Catholic Boy Re-Rallies to Take Down Analyze It Again in Belmont Derby

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10th at BEL, $1,000,000GI Belmont Derby (1 1/4m)Winner: Catholic Boy, r, 3 by More Than Ready

Catholic Boy (inside) | Sarah K Andrew

When last they met in the GIII Pennine Ridge S. June 2, TDN Rising Star‘ Analyze It (Point of Entry) looked to have the race sewn up in the waning strides, only to have Catholic Boy (More Than Ready) surge late to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. In a near carbon copy of that result in Saturday’s GI Belmont Derby Invitational, Analyze It appeared to have the race won when surging clear of his nemesis with less than a furlong to race in the $1.2-million event, but he hopped off leads late and Catholic Boy–forced to rally up the rail this time around–boxed on tenaciously to drop his head on the wire first.

“It was a hell of a horse race,” said trainer Jonathan Thomas. “He really has an awful lot of heart. I didn’t expect him to fight back this time. I thought we were going to finish a really good second, [but] somehow he got it done. He’s always been a real generous training horse. You never know how they will respond in that scenario because we never put them in that situation in the mornings. Between his heart and Javier’s ride, what can you say?”

It was a maiden top-level success for former Todd Pletcher assistant Thomas.

“It’s the pinnacle. It’s one of those dreams you don’t really think about until it happens,” he said. “I’m happier for [Catholic Boy] because he’s a deserving Grade I winner. He deserves it. I’m like a proud parent.”

Analyze It won the break and took the Derby field toward the first turn with Catholic Boy just off his flank, and though he had every chance to lead on a pace that was anything but demanding, Jose Ortiz elected to allow Catholic Boy to cross and clear following an opening couple of furlongs in :24.47. Hunting Horn (Ire) (Camelot {GB}), last out winner of the G3 Hampton Court S. at Royal Ascot, monitored the proceedings from third and the trio more or less dominated the Derby throughout. The internal fractions remained soft–Catholic Boy clocked :48.91 on the back straightaway–but Analyze It remained glued to his outside and began to inch ever closer with three furlongs to travel. The latter appeared to be doing the better of the work as he rolled up outside to poke a head in front turning for home and was a half-length to the good entering the final furlong. But just as he did in the Pennine Ridge, Analyze It refused to put his rival away and Catholic Boy managed to pull the rabbit out of the hat once more.

“He [Catholic Boy] gives me a lot of confidence because we decided to take the lead and dictate the pace, and I think it was the key to win the race,” Castellano said. “I’m very fortunate it went my way. I’m very respectful of Analyze It, he’s a great horse with a great trainer. Someone had to win the race, and I’m lucky to be in the spot I am.”

For his part, Chad Brown was giving credit where credit was due.

“This horse that won earned it,” he said. “He came back and beat him [Analyze It], I don’t have any excuse. It sure seems that [Analyze It idles], but I don’t want to take anything away from the winner, because he still fought back and most horses wouldn’t. I thought he ran a great race, the winner, but so did our horse. He just wasn’t good enough.”

Pedigree Notes:

One week after Funfair took the United Nations S. to become the first Grade I-winning turf male in this country for More Than Ready, Catholic Boy followed suit to become GISW number 23 overall. One of 83 graded winners for his sire, Catholic Boy is a maternal grandson of GSP Winner’s Edge, the dam of SWs Return to Paradise (El Prado {Ire}) and Coya (Deputy Minister). Third dam Lucky Us was responsible for European highweight Lucky Song (Seattle Song), the dam of SW Heritage Hall (Ire) (Fairy King) and SW & GSP Lucky Di (Diesis {GB}). The dam of a 2-year-old colt by Super Saver, Song of Bernadette produced a filly by Carpe Diem in 2017 and foaled an Exaggerator filly Apr. 16. Catholic Boy was purchased for $170,000 by Thomas at KEEJAN in 2016 after orignally being led out unsold.

Saturday, Belmont Park
BELMONT DERBY INVITATIONAL S.-GI, $1,200,000, Belmont, 7-7, 3yo, 1 1/4mT, 1:59.28, fm.
1–CATHOLIC BOY, 122, r, 3, by More Than Ready
1st Dam: Song of Bernadette, by Bernardini
2nd Dam: Winner’s Edge, by Seeking the Gold
3rd Dam: Lucky Us, by Nijinsky II
1ST GRADE I WIN. ($170,000 RNA Ylg ’16 KEEJAN). O-Robert V. LaPenta, Madaket Stables LLC, Siena Farm LLC, and Twin Creeks Racing Stables, LLC; B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (KY); T-Jonathan Thomas; J-Javier Castellano. $650,000. Lifetime Record: 8-5-1-0, $1,172,000.Werk Nick Rating: B. Click for the eNicks report & 5-cross pedigree.
2–Analyze It, 122, c, 3, Point of Entry–Sweet Assay, by Consolidator. ($130,000 Ylg ’16 KEESEP; $190,000 2yo ’17 OBSMAR). ‘TDN Rising Star’ O-William H. Lawrence; B-P. Headley Bell, Nancy Bell & NATO (KY); T-Chad C. Brown. $220,000.
3–Hunting Horn (Ire), 122, c, 3, Camelot (GB) –Mora Bai (Ire), by Indian Ridge (Ire). O-Tabor, Michael B., Magnier, Mrs. John, and Smith, Derrick; B-Lynch-Bages & Rhinestone Bloodstock (IRE); T-Aidan P. O’Brien. $120,000.
Margins: HD, 1 3/4, 4. Odds: 5.10, 2.25, 2.40.
Also Ran: Channel Cat, Kingstar (Fr), Maraud, Hawkish, My Boy Jack, Encumbered.
Click for the Equibase.com chart, the TJCIS.com PPs or the free Equineline.com catalogue-style pedigree. VIDEO, sponsored by Fasig-Tipton.

 

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