Catholic Boy Fine After Travers Win

By T.D. Thornton

Catholic Boy (More Than Ready) came out of his victory in Saturday’s GI Runhappy Travers S. in good order and trainer Jonathan Thomas was contemplating how best to get his charge to the Nov. 3 GI Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“He cooled out nicely, ate up well last night and looked like he had good energy this morning, so all in all, he exited that race in good order,” said Thomas.

Thomas said the Oct. 6 GII Hill Prince S. at 1 1/8 miles over the Belmont turf was Catholic Boy’s most likely option as a prep for the Classic, but that the GI Jockey Club Gold Cup a week earlier was also a possibility, as would letting Catholic Boy train up to the race in Kentucky.

“The Hill Prince seems to make sense right now; it’s against his own age group, cutting back an eighth of a mile and on what I would call just a little bit of a kinder surface,” Thomas said. “I don’t know whether we want to go running against Diversify (Bellamy Road) [in the Jockey Club Gold Cup], as quick as he is. I don’t know if that’s something I feel good about. This horse [also] has the ability to come off the bench running. If we needed to add time, that’s OK. We’ll let the next couple of weeks tell us.”

Catholic Boy gave Thomas his first graded stakes victory last summer when winning the GIII With Anticipation S. over the Saratoga turf.

“[Last year,] the Travers would have been the last thing on our mind,” Thomas said. “We thought we had a nice, two-turn grass horse, which was perfectly fine. We’ve had this horse since he was a weanling, and to see his development … it’s like [having drafted] an NFL player out of elementary school.”

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