By Avalyn Hunter
With 11 stakes winners and over $7 million in earnings from his first crop, Darley’s Street Cry is the proverbial country mile out in front as the leading sire among North American stallions that stood their first seasons in 2003. Too hot not to cool off? Maybe, but while Street Cry’s second crop may or may not match up to the standards set by his first, it already contains at least one star. Her name is Cry and Catch Me, and she became a grade I winner in only her third start when she nosed out Izarra to win the Oak Leaf Stakes Sept. 29.
Cry and Catch Me is part of a family line cultivated by the Nuckols of Central Kentucky and one that has had its share of highlights. Her fourth dam, Little Hut, distinguished herself as the dam of four stakes winners, including the important sires Habitat and Northfields. Habitat, a son of Sir Gaylord, proved a champion miler and fine sire in England; four times the leading English sire of juveniles, he was also that country’s leading broodmare sire three times. Northfields (by Northern Dancer) was not quite so talented as a racer, with his biggest wins coming in the 1971 Hawthorne Derby Handicap and Louisiana Derby, but did very well at stud despite not receiving the opportunities accorded to his half-brother. He was the leading broodmare sire in England in 1992.
Little Hut also gained some distinction through her daughters. Lodge, Little Hut’s 1969 daughter by Bold Lad and who was bred by the Nuckols Brothers, produced Logette, a Forli filly whose daughter Shicklah (by The Minstrel) was named champion juvenile filly in Germany after a win in the 1982 Moet and Chandon Zukunfts-Rennen (Ger-II). Shicklah, in turn, produced 1998 Richmond Stakes (Eng-II) winner Muqtarib to the cover of Gone West and minor stakes winners Ra’a and Janib to the cover of Diesis (GB). Lodge also produced two-time stakes winner Guinevere’s Folly (by Round Table). Through her graded stakes-placed daughter Suavite (by Alleged), Guinevere’s Folly is the granddam of Suave Dancer, winner of the 1991 Prix du Jockey Club Lancia and CIGA Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe (both Fr-I), and Meadow Meats Irish Champion Stakes (Ire-I). Another daughter of Guinevere’s Folly, Magic Lass (by Damascus), is the dam of 2004 WinStar Distaff Handicap (gr. III) winner Academic Angel (by Royal Academy), while a third daughter, Torrid Tango (by Green Dancer), produced 2002 Santa Ynez Stakes (gr. II) winner Dancing (GB).
The last foal produced by Lodge is Register, a 1992 daughter of the Northern Dancer horse Mari’s Book, who never made it to the track. Register’s first foal, Please Sign In, proved to be her best. A 1996 daughter of Doc’s Leader (by Mr. Leader), Please Sign In won the 2000 Honky Star Stakes and placed in 10 other added-money events, including two grade III races. Her first foal is Cry and Catch Me, who was bred in partnership by the Nuckols family’s Hurstland Farm and William Kartozian. She is now owned by the Stetson Land and Cattle Co. Please Sign In’s second foal is a 2006 Mineshaft filly.
Machiavellian, the sire of Street Cry, is a great-grandson of Natalma through her 1978 filly by Hoist the Flag, Raise the Standard; he also carries another line of descent from Natalma’s dam Almahmoud through his broodmare sire Halo, whose dam Cosmah is a half sister to Natalma. Throughout his stud career (which, tragically, was cut short by incurable laminitis in 2004), Machiavellian showed a noted affinity for mares whose pedigrees featured Natalma’s son Northern Dancer. His daughter West Wind (GB) demonstrates the affinity nicely; the winner of this year’s Prix de Diane Hermes (Fr-I), she was produced from a mare by Northern Dancer’s great sire son Nureyev.
Street Cry, however, has a pedigree free of Northern Dancer, which led many breeders to the conclusion that, like his sire, he might do well with mares descended from Northern Dancer. So far, that has indeed been the case. The leading example is, of course, Street Sense, whose dam Bedazzle is a daughter of Northern Dancer’s son Dixieland Band, but Street Sense has plenty of company. Eleven of Street Cry’s 13 stakes winners to date have Northern Dancer on the dam’s side of their pedigrees, and of the remaining two, one, Street Magician, has Halo on the dam’s side.
Cry and Catch Me has an additional strain of Almahmoud on the dam’s side through Mari’s Book, whose maternal grandsire Maribeau is a half brother to Halo. Mari’s Book, in fact, has a similar pedigree to that of Machiavellian’s dam Coup de Folie but with a reverse cross: where he is by Natalma’s son Northern Dancer out of a mare by a son of Cosmah, Coup de Folie is by a son of Cosmah out of a daughter of Natalma. Cry and Catch Me is, thus, line bred 6x6x6x7 to Almahmoud through Natalma (5x5) and Cosmah (5x6). She is also inbred 5x4 to Hail to Reason, sire of both Halo and Mr. Leader.
Assuming that Cry and Catch Me goes on to the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (gr. I), the big question will be her ability to take her form on synthetic surfaces and carry it over to Monmouth’s dirt. Given that Street Cry has already sired graded winners on dirt, turf, and synthetics, the chances look good that Cry and Catch me will be one to catch October 27.