Leading sire Storm Cat, who already had the highest stud fee in the world, will stand for even more in 2002. Ric Waldman of Overbrook Farm confirmed Friday that the 18-year-old stallion will stand the next breeding season for $500,000.Storm Cat (Storm Bird -- Terlingua, by Secretariat) stood this year for $400,000 and currently ranks seventh on the general sire list with $3.5 million in progeny earnings. He also ranks seventh on the 2001 leading juveniles sire list.In 2000, Storm Cat's fee was first announced as $250,000, then was raised to $300,000. Most seasons were sold for $250,000. His fee was $200,000 in 1999 and $150,000 in both 1997 and 1998.When Storm Cat first entered stud at W.T. Young's Overbrook Farm near Lexington, in 1988, his initial fee was $30,000. That figure dropped to its lowest for the 1991 season: $20,000.Storm Cat is the sire of 89 stakes winners to date including nine this year. He is the sire of Black Minnaloushe, a top 3-year-old colt in Europe this season.Storm Cat was the leading sire by progeny earnings in both 1999 ($10.3 million) and 2000 ($9.2 million). He also has been the leading juvenile sire five times.A good indication of Storm Cat's popularity came this summer at the yearling sales. Nine yearlings by Storm Cat have been sold at public auction for an avearge of $1,733,333."Even though his popularity is much broader than the commercial yearling market, one can't help but be influenced by the yearling prices and the demand for his yearlings," Waldman said. "We think that when the dust settles and his yearling average figures up for the year it will more than justify a $500,000 stud fee."That alone doesn't dictate how we set stud fees, it only influences us. The more telling indicatoin is the demand from breeders irrespective of stud fee."There are 22 yearlings by Storm Cat catalogued to the Keeneland September yearling sale, which begins Sept. 10.This year, Overbrook bred 18 or 19 of its own mares to Storm Cat and Waldman said that figure will remain about the same in 2002.In figures just released by The Jockey Club in its Live Foal Report, Storm Cat covered 118 mares in 2000. Waldman said the stallion covered 116 this breeding season, but because of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome, 19 of the 104 pronounced in foal have slipped."His last year's book was affected more than the average stallion (by mare reproductive loss syndrome) because those breeding right holders want to breed early mares to him to have the full breeding season at their disposal," Waldman said. "He also breeds a lot of top race mares coming off the track."Storm Cat is the sire of Giant's Causeway, who it was just announced will stand this year at Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. The European Horse of the Year stood his initial season this year in Ireland. It is believed Giant's Causeway will stand for a fee in the $125,000 range.Storm Cat's other top runners include Catrail, Tabasco Cat, Cat Thief, Sharp Cat, High Yield, Desert Stormer, Forestry, and Hennessy.