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Catholic Boy will train up to Breeders' Cup Classic

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  • Catholic Boy will train up to Breeders' Cup Classic

    Catholic Boy will train up to Breeders' Cup Classic

    By David Grening




    Barbara D. Livingston
    Catholic Boy will have 10 weeks between his Travers win and a start in the BC Classic.

    ELMONT, N.Y. – Travers winner Catholic Boy will forgo a prep race and will train up to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 3 at Churchill Downs, trainer Jonathan Thomas said Wednesday.

    Following the Travers, which Catholic Boy won by four lengths, Thomas had said that he might look to use the Hill Prince, a 1 1/8-mile turf race for 3-year-olds at Belmont on Oct. 6, as a stepping-stone to the Classic. But upon further review, Thomas and his ownership group – headed by Robert LaPenta – felt training Catholic Boy up to the Classic is the preferred way to go.

    “After taking a little time and going through his [past performances] and what’s worked for us in the past, the smartest move is training up to the Classic,” Thomas said by phone Wednesday from Lexington, Ky., where he was attending the Keeneland yearling auction.

    Catholic Boy will have 10 weeks between the Travers and the Classic. He had 10 weeks between races after he won the Remsen and finished second, beaten a half-length, in the Sam. F. Davis at Tampa in February. He had nine weeks between the Florida Derby, where he was fourth, and the Penine Ridge at Belmont, a turf race that he won.

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    Thomas said he’s “a huge fan” of trainer Bob Baffert’s work and noted that that both American Pharaoh, in 2015, and Arrogate, in 2016, were 3-year-olds who won the Classic without having raced since the Travers.

    “It’s a recipe that’s worked well, not that I’m putting him in the same category of American Pharoah and Arrogate,” Thomas said. “It seems like a good way to approach that race.”

    Thomas said Catholic Boy would likely ship from Saratoga to Churchill “in the next week or two” and get four or five workouts over the main track in preparation for the Classic.


  • #2
    good move, allow this young monster to get better training, as thomas numbers in his
    early trainer career with horse with layoffs is really impressive.

    no doubt, the one to beat, come first week in november.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by raininthrees View Post
      good move, allow this young monster to get better training, as thomas numbers in his
      early trainer career with horse with layoffs is really impressive.

      no doubt, the one to beat, come first week in november.
      Contender? Sure. The one to beat? That would be Accelerate.

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      • #4
        Accelerate away from California bothers me. Best races are at SA and DM.

        Think he will be overbet. This editions race is ripe for a TURFER or FOREIGN HORSE to win.

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        • #5
          enjoy accelerate, another in a long line of California home cookin’ horses.
          and it’s no home game for him in Louisville.
          don’t got time to look up right now, but what’s his record at Del Mar like 6 for 6 ITM
          with 4 or 5 wins? seen it all before horses stacking records in Cali.
          Stellar Wind, Game on Dude, Cali. Chrome, on and on.

          Elite “Road Warrior” horses win Classics on the road. Gun Runner, Pharoah, Mucho Macho Man

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          • #6
            Lava Man

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Gabe View Post

              Think he will be overbet. This editions race is ripe for a TURFER or FOREIGN HORSE to win.
              Maybe if this was 1993. But it's been 25 years since Arcangues shocked the world. If a Euro was that good on dirt, they would've emerged in Dubai.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Valuist View Post

                Maybe if this was 1993. But it's been 25 years since Arcangues shocked the world. If a Euro was that good on dirt, they would've emerged in Dubai.
                Agree with you but if it going to happen I would say the surface at Churchill would be the most likely( well other than LRC but I don't think they'll have it there lol.)

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                • #9
                  There have been a few who ran 2nd or ran well. This will be a much weaker than usual field .


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                  • #10
                    Giant's Causeway ran second to Tiznow, but he did have a pedigree to handle dirt as well as turf. He's also become an adept sire for both surfaces.

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                    • #11
                      Did you forget Ravens Pass?

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gabe View Post
                        Did you forget Ravens Pass?
                        Nope. That race was on synthetic, not real dirt. On real dirt, Curlin would've mauled that field.

                        I did forget Sakhee was also second to Tiznow, in his second BCC win.

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                        • #13
                          This might be the worst field in the last 2 decades.

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