The Keeneland September yearling sale’s two select sessions will be special but not just because the horses offered will have some of the best pedigrees and conformation in the world. They also will be memorable because two of the last three foals sired by the great stallion Storm Cat are scheduled to be offered.
A colt out of grade I winner Halo America (by Waquoit) will be up first, going through the auction ring on the sale’s opening night, Sept. 12, as Hip No. 47. A filly out of the stakes-placed winner Western Princess (by Gone West) is cataloged as Hip No. 108 for the second select session Sept. 13.
The other member of Storm Cat’s final crop, a filly out grade III winner Richwoman (by Successful Appeal ) named The Last Meow, was a $220,000 buy-back at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale in August.
“Storm Cat was a prolific and profound sire,” said John Sikura, whose Hill ‘n’ Dales Sales Agency, as agent, is the consignor of the colt out of Halo America. “He was a sire of sires and his daughters are really important (as broodmares). He was a game changer and there is a real void without him.”
Hill ‘n’ Dale bred the only colt in Storm Cat’s last crop in partnership with Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds, Rancho San Miguel, and NETP. He is a full brother to Irish stakes winner Marino Marini, who was second in the 2003 Malibu Stakes (gr. I) and the 2004 Palos Verdes (gr. II) and Los Angeles Times (gr. III) Handicaps. Marino Marini also finished third in the 2004 Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup Stakes (gr. II) at Keeneland and was group I-placed in Ireland.
The filly out of Western Princess is consigned by Craig and Holly Bandoroff’s Denali Stud, agent. Her breeder is Earle Mack, a former U.S. Ambassador to Finland. He raced Storm Cat’s first grade I winner, November Snow, who is a member of Western Princess’ family.
“She’s a nice filly,” said Craig Bandoroff of the Storm Cat – Western Princess yearling. “She’s correct for a Storm Cat. Her knees are a little offset, but not too badly, and she tracks through it well. I would be disappointed if she wasn’t well-received.”
Storm Cat, who had sired 177 stakes winners as of Aug. 7, stood at the Young family’s Overbrook Farm near Lexington before being pensioned because of fertility problems in May 2008. He is 27 years old.
By Storm Bird, Storm Cat was North America’s leading sire of sale yearlings, based the average price brought by his offspring, seven times. He earned his first title in 2001, which started a string of five straight No. 1 finishes, and added two more crowns in 2008 and 2009. He was North American’s leading sire by progeny earnings in 1999 and 2000.
Last year, Storm Cat ranked seventh on the list of North America’s leading broodmare sires and this year he was third as of Sept. 11.