Catholic Boy, who finished a disappointing fourth in Saturday’s Grade 1 Florida Derby, bled in the race, according to John Panagot, racing manager for part-owner Robert LaPenta.
“Unfortunately, he bled a significant amount,” Panagot said. “We’re going to have to stop on him and let him heal.”
Catholic Boy, the 2-1 second choice, appeared to be in a good spot down the backside and midway around the turn under Irad Ortiz Jr. But when the running started he couldn’t match strides with Audible, Hofburg and Mississippi. Catholic Boy was beaten 12 lengths.
“For sure, Irad had him in a great spot, we were licking our lips a little bit,” Panagot said. “They were moving in front of him, which we hoped and planned for; it was the trip we had designed. When it came time to put some pressure on those horses, he didn’t make a dent in the race which is very out of character for him. It’s pretty obvious this had a big effect on him.”
On Sunday, Catholic Boy shipped back to his base at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala where he will get some time off and also get some time in a hyperbaric chamber.
Panagot said all options are on the table regarding what surface Catholic Boy will race on when he is ready to return. Catholic Boy is a stakes winner on dirt and turf having taken the With Anticipation on turf last summer at Saratoga and the Remsen on dirt last November at Aqueduct.
“We’ll see what’s out there when we get to that point,” Panagot said.