Secretariat breeding force – Storm Cat who’s your grandaddy?

Penny Chenery and Secretariat

Looking back 40 years, Secretariat did have an impact on thoroughbred breeding. We can look at Secretariat’s impact as a stallion two ways. A study done in 2011 said that Secretariat’s name in current pedigrees, specifically in the fourth generation of all weanlings, yearlings, or two-year-olds sold at public auction in North America in 1999-2002 showed up as being in the Top 20 sires.

This study was based on the 20 most successful stallions in the fourth generation of pedigrees in terms of their sales value and racetrack success, Secretariat appeared 6,439 times in the fourth generation of these 54,000+ foals.

This holds true if we look at the 2013 Kentucky Derby roster As of today, six of the 20 horses in the Top 20 expected to go to the post at the Derby have Secretariat in the bloodlines. The horses are: Black Onyx, Charming Kitten, Itsmyluckyday, Normandy Invasion, Revolutionary and Winning Cause.

Does that mean that Secretariat was actually as great a sire as he was a racehorse?

The difference between Big Red’s performance on the racetrack and his results as a sire of other racehorses has created a division of opinions for years.

That Secretariat’s sons and his daughters both fared well in this study was interesting. Most of us had always thought that Secretariat was an important broodmare sire.

Aa the broodmare sire of horses such as Storm Cat, Gone West, and AP Indy, Secretariat’s contributions did and will continue.

In terms of his offspring’s results on the racetrack, the answer may be a bit more on the “no” side. But in terms of lasting success and continuing impact, the answer is definitely a “yes”.

A few days ago, Storm Cat was euthanized at age 30. His dam was Terlingua, who was sired by Secretariat. The headline about Storm Cat said ”Major Sire Storm Cat dead at 30”, it continued, “He sired earners of over $127 million, 8 champions and 108 graded stakes winners including winners of the Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Kentucky Oaks and five Breeders’ Cup races, ranking second on the all-time Breeders’ Cup sire list, along with numerous European Group 1 races. He topped the general sire list twice, the juvenile sire list a record seven times and was leading broodmare sire in 2012.”

Just think, Storm Cat was only one of Secretariat’s ‘Grandsons’!