CONTENDERS

Catholic Boy

  • Trainer
    Jonathan Thomas
  • Owner
    Robert V LaPenta & Madaket Stables LLC & Siena Farm LLC & Twin Creeks Racing Stables LLC
  • Breeder
    Fred W. Hertrich III & John D. Fielding
  • Sire
    More Than Ready
  • Dam
    Song of Bernadette

Trainer Jonathan Thomas knows the versatile Catholic Boy very well. They first met at the 2016 Keeneland January sale and became better acquainted when the bay received his early lessons under saddle at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Florida where Thomas is based. Thomas recognized his student as a precocious runner, but not a short distance sprinter so he plotted a 7 ½-furlong race for his career debut in the summer of 2017. The best option happened to be on turf and Catholic Boy fulfilled his promise with a victory. Five weeks later, he won again on grass before finishing fourth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) at Del Mar. Catholic Boy confirmed Thomas’ belief that he also would excel on dirt by closing his two-year-season with a triumph in the Remsen Stakes (G2) at Aqueduct. That victory caught the attention of those seeking a ready-made Kentucky Derby (G1) prospect. His owner Robert LaPenta, who purchased Catholic Boy privately after he was listed as not sold as a newly minted yearling on a final bid of $170,000 at the Keeneland sale, sold a percentage to Madaket Stables. Sienna Farm bought in prior to his fourth-place effort in the Xpress Bet Florida Derby (G1). Catholic Boy bypassed the 2018 Kentucky Derby and instead won the Penine Ridge Stakes (G3) with Twin Creeks Racing Stables rounding out the ownership group. He then capped a three-race winning streaking with the 2018 Run Happy Travers Stakes (G1) prior to being unplaced in the Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1). He was rested through the winter and returned with a victory in the Dixie Stakes (G2) May 18 on the turf at Pimlico, but is targeting dirt races as he prepares for a return to the Breeders’ Cup Classic. He finished second in the 1 1/4 Suburban at Belmont Park on July 6. Thomas, a former assistant to Todd Pletcher, compares his relationship with Catholic Boy to watching a child grow up. Their connection includes Catholic Boy being stabled a few hundred yards from his home at Bridlewood Farm during the winter. In addition to his overall adaptability for dirt and turf competition, Catholic Boy displays versatility in individual races. “He’s a super horse,” jockey Javier Castellano said after the Dixie. “You can do whatever you want. He can be on the pace, or he can come from behind.” Catholic Boy’s name is a nod to his mother, Song of Bernadette, a title of a 1943 movie about a young French girl who believes she has seen the Virgin Mary.

Lifetime Stats

Earnings
$
Breeders’ Cup Winner
2018 Belmont Derby*
10
2019 Graded Stakes Points

Previous Races

Suburban S.
July 06, 2019
BELMONT PARK
Grade 2
Finish 2
Dixie S.
May 18, 2019
PIMLICO
Grade 2
Finish 1
Breeders' Cup Classic
November 03, 2018
CHURCHILL DOWNS
Grade 1
Finish 13
Runhappy Travers S. Presented by NYRA Bets
August 25, 2018
SARATOGA
Grade 1
Finish 1
Belmont Derby Invitational S.
July 07, 2018
BELMONT PARK
Grade 1
Finish 1
Pennine Ridge S.
June 02, 2018
BELMONT PARK
Grade 3
Finish 1
Xpressbet Florida Derby
March 31, 2018
GULFSTREAM PARK
Grade 1
Finish 4
Sam F. Davis S.
February 10, 2018
TAMPA BAY DOWNS
Grade 3
Finish 2
Remsen S.
December 02, 2017
AQUEDUCT
Grade 2
Finish 1
Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf
November 03, 2017
DEL MAR
Grade 1
Finish 4
With Anticipation S.
August 30, 2017
SARATOGA
Grade 3
Finish 1
July 20, 2017
GULFSTREAM PARK
Grade
Finish 1

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