"Every year presents the opportunity to purchase grade I winners, rarely do we have an opportunity to buy a Kentucky Oaks winner," Ryan said of the filly who is currently being let down at Atlas Farm. "Cathryn Sophia had brilliant speed, she won her first 4 by more than 40 lengths. In the Oaks she cruised up five wide and put it to bed in a matter of strides.
"It was a very easy decision choosing Pioneerof the Nile as her first partner," he continued. "Breed the best to the best."
The multiple graded stakes-winning filly raced for owner Cash is King and trainer John Servis. In her nine-race career she won six times, including three graded victories, and never finished off the board. She retired with earnings of $1,229,720.
"She was very difficult early on," Servis said. "She was a horse that was high maintenance; (we) had to stop her several times just to get her over the hump and mature enough for what was coming at her.
"Once we got her to the point that we could start breezing her on a regular basis, and she was handling it well, she was all racehorse," he added. "She ran through a lot."
Bred in Maryland by Robert Manfuso, Cathryn Sophia was purchased for $30,000 by Charles Zacney at the 2014 Fasig-Tipton Midlantic fall yearling sale.
As a 2-year-old she took the Gin Talking Stakes at Laurel Park by 16 1/4 lengths, before starting her 3-year-old season off with scores in the Forward Gal Stakes and the Fasig-Tipton Davona Dale Stakes (both gr. II) at Gulfstream Park.
After a third-place effort in the Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) at Keeneland, she won the Kentucky Oaks by 2 3/4 lengths under jockey Javier Castellano.
She finished third her next time out, the grade I Acorn Stakes at Belmont Park, before putting on a dominating performance in the Princess of Sylmar Stakes at Parx Racing Sept. 3. She finished third in her finale, the Sept. 24 Cotillion Stakes (gr. I) behind champion Songbird and Carina Mia.
Servis said his favorite memory of the filly was her Oaks win, a setting that reminded him of Smarty Jones' 2004 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) victory.
"Definitely the Oaks," he said of the most memorable part of her racing career. "Just to be able to go back into that setting, like we were fortunate enough to do with Smarty, to go into that with the Oaks and have the outcome the way it was.
"It's funny because going into the Derby with Smarty, I just felt great with how he was doing and how he was coming into the race and I was very confident, and it was the exact same with her. She was just doing so good coming into the Oaks that I really felt good."