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A Nick in the Making? Indian Charlie and Storm Cat

In the last couple of years we have been experimenting with crossing Indian Charlie (TrueNicks,SRO) over Storm Cat-line mares. It's not a cross that has been much tested yet, although Indian Charlie does have a listed stakes winner out of a mare by Hermitage (by Storm Cat's sire, Storm Bird). However, we had a strong conviction that the cross had potential, particularly over mares that were by Storm Cat/Raise Native crosses, or that were themselves bred on the cross.

The reason? Indian Charlie's dam, the very speedy Soviet Sojourn, is by Leo Castelli. In turn, his sire is by Sovereign Dancer, who is a Northern Dancer/Bold Ruler cross, as is Storm Cat. We can note that there are already at least five stakes winners with Storm Cat in the sire and Sovereign Dancer in the dam. Two of these are by Giant's Causeway (TrueNicks,SRO) and Forestry (TrueNicks,SRO) , but the other three are by the far less high-profile Storm Boot, High Yield, and Sea of Secrets. It's also interesting that four of them are out of mares that stem from the direct Sovereign Dancer line. So, the cross has enjoyed success, despite being through the generally underperforming male line/male line cross.

The reason we like the Storm Cat/Raise a Native cross in the dam here is because Leo Castelli is out of a Raise a Native mare, making him a virtual parallel to horses like Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks,SRO) and Forest Wildcat. For good measure, Indian Charlie's second dam is by Diplomat Way, a Nasrullah/Princequillo cross, like Storm Cat's broodmare sire, Secretariat.

Anyway, the weekend gave some encouragement with regard to our theory, this in the shape of Navigator, a (then-) 2-year-old filly who captured the Blue Norther Stakes at Santa Anita. Navigator is by Stormy Atlantic (TrueNicks,SRO) , who had a good weekend, with another 2-year-old, Not Grounded, taking the Calcasieu Stakes at Delta Downs. He now has four 2008 juvenile stakes winners, also including graded winner Bittel Road.

What made Navigator particularly interesting to us, however, is that she is out of a mare by Indian Charlie, so is a reverse of the Indian Charlie/Storm Cat cross. Navigator is only the second stakes winner out of an Indian Charlie mare, and is also only the second starter that we can find by a son of Storm Cat out of an Indian Charlie mare (the other, Heather's Angel, was an allowance winner at Saratoga this summer).

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