Catholic Boy, a Grade 1 winner on turf and dirt, breezed a half-mile on Sunday morning in 49.48 seconds at Belmont.
The 4-year-old son of More Than Ready made his 2019 debut in the Grade 2 Dixie on May 18 at Pimlico, which he won by a half-length. Trainer Jonathan Thomas is targeting the Grade 2, $700,000 Suburban on July 6 for the two-time graded stakes winner.
“There was an incident with a loose horse that came down the lane during his work so [Hall of Fame jockey] Javier [Castellano] had to kind of back off the throttle a bit, but it didn't bother our schedule,” Thomas said.
Catholic Boy was a dual graded stakes winner as a juvenile scoring wins on both dirt and turf when taking the Grade 3 With Anticipation over the Mellon turf course at Saratoga before winning the Grade 2 Remsen over the main track at Aqueduct. At 3, he won dual Grade 1s on dirt and turf when notching triumphs in the Grade 1 Belmont Derby Invitational and the Grade 1 Runhappy Travers at Saratoga, respectively.
Given his versatility, Thomas has plenty of options with the seven-time winner of 11 career starts. Thomas said races under consideration for Catholic Boy include the Grade 1, $1 million Whitney on August 3 at Saratoga, the Grade 1, $1 million Arlington Million on August 10 at Arlington Park and the Grade 1, $750,000 Woodward on August 31 at Saratoga.
“The Suburban still has a big circle around it,” Thomas said. “We're taking it race by race. Just kind of see where he takes us. The Suburban would answer some of these questions. There are some big targets this summer that we would want to be a part of.”
Bred in Kentucky by Fred W. Hertrich III and John D. Fielding, Catholic Boy has garnered a total of $1,992,000 in career earnings and has won six graded stakes events, four of which took place on grass. He is owned by Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing Stables.
Thomas reported that two-time Grade 1 winner Diversify is training forwardly towards his seasonal debut. The New York-bred son of Bellamy Road worked a half-mile in 50 seconds on Sunday morning.
“Diversify had a good, solid half-mile work with a particularly good gallop out,” Thomas said. “We're just starting to give him what I would call heavier training. No concrete plans have been made, but he's coming along nicely.”
Owned by Ralph and Lauren Evans, Diversify has not raced since a fifth-place finish last September in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, which he won in 2017. He was previously trained by the late Rick Violette.
Thomas went on to say that stakes winner Osare could target a spot towards the end of the Belmont Park meet after finishing fourth against allowance company on May 19 in her first start in eight months.
Owned by Bridlewood Stables, the half-sister to champion Arrogate earned black type when taking the Dueling Grounds Oaks last September.
“She came back pretty well off the bench,” Thomas said. “We're looking around to see what our options are, possibly something at the end of the meet. I'm going to wait for the next condition book to come out before making a decision.”
Bred in Kentucky by Clearsky Farms, Osare is by Medaglia d'Oro out of four-time stakes winner Bubbler.
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