Dirt Mile Division
BreederW. S. Farish
Catalina Cruiser has done nothing but cruise in his first three lifetime starts, winning all of them with all ease. The most recent was an almost seven-length romp in the San Diego Handicap at Del Mar July 21.
The massive chestnut son of 2012 Belmont Stakes winner Union Rags, who trainer John Sadler calls “probably the biggest horse in southern California,” weighs in around 1,250 lbs. His size is why he has so few starts under his belt midway through his four-year-old season.
“This horse's nickname was 'the best horse nobody knows about,'" Sadler said after the San Diego victory. "And, then today we changed it to 'the next big thing.' We've loved this horse from day one. He's shown us a lot—a lot—of potential. We've had to be patient with him, but today he showed us what we thought he could do."
Catalina Cruiser, a $370,000 yearling purchase at Keeneland September, did not race as a two-year-old, but won his debut late last year by two and a quarter lengths. He next appeared in a May 19 optional-claiming allowance sprint and scored by the same margin. Both were sprints.
When an easier allowance race failed to secure enough entries, Catalina Cruiser decided he was training well enough to make the leap into stakes competition.
“When the race didn't fill for him, he trained so beautifully for this meet, I didn't want to keep him in the barn for three or four more weeks and then it not fill again," Sadler said after the San Diego win. "Today he had to jump in the deep end of the pool and he swam just fine. ... What we were seeing in the sprint races was a route horse that could win short, because he's really good."
- October 31, 2018
On Friday and Saturday, the 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships will take place at Churchill Downs and any year’s greatest weekend of racing will unfold.
- October 30, 2018
This race is being billed as one of the highlights of the Breeders’ Cup with superstars Catalina Cruiser and City of Light ready to square off.