Feld Family Stallions Presents Bloodlines: Cathryn Sophia Shows Who’s ‘Boss’

by | 03.01.2016 | 11:35am
Cathryn Sophia wins the G2 Davona Dale at Gulfstream Park (Coglianese Photo)

In addition to the thrashing performance of Mohaymen (by Tapit) in the Grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream on Feb. 27, Gulfstream hosted a robust selection of stakes on the day. Horsemen at the track, as well as those watching across the country, also voiced strong praise for the victory of another unbeaten 3-year-old.

That was Cathryn Sophia, a bay daughter of Street Boss (Street Cry), who won the G2 Davona Dale Stakes by seven lengths in 1:36.61 for the mile. Unbeaten in four starts, including three stakes, Cathryn Sophia has leapt to national prominence through the commanding nature of her last two victories in the G2 Forward Gal and Davona Dale, both at Gulfstream.

Bred in Maryland by Robert Manfuso, Cathryn Sophia is from the fourth crop by Street Boss, a massively constructed chestnut son of leading sire Street Cry (Machiavellian). A G1 winner at sprint distances himself, Street Boss shows considerable influence from his broodmare sire, Futurity Stakes winner Ogygian. Although a son of classic winner Damascus, Ogygian showed his best form up to nine furlongs, winning three stakes at the G1 level: the Futurity, Dwyer, and Jerome.

A useful sire at Claiborne Farm before his sale to Japan, Ogygian sired stock with a great deal of speed, and his best were noteworthy for their powerful build and what one leading breeder called an “Ogygian head,” typified by a large, intelligent eye and attractive expression. Street Boss inherited all those qualities, plus the generous frame of his famed sire.

Current statistics list Street Boss as the sire of 400 foals from five crops of racing age, including 2-year-olds of 2016. The stallion has sired 17 stakes winners in North America, and the best of these by grade are G1 winners Danza (Arkansas Derby; 3rd Kentucky Derby) and Capo Bastone (King's Bishop), with Holy Boss (Amsterdam Stakes) joining Cathryn Sophia as a winner at the G2 level.

Owner Charles Zacney of Cash is King Stable picked out Cathryn Sophia at Fasig-Tipton's Midlantic yearling sale because “I was looking for a Maryland-bred,” he said. “They had improved the program there, and I was a fan of both Street Boss and Mineshaft,” the filly's broodmare sire.

“She was not a big filly but looked athletic and well-balanced,” Zacney recalled. “I got her for $30,000, which was very reasonable for a filly of this quality, and it was certainly worth the gamble.”

That gamble has paid off in spades for Zacney, and the filly has current earnings of $335,520.

The sale has also paid off for breeder Bob Manfuso, whose mare and her relations have now appreciated significantly in value. Having bred this family for three generations, Manfuso bought fourth dam Sailing Leader (Mr. Leader) for $11,500 in foal to John Alden and bred the third dam, the unraced Cruising Haven (Shelter Half), who produced two graded stakes winners, including the second dam, Belterra (Unbridled).

The latter looked like a star in the making when she won the G2 Golden Rod Stakes as a 2-year-old but did not entirely train on, and her best effort afterward was third in the G1 Ashland at 3.

On the strength of Cruising Haven's produce record, Manfuso sold the mare at Keeneland November in 2002 for $600,000 to Gaines-Gentry, Twin Creeks, and Rancho San Miguel. The mare was in foal to Unbridled's Song at the time. The resulting foal was a grand-looking colt later named Bond Street who sold at the 2004 Keeneland September yearling sale for $2.8 million, the highest price of the year for a yearling by his sire.

One of the reasons that Manfuso could part with such an upwardly bound commercial broodmare was that he had the daughter, then-3-year-old Belterra, that he could retire to replace the dam.

Manfuso said, “Belterra was a truly serious talent, but she had a couple issues that came up and limited what she accomplished. She is also a big, rangy individual who has furnished out into an imposing broodmare.”

Belterra has produced stakes winner Taketheodds by Kentucky Derby winner Street Sense (Street Cry); so this family is clearly working well with sons of Street Cry. With Street Sense, Street Boss, and other sons of Street Cry available to breeders with other mares in this family, the opportunity to use this cross will no doubt be used liberally.

Manfuso now can bask in the glory of raising one of the best fillies in the country, but he humbly said, “It takes good people at every step of the process to produce a top athlete like Cathryn Sophia. John Mayer and his people at Nursery Place in Kentucky do first-class work getting my mares in foal there; we have tremendous people here in Maryland who work with these horses at every step to help keep them moving in the right direction; and then it is so important to get them into the right hands with trainers like John Servis, who has done such a fabulous job with this filly.

“Good people let good horses show what they can do. It's as simple as that.”

Frank Mitchell is author of Racehorse Breeding Theories, as well as the book Great Breeders and Their Methods: The Hancocks. In addition to writing the column “Sires and Dams” in Daily Racing Form for nearly 15 years, he has contributed articles to Thoroughbred Daily News, Thoroughbred Times, Thoroughbred Record, International Thoroughbred, and other major publications. In addition, Frank is chief of biomechanics for DataTrack International and is a hands-on caretaker of his own broodmares and foals in central Kentucky. Check out Frank's lively Bloodstock in the Bluegrass blog.

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