A Storm Cat Kind of Weekend
Written by Alan Porter 1 | Jul 15, 2009 |
Twelve graded stakes were run in North America over the
weekend, and as the results came in it seemed as if you
didn't have a Storm Cat-line horse, you were out of luck. When final results were tallied, runners from that
line mopped up seven of those contests.
Storm Cat progeny wins included one of the weekend's biggest prizes, the
$500,000 Man o' War Stakes (gr. IT), which fell to Gio Ponti, who held off
the German-bred Acatenango sons (GER) Musketier (GER) and Quijano (GER). One wouldn't have
necessarily expected his sire, Tale of the Cat (TrueNicks,SRO)
, to get a top-class
staying turf horse, but Gio Ponti -- who has now won three straight grade Is
from a mile to 11 furlongs -- seems to have benefited from the stamina elements
in the pedigree of his dam, Chipeta Springs, who is by Alydar out of a grade I
stakes-winning daughter of the Argentine stallion Salt Marsh (by Tom Rolfe),
and from the same family as Cigar. The cross with Chipeta Springs (who is also
dam of stakes winners Fisher Pond and Bon Jovi Girl, one by A.P. Indy and the
other by Malibu Moon), combines Tale of the Cat's broodmare sire, Mr.
Prospector, with his genetic relative Alydar. The victory of Gio Ponti gave
Tale of the Cat his second straight weekend grade I winner, following the
success of Cat Moves in the Prioress Stakes (gr. I) July 4.
Tale of the Cat's close relative Johannesburg (by
Storm Cat's son Hennessy, out of a half-sister to Tale of the Cat), also
tallied in graded company at the weekend, his 4-year-old son Eaton's
Gift (B) taking the Smile Sprint (gr. II) at Calder's
Summit of Speed. Eaton's Gift is out of a Carson City mare, a
combination we've always liked with Storm Cat as it gives the Storm
Bird/Nijinsky II combination. On the same card, the Princess Rooney Stakes (gr.
I) provided a first win at the highest level for Game Face, while First
Passage (by Giant's Causeway), took the Azalea Stakes (gr. III).
Game Face is by Storm Cat's grandson Menifee, who is now in Korea, but
who also sired a handful of additional graded stakes winning fillies from his U.S. crops. Game Face is out of Galleon
of Gold, a daughter of Gone West, and the stakes-winning and multiple grade I-placed Danzig mare Harbour Club.
Menifee is a son of of the short-lived Storm Cat horse
Harlan, and on Sunday, other Harlan son Harlan's Holiday (TrueNicks,SRO) was
represented by Necessary Evil, who turned over the colts in the
Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III). Necessary Evil is a member of the
third crop of her sire Rated A++ by TrueNicks, Necessary Evil is out of a mare by Unbridled's Song (TrueNicks,SRO)
Another Storm Cat son, Bernstein, had the third here with the colt Classical
Stormy Atlantic (TrueNicks,SRO)
had a weekend stakes double. In the
American Derby (gr. IIT) his son Reb (B) gained a first
stakes triumph. The lightly-raced Reb was running for only the fifth time in
his life, and was winning his third straight. Reb is out of a Kingmambo
mare whose dam is a half-sister to Jolie's Halo. The Storm Cat line also got
the third here, with Bernstein's son Proceed Bee.
Stormy Atlantic also scored
July 12 with the runaway Shady Well Stakes-winning 2-year-old filly Maritime
Passion. Rated A++, she is out of Dehere (TrueNicks,SRO)
mare (as is
the previously mentioned First Passage), and is the fifth stakes winner bred on
the cross (the key: both Storm Cat and Dehere are Northern Dancer/Secretariat
Finally, last year's
American Oaks (gr. I) heroine Pure Clan (by Pure Prize (TrueNicks,SRO)
the Modesty Handicap (gr. IIIT) to her resume. TrueNicks rated A++, she is out
of Gather the Clan (IRE), a graded winning daughter of General Assembly and champion sprinter What a Summer.
Even though he wasn't in the male line, there was also no
keeping Storm Cat out of the pedigree of the winner of the richest of the
weekend's races, as Rail Trip (by Jump Start, who is by A.P. Indy (TrueNicks,SRO)
out of a Storm Cat mare) tallied by three lengths in the grade I TVG/BETFAIR Hollywood
Gold Cup. Rail Trip is out of a Carson City mare and inbred to Mr.
Prospector, and of course is another good winner combining Carson City and
Storm Cat. He's rated B.