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Monday, March 14, 2005

Storm Cat and Sons

- Sire sons of Storm Cat struck for three stakes winners, two of them graded wins this past weekend, not long after Avalyn Hunter's story asking "Will Storm Cat's Legacy Be As a Sire of Sires" hit the cover of Blood-horse. Tarlow took the G1 San Margarita in thrilling fashion, and I've been lamenting missing this one at 6-1 ever since. She's a 4 yo by Stormin Fever out of a stakes winning dam, and it was her second graded stakes win in a row. Stormin Fever stands for $10,000 in Kentucky, reduced from $15,000. His lone stakes win as a racehorse was in the 7f Sport Page Handicap, and he ran second [EDIT - twice] in the Vosburgh, also at 7f, behind Affirmed Success and Artax. He's 13th on the third crop sire list, and has four stakes winners. He didn't rate a mention in the Blood-horse piece.

Primary Suspect further validated Pletcher's monstrous Forest Danger by making short work of Shake You Down in taking the G3 Toboggan at the Big A. He'd been trounced by Forest Danger by 9 1/2 lengths in his last at GP. The 4 yo colt throws in a triple digit Beyer every other start and was due for another one Saturday. He's by Hennessy, an accomplished sire of 40 stakes winners; this will be his sixth crop of 2 yo's. If you go to this page and have the right plug-in, you can watch him win the 1995 Hopeful, beating Louis Quartoze, and Maria's Mon, the sire of High Limit. In the Blood-horse article, Ms. Hunter writes

Hennessy, the leading juvenile sire of 2001 thanks to champion Johannesburg, has had an uneven career since then and checked in at 36th on the 2004 general sires list. He is the leading sire of graded/group winners among Storm Cat's sons, with 26 such winners--five of grade/group I stature--among his 38 stakes winners to date. Like Tale of the Cat, however, his numbers are affected by large books; he has an excellent 3.44% graded stakes winners from his first five crops, but only 5% stakes winners and 46.5% winners [Bloodhorse]

Also, as mentioned yesterday, Old Forester took the $100K Canada Turf Handicap, part of a grass stakes double for trainer Bill Mott. Also a 4 yo, he's by Forestry, the most expensive of this trio at $75,000, and currently standing at No. 2 on the Third Crop Sires list behind Victory Gallop. He has 12 stakes winners, including the aforementioned Forest Danger. Ms Hunter writes:
Whether Forestry will transmit [broodmare sire] Pleasant Colony's stamina when presented with the right mares is still unknown, but he is certainly getting speed. Ten members of his first crop of 74 foals have won stakes, including graded winners Teton Forest, Smokey Glacken, and Forest Danger. Only two of his second crop of 52 foals have won stakes so far, but the indications are that Forestry's progeny are not particularly precocious, and to judge by his first crop, they can be expected to do better this year at three.[Bloodhorse]

- And of course, Storm Cat himself put an exclamation point on the weekend with the win by Sweet Catomine that apparently will propel her into the Derby picture. She earned a 95 Beyer fig, according to the Racing Form, who should know, which is better than the 88 she earned in her debut, but still below her 102 in the BC Fillies. What was that that Dave Liftin wrote the other day? "When 2-year-olds receive a break and return at 3, how long does it take them to meet or exceed their best early figures? Again, the sooner the better.." [DRF] Hmmm. Well, the sooner in this case, if they're serious about the Derby, had best be the Santa Anita Derby, where merely a return to her 102 could very well be enough to win.

With Declan's Moon out, the California contingent is crying for someone to step up with a breakout performance in the San Felipe Saturday. Roman Ruler and Wilko will be making their initial starts of the year, and it's put up or shut up time for Consolidator. Personally, I'd love to see Don't Get Mad and Giacomo turn in big performances. If the race turns out to be dull however, than this whole Cali crew may start looking lackluster, and Sweet Catomine could end up being favored in the SA Derby.

- Jav Privman in the Form has more on all this, including all the figs from the weekend. OK, I'll tell you. High Limit - 105, the highest 2 turn figure by a 3 yo this year. This in his first start in 4 months and jumping a shadow in the stretch. Bellamy Road gets a 96 and may go to the Wood, as may Going Wild, according to Privman. A moderate 90 for Uncle Denny.