Cathryn Sophia tabbed as Md-bred Horse of the Year

by | Mar 2, 2017 | Breaking, Breeding, Maryland, MD Breeding, Top Stories

Cathryn Sophia. Photo by Laurie Asseo.

From a Maryland Horse Breeders Association release

Grade 1 winner and Eclipse Award finalist Cathryn Sophia was named 2016 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year, champion 3-year-old filly and champion sprinter in the annual poll conducted by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. The daughter of Street Boss, bred by Robert T. Manfuso and campaigned throughout her career by Chuck Zacney’s Cash is King LLC, was the richest Maryland-bred runner of 2016, having earned $1,139,720 from seven starts, and is one of only three Maryland-breds in history to become a millionaire at 3 (joining Broad Brush and Concern).

Trained by John Servis, the bay filly reaped her biggest reward in the $1 million Kentucky Oaks-G1 at Churchill Downs in May, drawing off to win by two and three-quarters lengths. She kicked off her season with back-to-back Grade 2 victories at Gulfstream Park in the Forward Gal and Davona Dale Stakes, and added the Princess of Sylmar Stakes at Parx Racing in September.

Her three stakes-placings were all in Grade 1 company, with thirds in the Cotillion, Acorn and Ashland. Named Maryland-bred champion 2-year-old filly when undefeated in 2015, Cathryn Sophia won six of nine career starts for earnings of $1,229,720, and ranks 14th on the list of all-time Maryland-bred earners.

Foaled at Chanceland Farm in West Friendship, Md., Cathryn Sophia is the first foal out Manfuso’s homebred Mineshaft mare Sheave. She was consigned by Chanceland Farm as a yearling at the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale in 2014 and purchased by Zacney for $30,000. Offered at the 2016 Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November Sale as a racing or broodmare prospect, she sold to Tom Ryan of SF Bloodstock LLC for $1.4 million and has since been retired and will be bred to Pioneerof the Nile.

Two other champions in this year’s class had earned previous titles – 2016 Eclipse Award finalist Top Striker was Maryland-bred champion steeplechaser in 2014, and Kiss to Remember repeats as champion older female.

Other divisional champions

  • Champion 2-year-old male: Greatbullsoffire (b.c., 2014, Bullsbay—Great Hostess, by Great Notion). Bred by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds; owned by Kathleen Willier; trained by Hamilton A. Smith.
  • Champion 2-year-old filly: Dancing Rags (b.f., 2014, by Union Rags—Home Court, by Storm Cat). Bred by David DiPietro; owned by Chadds Ford Stable; trained by H. Graham Motion.
  • Champion 3-year-old male and champion turf runner: Giant Run (ch.c., 2013, by Giant’s Causeway—Who Did It and Run, by Polish Numbers). Bred by Sycamore Hall Thoroughbreds; owned by Robert C. Baker and William L. Mack; trained by Tom Albertrani.
  • Champion older male: John Jones (dk.b./br.g., 2012, by Smarty Jones—Chrusciki, by Polish Numbers). Bred by Nancy Lee Farms; owned by Matthew Schera; trained by Lacey Gaudet.
  • Champion older female: Kiss to Remember (ch.m., 2011, Big Brown—Taft Lil Queen, by Irish Open). Bred by Big Brown Syndicate and Mr. and Mrs. Charles McGinnes; owned by Miller Racing; trained by Martin D. Wolfson.
  • Champion steeplechaser: Top Striker (b.g., 2009, Van Nistelrooy—Two’s Cozy, by Cozzene). Bred by Sycamore Hall Farm; owned by Sue Sensor; trained by Arch Kingsley Jr.

Voting for this year’s champions were the MHBA board of directors, Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred editors Joe Clancy and Cindy Deubler and senior writers Sean Clancy and Tom Law, Maryland Jockey Club racing secretary Georganne Hale, stakes coordinator Coleman Blind and track announcer Dave Rodman, Bill Brasaemle and Keith Feustle of Equibase, managing editor Tom LaMarra, freelance writers Andy Beyer, Ted Black, Maggie Kimmitt, Vinnie Perrone, John Scheinman and Dan Tordjman, radio host Stan Salter, photographer Lydia Williams and Frank Vespe, publisher of The Racing Biz.

Profiles of all the Maryland-bred champions are posted at and can be found in the March issue of Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred magazine.