VERSAILLES, Ky. (AP) _ Storm Bird, who became known as the sire of sires after a successful racing career of his own, died after a bout with colic.

Ashford Stud manager Dermot Ryan said the 26-year-old stallion, retired from active stud duty for several years, was euthanized on Dec. 3.

``He left a good legacy behind him,'' Ryan said Wednesday.

His greatest offspring was Storm Cat, a Grade I stakes winner who himself became the nation's leading sire and the world's most valuable stallion, standing for $500,000 a season.

Seven grandsons of Storm Bird still stand as sires at Ashford, and Ryan said Storm Bird will be buried among them.

A son of Northern Dancer, Storm Bird sired 63 stakes winners. Two of Storm Bird's other sons, Summer Squall and Bluebird, also achieved fame in a big way, first as major winners, then as stallions. Summer Squall, the 1990 Preakness winner, sired 35 stakes winners. Bluebird, an Irish sprint champion, is represented by 74 stakes winners.

Perhaps the greatest measure of Storm Bird as a sires of sires came in the 1999 Kentucky Derby, where the first three finishers _ Charismatic, Menifee and Cat Thief _ all were among his descendants.

This year's Belmont winner, Birdstone, was produced from a Storm Bird mare.