Keeneland announced Oct. 5 that 4,702 horses have been cataloged for its November breeding stock sale, a decline of 17.6% from the record 5,709 cataloged for the Lexington sale in 2008.
Fighting Brave, who brought the sale-topping price of $2 million at last year's Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, made his career debut a winning one at Dundalk in Ireland Oct. 4.
Brave Tin Soldier marched from last place to win the Oct. 3 Cliff Hanger Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Meadowlands. Under Carlos Marquez Jr., the 5-year-old son of Storm Cat topped Pleasant Strike by a nose on the wire, covering the 1 1/16 miles of "yielding" turf in 1:45.52.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
It seems appropriate that the once-perennial leading commercial sire, Storm Cat, bow out while the Thoroughbred market redefines itself.
Agent John Ferguson bought Hip No. 342, a Storm Cat colt of champion mare Fleet Indian, for $2,050,000, the highest price so far during the first two days of the Keeneland September yearling sale. The colt was consigned by Taylor Made Sales Agency, agent.
Calling it a bargain, Wyoming horse owner William J. Sims went to $450,000 to acquire a colt by Storm Cat to highlight the early portion of the Keeneland September yearling sale Sept. 14.
All eyes figure to be on Storm Cat's offspring starting Monday, Sept. 14, at the Keeneland September yearling sale. And for good reason.
While the Thoroughbred market has been in a continual slump over the last year due to the downturn of the overall economy, the royally bred horses in Overbrook Farm's yearling dispersal could boost business at this year's Keeneland September sale.
Fasig-Tipton officials worked hard, and Sheikh Mohammed shopped hard. The end result was a soaring Saratoga select yearling sale that provided its participants with a brief, two-evening respite from all the bad news generated by a struggling Thoroughbred industry that is reeling from a global financial crisis and its own internal problems. In a performance most unusual in these difficult economic times, the auction enjoyed upswings from 2008 of 45.6% in gross revenue, 11.1% in average price, and 9.9% in median price.
A Storm Cat colt, hip 204, commanded the highest price so far, $2.8 million, at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale.
Crown Ambassador, the all-time leading sire in Indiana, was euthanized July 7 at Don and Dana Myers' Swifty Farms in Seymour, Ind., due to the effects of degenerative arthritis is his stifle.
Circle E Racing's Mr. Sidney pulled away from Inca King in the final sixteenth of a mile to win the $167,700 Firecracker Handicap (gr. II) by 1 1/2 lengths on the July 4 card at Churchill Downs.
First-crop sire Grand Reward got his initial winner July 2 when Angus Kahn won the first race at Presque Isle in Pennsylvania.
Fasig-Tipton has cataloged 235 horses for its Saratoga select yearling auction, which will be held Aug. 10-11 in upstate New York. The number is up 20.5% from a year ago, when there were 195 yearlings listed in the book.
Overbrook Farm, founded and developed by the late William T. Young into one of North America's most successful breeding establishments, announced June 9 that it will completely disperse its yearlings, breeding stock, and the majority of its horses in training.
Pioneering, a half-brother to two-time leading sire Storm Cat, might be headed to Brazil to continue his stallion career.
Even-money choice Life Is Sweet became a grade I winner when she circled the field leaving the turn for home and mowed down the leaders through the lane to win the $300,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita March 14.
Based on projections and economic conditions, Breeders' Cup expects an 8% decline in revenue from stallion nominations for 2008, and anticipates a 22% decrease in 2009.
The third and last foal from Storm Cat's final crop was born March 5 at Louise and Kiki Courtelis' Town & Country Farms near Paris, Ky.
Sky Mesa, the 9-year-old stallion who underwent colic surgery Feb. 15, is being kept at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital where an additional operation was performed Feb. 19 to correct an impaction, according to Three Chimneys farm president Case Clay.
Favored Life Is Sweet hardly had an ideal set-up in the $200,000 La Canada Stakes (gr. II), racing at the back of the pack behind extremely slow fractions. But the full sister to champion 2-year-old filly Sweet Catomine refused to be denied, swinging to the outside under Garrett Gomez in the homestretch to overtake Magical Fantasy in the final strides at Santa Anita Feb. 15.
The first of only three possible foals from legendary sire Storm Cat's last crop was foaled Feb. 3. The bay filly out of Earle I. Mack's mare Western Princess was foaled at Denali Stud near Lexington.
Fasig-Tipton will catalog 272 horses for its Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, according to the company's chairman, Walt Robertson. The number is about the same as in 2008, when 270 horses were in the book.
Storm Cat, a leading sire who was pensioned last year after experiencing fertility problems at the Young family's Overbrook Farm near Lexington, might return to the sire ranks as a Quarter Horse stallion.
The first reported foal by multiple grade I winner After Market, a chestnut filly, arrived at Lane's End's Oak Tree Division Jan. 12. She is the first foal out of the Lemon Drop Kid mare Flashbulb.
The Thoroughbred marketplace ended 2008 with dramatic declines, and all signs point to more tough times ahead as Keeneland gets ready to open its 2009 selling season with its January horses of all ages auction in Lexington.
