vinery. WinStar plans on breeding as many mares to him in New York as we did in Kentucky. Here is an example of the excitement already in New York: in five seconds Mike Repole said he was in.”
As a racehorse, Bluegrass Cat, out of the A.P. Indy mare She's a Winner, was a leading 2-year-old and 3-year-old from a vintage crop. He won the Nashua Stakes (gr. III) and Remsen Stakes (gr. II) after breaking his maiden at 2, and went on to become a Triple Crown contender as a 3-year-old. He was second to Barbaro in the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and the runner-up in the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) before going on to capture his biggest win in the Haskell Invitational Stakes (gr. I), winning by a record margin of seven lengths. He retired with earnings of $1,761,280.
She’s A Winner is a full sister to the dam of 2010 Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and hails from the immediate family of Private Account, Mutakddim, and Not For Love.
A 2012 stud fee for Bluegrass Cat will be announced at a later date.