Catholic Boy Ready for Travers

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2018 Travers Stakes Notes – Part II

Grade 1 Belmont Derby winner Catholic Boy, set to switch surfaces after consecutive victories on turf, will likely breeze Sunday over Saratoga Race Course’s main track in his final serious move before the Grade 1 Travers August 25.

“He’s carrying great flesh and moving well,” reported trainer Jonathan Thomas of the More Than Ready colt, who races for Robert La Penta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stable. “Javier [Castellano] seems pretty pleased with him. Sunday, weather permitting, we’ll look for more of the same from him, a continuation of what we’ve been seeing the past few weeks. We’ve been pleased with how he’s progressed, especially in the middle half of the year. He’s put on good weight and has muscled up.”

Catholic Boy has hit the board in all eight of his career starts, with five victories, including turf wins in the Grade 3 With Anticipation last season and the Grade 3 Pennine Ridge this year, as well as a 4 ½-length score in the Grade 2 Remsen last fall over Aqueduct Racetrack’s main track.

He began his 3-year-old campaign with a solid second in the Grade 3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay Downs, but was given time off after bleeding in the Grade 1 Florida Derby, in which he finished fourth. With Castellano aboard, he then eked out a hard-fought victory over Analyze It in the Pennine Ridge and duplicated that effort in the 1 ¼-mile Belmont Derby.

“He’s the kind of horse that makes life easy,” said Thomas. “We have all the faith in the world in Javier, and Manny [Franco] was huge in cultivating this horse as a 2-year-old. As well, you couldn’t ask for a better bunch of people than his owners.”

Source: NYRA

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 16-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 twice. He cashed on the NHC Tour for 2018 with a 19th overall finish. Rich was also a winner of a $24,000 package into Kentucky Derby Betting Championship I. A former executive with, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.



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