CATHOLIC BOY (c, More Than Ready—Song of Bernadette, by Bernardini)
O-Robert V. LaPenta. B-Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding (KY). T-Jonathan Thomas. Sales History: $170,000 RNA yrl KEEJAN ’16. Lifetime Record: MGSW, 4-3-0-0, $314,000.
Last Start: 1st, GII Remsen S., AQU, Dec. 2.
Accomplishments Include: 1st, GIII With Anticipation S., SAR, Aug. 30.
Next Start: Possible for GIII Sam F. Davis S., TAM, Feb. 10
KY Derby Points: 10
Catholic Boy’s versatility over different surfaces, his willingness to fight through adversity, and his ability to reel in solid stakes rivals at nine furlongs all combined to earn him top billing on the initial TDN Top 12 list of 2018–even though two horses ranked behind him are the ones who’ll be vying for the juvenile championship honors. This colt began his career on turf largely because of a lack of two-turn summer dirt races for 2YOs, and his Grade III grass score at Saratoga was remarkable for the fact that he looked hopelessly blocked yet kicked clear decisively. His ground-saving fourth in the GI Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (beaten only 1 1/2 lengths) left the impression that Catholic Boy has a very high comfort level with being covered up and/or pinned down near the rail, and that race essentially served as a prep for transitioning effectively to dirt. In the GII Remsen S., Catholic Boy once again stalked mid-pack, and when he emerged from mild traffic to commence a measured bid three furlongs out, it was clear he had the leaders at his mercy even though he was not set down for a drive until turning for home. After a month of gearing down at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, he should soon be set for a series of works that lead to a possible 2018 debut in the GIII Davis S. at nearby Tampa Bay Downs.