Busy May impacts Top Midlantic-bred polls

by | Jun 3, 2016 | Breaking, Breeding, Racing, Regionwide, Top Stories

(Photo of Cathryn Sophia by Laurie Asseo.)

Staff report

A month ago, the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred/The Racing Biz Top Midlantic-bred Poll rankings for three-year-olds and older horses were similarly jumbled up, with voters torn between two horses in each.

That’s no longer the case.

For the latest poll, through May 31, voters have narrowed their focus among three-year-olds to a single horse, who garnered all of the first-place votes cast.  Meanwhile, among older horses, a third horse has entered the fray.

For three-year-olds, Maryland-bred Cathryn Sophia took charge of the poll with her smashing victory in the Grade 1 Kentucky Oaks in early May.  The win gave the daughter of Street Boss, bred by Bob Manfuso, five wins, three in graded company, from six starts.  It also emphatically answered any questions about her ability to get a two-turn distance.  Cathryn Sophia is trained by John Servis for Chuck Zacney’s Cash Is King.

Pennsylvania-breds Mor Spirit and Tom’s Ready remained second and third on the sophomore list after running 10th and 12th, respectively, in the Grade 1 Kentucky Derby.

The horses in fourth and fifth, however, are new to the list.

West Virginia-bred Concord Fast enters the list in fourth after cruising to an odds-on victory in the $100,000 Riley Allison Stakes at Sunland Park in early May.  The son of Concord Point was bred by Ernest C. Frohboese and is now owned by Teed Off Stable LLC and trained by Justin Evans.  The New Mexico-based runner — a $42,500 auction purchase last May at Fasig-Tipton’s two-year-olds in training sale in Timonium — has won three of six career starts, two in stakes company.

Also new to the list is Maryland-bred Giant Run, who this year has been first or second in a trio of stakes, winning the Cutler Bay and placing in the Grade 3 Palm Beach and English Channel Stakes.  Bred by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds, he is a colt by Giant’s Causeway who went for $200,000 at the 2014 Keeneland September Yearling sale.  He is trained by Tom Albertrani for Robert Baker and William Mack.

In contrast to the clarity on the three-year-old poll, the older horse poll became even more muddled, with three horses crowding the top of the roster.

Pennsylvania-bred Page McKenney and Virginia-bred Valid remain narrowly separated in the first and second slots. Both were idle in May.

Two runners are new to the list, with Pennsylvania-bred Illuminant in third, just a single point behind Valid and five in arrears of Page McKenney.  Illuminant, a four-year-old Quality Road filly bred by Sycamore Hall Farm LLC, moved into third following her one-length score in the Grade 1 Gamely at Santa Anita.  The win gave her four from 11 starts and was her first in stakes company.  She is trained by Michael McCarthy for Eclipse Thoroughbred Partners, who purchased her for $180,000 out of the March 2014 Ocala Breeders Sale Company’s two-year-old sale.

Also new on the list is ageless wonder Ben’s Cat, the Maryland-bred bred, owned, and trained by King Leatherbury.  Ben’s Cat, 10, has won both of his 2016 starts, most recently getting up late to win the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico.  The Parker’s Storm Cat gelding has won 32 times and earning nearly $2.6 million in his career.

Five of the top 10 horses were bred in Pennsylvania.  Three were bred in Maryland, with one bred in Virginia and one in West Virginia.  The list includes seven males and three females.

The monthly Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred is the only publication devoted to Thoroughbred breeding and racing in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Racing Biz, an online publication, is the independent voice for mid-Atlantic racing and breeding.

The poll is restricted to horses that have run in 2016 and were bred in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, New Jersey, Delaware, and the Carolinas.


  1. Cathryn Sophia (MD) — 60 points
  2. Mor Spirit (PA) — 44
  3. Tom’s Ready (PA) — 26
  4. Concord Fast (WV) — 16
  5. Giant Run (MD) — 12

Others receiving votes: Morning Fire, Sunny Ridge, Jacky’s Notion.



  1. Page McKenney (PA) — 42
  2. Valid (VA) — 38
  3. Illuminant (PA) — 37
  4. Ben’s Cat (MD) — 19
  5. Finest City (PA) — 18

Others receiving votes: Disco Chick, Sonny Inspired, Al’s Gal, Long On Value



  • Ben’s Cat — 8-5 favorite in the $150,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Saturday.
  • Finest City — 15-1 in the Grade 1 Vanity Mile Saturday at Santa Anita.
  • Giant Run — 6-1 in the Gradd 3 Penn Mile Saturday at Penn National.

Participating Voters: Ted Black (freelance writer), Michael Campbell (Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association of New Jersey), Joe Clancy (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Cindy Deubler (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), Linda Dougherty (freelance), Debbie Easter (Virginia Thoroughbred Association), Anne Frederick (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Rich Glazier (Delaware Park), Cricket Goodall (Maryland Horse Breeders Association), Jim Hague (freelance), Nick Hahn (freelance), Carol Holden (West Virginia Breeders Classics), Tom LaMarra (The Blood-Horse), Jeff Nations (freelance), Kate Painter (West Virginia Thoroughbred Breeders Association), Vinnie Perrone (freelance), Frank Petramalo (Virginia Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association), Gary Quill (The Racing Biz), David Richardson (Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association), Brian Sanfratello (Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association), John Scheinman (freelance), Sal Sinatra (Maryland Jockey Club), Dan Tordjman (freelance), Frank Vespe (The Racing Biz), Bill Watson (freelance), Lydia Williams (freelance), Bobby Zen (freelance).

Note — Not all participating voters will vote in every poll.