Storm Cat has been a titan among North America's commercial sires, and he added to his considerable reputation in 2008, leading all stallions based on the average price of their yearlings sold at public auction for the sixth time in his breeding career. He returned to the top following a two-year break during which he fell to second behind Danzig in 2006 and ranked third behind A.P. Indy and Kingmambo in 2007.
Habaya, a daughter of Storm Cat out of the Eclipse Award-winning turf mare Golden Apples, came from off the pace to earn her first graded stakes win in the Miesque Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park Nov. 28.
Shadowless overtook Rouse the Cat in the final furlong to produce a 16-1 surprise in the $127,120 Kennedy Road Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine Nov. 22.
MAHUBAH'S CORNER, by Avalyn Hunter
Crowded House raised his profile as a contender in next year's European classics when he won the Racing Post Trophy (Eng-I) on Oct. 25. The question is whether his sire Rainbow Quest can add distance to the colt's speed-oriented female side.
Cougar Cat, a graded stakes-placed son of Storm Cat raced by Nathan Fox's Richland Hills, will stand at that farm near Midway, Ky., in 2009, it was announced Oct. 22. His fee will be $5,000.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Sky Diva is at the crossroads of an improving sire and an improving family. Sky Mesa started slowly but now runners from his first crop have become graded stakes winners and his second crop of juveniles running this year already includes five stakes winners. At the top is grade I winner Sky Diva. The filly's family has also been improving over the past four years.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Doremefasollatido is delivering on the great breeding and tremendous unfulfilled promise her sire, Bernstein, showed on the racetrack. Though a group stakes winner, Bernstein never became the promising racehorse he appeared to be at 2. He has made it up as a sire, quickly. Bernstein's first crop had 38 foals, 38 starters, and 31 winners (19 2-year-old winners).
El Nino, who stood his first season at Martin Stables South in Florida, will stand next year at Swifty Farm in Indiana.
After three days of the Keeneland September yearling sale, pensioned Overbrook Farm stallion Storm Cat was the leading sire of yearlings by average, among those with three or more sold.
Keeneland director of sales Geoffrey Russell is taking two straight days of declines in the 2008 September yearling sale in stride by saying it is just a factor of the economic world we are living in today. "This establishes what the market is," Russell said at the close of the Sept. 9 session. "Everybody is here and they have now set the table. This is what the world is today, and they have established the value of these horses."
A son of A.P. Indy continues to top the second session of the Keeneland September yearling sale with a price tag of $1.5 million. The second highest price of the day--$1.25 million--belongs to a daughter of Giant's Causeway purchased by Troy Steve Bloodstock.
A son of Storm Cat out of grade I winner Tranquility Lake has been scratched from the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale. The dark bay or brown colt was scheduled to sell during the auction's second session, Sept. 9 ,as Hip No. 329 from the consignment of Lane's End, agent for breeders Martin and Pam Wygod.
Although one of his offspring failed to sell for a record RNA price of $7.7 million, A.P. Indy did have the session-topper and emerged as the leading sire of yearlings sold during the first day of the Keeneland September yearling sale Sept. 8.
For fans of Big Brown, the second session of the Keeneland September yearling sale in Lexington is the one you'll probably enjoy the most. Scheduled sell then is a half-sister to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Preakness (gr. I) winner. She's Hip No. 484, and she's one of the horses that could bring a lot of money Sept. 9.
The catalogues for the 2008 Keeneland September yearling sale are ripe with potential superstars, but there are a few that will be looked at more closely than most based on famous family members.
The $1.5-million Storm Cat filly purchased by Team Valor International at the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale has been named Carriage Trade, and she will be trained by Kiaran Mclaughlin, according to Team Valor's Barry Irwin.
PORTER ON PEDIGREES, by Alan Porter
Newly minted graded stakes winner Mani Bhavan continues the legacy of her sire Storm Boot, the first son of Storm Cat to be represented by a stakes winner.
It was announced Aug. 6 that the Storm Cat horse Seeking the Dia, a five-time stakes winner, four-time group winner, and earner of more than $5 million, will join the stallion roster at John G. Sikura's Hill 'n' Dale Farms near Lexington for the 2009 breeding season.
Boosted by an impressive-looking son of Storm Cat, which fetched a final bid of $2 million, the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale ended its two-night run in New York Aug. 5 with an increase in average price. The median price held steady whle the gross revenue dipped slightly compared to last year's figures.
An impressive looking son of Storm Cat fetched a final bid of $2 million from Michael Vincent Magnier of Coolmore Stud during the second session of the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga selected yearling sale Aug. 5.
The Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale, a small boutique auction that offers quality horses, got off to what the company's chairman, D.G. Van Clief Jr., termed "a solid start " Aug. 4 in New York.
If the close of the opening session of the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling sale is any indication, the upper level of the Thoroughbred marketplace is alive and well.
Barry Irwin of Team Valor Stables went to $1.5 million to secure a lovely daughter of Storm Cat as the opening session of the 2008 Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling came to a close Aug. 4.
The Aug. 5 second and final session of the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction includes the offspring of such successful sires as Storm Cat, Unbridled's Song, Awesome Again, and A.P. Indy.
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