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Storm Cat US$500k Fee May Be Reduced

Tuesday, 18th September 2007

In the US, "the shift in sire power at the marathon Keeneland September yearling sale (5,553 lots over 15 days) could result in a decreased stud fee for Storm Cat (now 24-years-old) & a limit on the number of mares to be bred to the most expensive sire in North America," reported bloodhorse.com. Through the initial 4 days of the sale, "which is the barometer used by commercial farms to determine the following year's stud fees", A.P.Indy was leading sire (with 23 horses sold for an average US$858,043). Storm Cat (who stands for US$500,000 at Overbrook Farm) was "well back in 2nd, with an average US$559,773 for 22 sold. They were followed by: Distorted Humor (26 sold for an average US$507,115); Unbridled's Song (42 sold for US$494,333 average); & Dynaformer (17 sold for US$492,941 average). This marks "the 2nd consecutive year in which Storm Cat did not lead the September sale by average: last year Storm Cat's US$1,270,208 average for 24 sold trailed the US$1,465,833 average for 12 horses sold from the last crop sired by deceased Danzig". Although the 2008 fees for Storm Cat & other Overbrook stallions will not be determined until after the September sale, Overbrook adviser Ric Waldman confirmed "some changes are being contemplated" & asked about a Storm Cat reduction replied: "It's conceivable. We still have to continue to price the horse attractively enough to fit in the big breeders' plans. We have been fortunate that, over the last 15 or more years, we have stood this horse at a stud fee popular enough that demand has always outstripped supply." Waldman added Storm Cat progeny "continue to be coveted by buyers" because of his success as a sire & as a sire-of-sires: "They're still sought after when a buyer is paying mid-to-upper 7-figures for yearlings. The buyer must be thinking the residual value if that colt is a successful racehorse. After all, he has 24 sons who have sired Gr1-winners." Waldman said both stud fee & number of mares bred to a stallion "are among the variables a syndicate manager can control" & both "are being reviewed" for Storm Cat. He summed up: "Storm Cat will be bred to a smaller book in 2008." (In 2006, Storm Cat was bred to 111 mares according to statistics released by the US Jockey Club last week.) And Waldman also noted that, while the average paid for Storm Cat yearlings this year "is off from previous levels", many who have sent mares to the stallion are repeat clients who enjoyed the glory years: "Most of the breeders at that level understand there is risk associated with the attempt to make a big gain. Storm Cat has been very fortunate that his rise has mirrored that of the yearling market."

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