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The winner of last weekend’s G2 Robert Lewis Stakes at Santa Anita is the Kentucky Derby prospect Caracortado, who is a son of the Storm Cat stallion Cat Dreams. Sid Fernando noted in his informative post that the stallion is now standing at stud in Indiana.

Moved from Tommy Town Thoroughbreds in October 2009, Cat Dreams stands at Still Creek Farm near Brookville, Indiana, owned by Tom and Lesalene Pompell. The farm stands six stallions, including Cat Dreams. Owner Lesalene Pompell said, “Cat Dreams is a muscular bay standing 15.3 hands, made like the Storm Cat line, well-proportioned, no obvious conformation flaws, very well put together. He’s a little higher strung but has no bad habits. I handle him and so does my 17-year-old son.”

Still Creek stands Cat Dreams for owner Tom Roche (Triple R Syndicate) from the St Louis suburb of Wildwood, Missouri.

Having made his money in real estate, insurance, and equipment leasing, Roche got into the Thoroughbred breeding business with the purchase of a stallion prospect from Overbrook Farms last year. Roche said, “We picked up a son of Storm Cat, Storm Account, who had gotten loose on the racetrack, jumped a fence, and injured his stifle. They thought he was finished as a racehorse. So we bred him the first year (2009), then he got miraculously cured, was racing around his paddock, and we put him in training. He is supposed to make his first start in about a month” as a 4-year-old.

The surprise recuperation of Storm Account created a problem, however. Roche said, “We had all these mares but no stallion to breed them to. Then, a representative of Bongo Racing and B Wayne Hughes called Lesalene to see if she knew anyone looking for a son of Storm Cat. They wanted to sell Cat Dreams, and I did as much evaluating as I could on the internet, then bought him. At Tommy Town in California, Cat Dreams had covered four mares in 2009; so it’s not surprising that Wayne Hughes was wanting to cut him loose. We got him here in October, and the horse has nearly tripled his progeny earnings since then, even though he bred some pretty meager mares out there.”

Fancier pedigrees shouldn’t be a problem with Roche’s group of mares. He said, “We designed our breeding program around this horse. We have mares by Rahy, Quiet American, Fusaichi Pegasus, Mr. Prospector, Forty Niner, and other high-quality broodmare sires. We purchased them with the thought that we might have to make him ourselves and have 10 mares that we plan to send to him.

“I wanted to get as many mares to him as possible; so we put his fee at $1,500, and I think everyone in Indiana is going to think this is a bargain. Since Caracortado’s last couple of races, the phone has been ringing off the hook,” Roche said.

And the owner believes there might be even brighter days ahead. He said, “Caracortado is a May 7 foal. So he might have a little more accelerated maturity coming to the Derby.”

After all, the Derby is about dreams, even Cat Dreams.

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