Storm Cat, leading sire of sale horses.

Storm Cat, leading sire of sale horses.

Anne M. Eberhardt

No Trick Up This Stallion's Sleeve

The fact that William T. Young's stallion extraordinaire Storm Cat led the Keeneland July yearling sale by average hardly sent shock waves through the industry. The shock waves instead were registered by first-crop stallions Mazel Trick and Stormin Fever at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July yearling sale. Both stand at Brereton and Libby Jones' Airdrie Stud near Midway, Ky.

Four of Mazel Trick's yearlings commanded at least $200,000 each, including a colt that went for $535,000, and another just missed at $192,000. The top-priced one brought the second-highest price at the sale. Stormin Fever was represented by individuals who brought $335,000 and $325,000. To Brereton Jones, who as a former Kentucky governor is used to a little politicking, the numbers don't lie.

"We knew Mazel Trick was a quality horse," Jones said. "He was undefeated on dirt, and Bobby Frankel called him the best horse he ever trained. That spoke volumes about his capabilities."

Jones, on behalf of Airdrie, consigned the $535,000 colt, who was bought by Ben Glass, agent for Gary and Mary West Stables. "He was a dynamite individual," Jones said. "He had the look of eagles and is a strong, athletic type.

Another thing that reflects well on the Mazel Tricks is that all four of the high-priced ones were sold by different consignors."

Mazel Trick's average of $169,250 for a dozen yearlings sold was good enough for fifth place (with three or more sold) on the Fasig-Tipton list and was slightly more than 11 times the stallion's $15,000 fee used to produce them.

Finishing one spot ahead of him on the list was Stormin Fever, whose six yearlings averaged $176,667. The Storm Cat stallion also stood for $15,000 his first year.

"Stormin Fever also proved popular because his dam is by Seattle Slew," Jones said.

Jones sold both the high-priced Stormin Fever colt and filly. The $335,000 filly went to trainer Kenneth McPeek, agent, and the $325,000 colt was sold to Liberty Road Stables.

Taylor Made Farm made off with the top three spots by average at Fasig-Tipton. Unbridled's Song, with help from the $700,000 sale topper, ranked first at $326,667, followed by Saint Ballado at $238,333, and first-crop stallion Exploit at $185,714.

Exploit earlier had flexed his muscles at the Keeneland sale, where he averaged $366,250 from four yearlings. The average placed him ninth overall and second on the first-crop list, behind fellow Taylor Made stallion Forestry, whose $50,000 fee was the highest for an incoming stallion in 2000. Forestry's three yearlings averaged $443,333, nearly nine times his 2000 fee. Exploit's yearlings averaged some 12 times his fee of $30,000. Both are by Storm Cat.

Storm Cat, who averaged $2,096,667 with three yearlings at Keeneland, was followed on the chart by Gone West. The latter's seven yearlings averaged $964,286.