(Photo : Taylor Made Farm)


Storm Cat - Shared Interest

In our post on Tuesday, we mentioned the “sweetness” of timing in life with the news that Summerhill has a quite magnificent, spectacularly related filly by Forestry in its Ready to Run draft for November.

In his column in the Thoroughbred Daily News, Bill Oppenheim discusses the sire of last weekend’s Preakness Stakes victor, Shackleford.

By Storm Cat out of Grade I winner Shared Interest (Pleasant Colony), Forestry was a $1.5-million yearling, trained by Bob Baffert for Aaron and Marie Jones. He ran only as a 3-year-old, but won seven times in 11 starts in 1999.

In his last four races, he won the GII Dwyer Stakes, run that year over 8 1/2 furlongs; finished a length third to Menifee in the GI Haskell Invitational Handicap over nine furlongs; ran a Beyer 116 when defeating Five Star Day and Successful Appeal in the seven-furlong GI King’s Bishop Stakes; and ran a Beyer 114 when running fourth to Artax in the GI Breeders’ Cup Sprint over six furlongs.

Forestry was retired to long-time Jones associates’ Taylor Made Farm for the 2000 season. His first foals arrived in 2001, and raced in 2003. He was such an immediate hit that at least twice before the end of 2006, I had written about him as “possibly rivalling” Unbridled’s Song as Taylor Made’s top stallion. At the end of 2005, the year his first 4-year-olds ran, his APEX A Runner Index was an astronomical 4.79. He kicked off 2006 with the colt later to be known as The Green Monkey breaking Seattle Dancer’s all-time record for a Thoroughbred at auction ($16 million) at Fasig-Tipton’s Calder 2-Year-Old Sale. He ended the year with Discreet Cat running Beyers of 115-116 in the GII Jerome Handicap (at 1-20) and GI Cigar Mile Handicap (at 1-4), to take his record to an unbeaten six-for-six.

Forestry ranked 20th on the 2006 General Sire List (per, and finished the year with a 3.80 A Runner Index, ranking him among the top 10 sires by that measurement. His stud fee, already $100,000 for the 2006 season, was bumped again, to $125,000, for 2007.

We know it’s a fickle business, but Forestry’s four years in the commercial wilderness until Shackleford jumped up to halt the Triple Crown bid of Animal Kingdom (Leroidesanimaux) in last Saturday’s GI Preakness Stakes (Beyer 104) is just about the most textbook case you can find.

Neither The Green Monkey nor Discreet Cat won a single race in 2007, and Forestry dropped to 55th on the final 2007 General Sire List. His 2008 stud fee was still $100,000, but in subsequent years, he ranked 73rd (2008), 62nd (2009), and 64th (2010), while his stud fee plummeted to $40,000 for 2009; $17,500 for 2010; and just $12,500 for 2011 - a 10th of what he stood for in 2007.

But sometimes it takes five years for seeds to sprout in this business. I did call Forestry “the best value sire in the business” at least once on his way down, and before the 2010 breeding season I wrote, “The gamble is that his three crops out of mares bred to a six-figure stallion (foals of 2007-2009) will ignite a comeback.” It didn’t really happen with his 2007 crop, the first sired at a six-figure  fee. But it has happened with his second crop from a six-figure fee, with no less than the GI Preakness winner Shackleford. It doesn’t mean Forestry is suddenly right back to where he was in 2006, but  it does mean those breeders who rolled the dice on him on the way down could yet have made the right call.

Extract from Thoroughbred Daily News