Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Bargain Sire: Tale of the Cat

Tale of the Cat in 2014
A Grade 2 winner at seven furlongs and Grade 1 placed at nine furlongs, Tale of the Cat (Storm Cat) was more than useful as a racehorse. His successful racing career turned out to be a foreshadowing of his stud career when he joined the stallion ranks in 1999, retiring to Ashford Stud in Versailles, Ky for $25,000. 

By a top sire in Storm Cat and from a strong female family that includes champion Johannesburg (Hennessy) (out of Tale of the Cat’s half-sister) and Pulpit (A.P. Indy), Tale of the Cat has constantly ranked in the top 30 on the General Sires list since graduating from the crop-specific lists (where he was ranked in the top five on the first, second and third crop sires lists).

While never a leading General Sire, Tale of the Cat is more often than not seen in the top 15 with his best ranking on that list being a seventh. The stallion has also done well enough with his 2-year-olds to lead the Two-Year-Old Sires list in 2003 and to rank second on the list in 2013. Tale of the Cat also performed well when shuttling to the southern hemisphere and was the Champion Freshman Sire in New Zealand in 2002/2003.

In 2015, Tale of the Cat is ranked No. 18 on the General Sires list with six stakes winners including Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff winner Stopchargingmaria. But that filly only accounts for $1,430,000 of his $7,260,505 progeny earnings for 2015 with the 21-year-old stallion having 114 winners from 254 runners for an average of $31,875 in earnings this year (as of Dec. 26, 2015).

Stopchargingmaria after her win
During his (northern hemisphere) career Tale of the Cat has produced four champions, 72 stakes winners and 90 stakes horses from 941 winners with his foals earning him over $99.6-million. His list of accomplished horses is long with multiple champion Gio Ponti, the aforementioned Stopchargingmaria, 2004 Kentucky Derby runner-up Lion Heart and champion She’s a Tiger among them.

Tale of the Cat is an attractive stallion for many different breeders with his career average earnings per starter sitting at $77,796, over 2 ½ times his $30,000 stud fee.

For those looking at the commercial market, Tale of the Cat also offers a nice return in the sales pavilion as well. His lifetime sales average is between $80,000 (weanlings) and $143,800 (2-year-olds) with his median also sitting above his stud fee for all three young horse categories, including his weanlings selling for a median of $50,000. 
Tale of the Cat
In 2015, Tale of the Cat’s backers were most rewarded at the 2-year-old sale where his top filly sold for $360,000 and top colt for $280,000, according to Thoroughbred Daily News, with an average in that arena of $156,370 and a median of $140,000, nearly five-times his stud fee when they were conceived. But that wasn’t the only ring that saw six-figure Tale of the Cat progeny sell with his top yearling being a $285,000 filly and his median sitting at nearly three-times his fee in 2013. His fillies also reigned supreme in the ring as weanlings with his top filly (a half-sister to two stakes winners) selling for $175,000.

Tale of the Cat's stud fee has been as high as $75,000 but he has stood for around $30,000 since 2007 with his 2016 stud fee of $30,000 the same as his 2015 fee.

In 2015 Tale of the Cat covered 88 mares, down from the 118 he covered in 2014 (he covered 69 mares in 2013 and 110 in 2012) but that number is sure to rise again this year with his daughter’s Breeders’ Cup Distaff win in addition to two Grade 2 winners bringing him back into the spotlight late in the year.

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