Catholic Boy

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Catholic Boy | Sarah K. Andrew

CATHOLIC BOY (c, More Than ReadySong of Bernadette, by Bernardini)
O-Robert V. LaPenta & Madaket Stable. B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (KY). T-Jonathan Thomas. Sales History: $170,000 PS yrl KEEJAN ’16. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 5-3-1-0, $354,000.
Mar. 13 TDN Top 12 Rank: 4
Last Start: 2nd GIII Sam F. Davis S., TAM, Feb. 10
Accomplishments Include: 1st GII Remsen S., AQU, Dec. 2.; 1st GIII With Anticipation S., SAR, Aug. 30.
Next Start: GI Florida Derby, GP, Mar. 31
Equineline PPs.
KY Derby Points: 14

Catholic Boy carried the honor (or is it a burden?) of being ranked No. 1 on this Top 12 list to start the first month of the Derby preps, but now that his underwhelming second in the GIII Sam F. Davis S. is seven weeks behind us in the rear-view mirror, he is once again percolating to the top as a potential “now” colt heading into the testing stretch of the season that features nine-furlong stakes. He’ll get a new jockey (Irad Ortiz Jr.) for the GI Florida Derby, and trainer Jonathan Thomas went on record a month ago saying he’d like to see a change of tactics (one sustained run from farther back) to better take advantage of this son of More Than Ready (Southern Halo)’s commanding late turn of foot. Catholic Boy put in his final breeze for Gulfstream’s showcase sophomore race on Sunday when he worked a half mile while targeting, reeling in, and drawing away from company through the stretch in :48.46 (8/58). “We were looking for something for him to get into a good rhythm and let the work open up time-wise,” Thomas said. “They went in :24 and change and then finished up the last quarter in :24 and galloped out the five-eighths nicely in 1:01 and change. Then I wanted to be careful and shut it down, because the horse tends to gallop out pretty strong….A half-mile work could quickly turn into a three-quarter mile work with him. It looked like he got over the track really great. I like the way he sat with the other horse and pulled away when asked to.”

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