Catholic Boy Returns in Dixie

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Catholic Boy | Sarah Andrew

By Christie DeBernardis

Catholic Boy (More Than Ready) makes his return to the races and to the grass Saturday in Pimlico’s GII Dixie S. Winner of the grassy GIII With Anticipation and main track GII Remsen S. in 2017, the bay gave the GI Kentucky Derby trail a try last term, finishing second in the GIII Sam F. Davis S. and fourth in the GI Florida Derby before making a triumphant return to the lawn in Belmont’s GIII Pennine Ridge S. in June. Following suit with his first top-level triumph in the GI Belmont Derby a month later, he returned to the dirt for the GI Travers S. in August, charging home to a four-length score. Catholic Boy was last seen finishing a non-factor 13th in the GI Breeders’ Cup Classic Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs.

“He had three months off, a well-deserved break over the winter, and he seemed to have done really well for having that,” trainer Jonathan Thomas told the Pimlico notes team. “He’s had a steady series of breezes to get ready and I thought what he did at Belmont the other day was really nice. So, all in all, we’re pretty happy with where we’re at.”

Inspector Lynley (Lemon Drop Kid) has spent his whole career on the turf with plenty of black-type success. Capturing the GIII Tampa Bay S. in both 2017 and 2019, the Shug McGaughey trainee finished sixth behind MGISW Bricks and Mortar (Giant’s Causeway) in the GII Mervin Muniz Memorial S. at the Fair Grounds Mar. 23 and returned to winning ways last time in the Danger’s Hour S. at Aqueduct Apr. 7.

Have At It (Kitten’s Joy) makes his seasonal debut in this spot. Springing an 11-1 upset in Belmont’s GII Hill Prince S. Oct. 6, the chestnut was a half-length second in Santa Anita’s GII Twilight Derby Nov. 4 and faded to 12th when last seen in the GI Hollywood Derby at Del Mar Dec. 1.

 

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