Catholic Boy, last year’s Travers winner, will not run in the Grade 1 Woodward here on Aug. 31 and plans are on hold for him as he has been dealing with a few minor issues since his second-place finish to Preservationist in the Grade 2 Suburban Stakes at Belmont Park last month.
In addition to having missed some time due to some cuts sustained in the Suburban, Catholic Boy most recently had what’s known as a blind wolf tooth removed. These types of teeth don’t totally break through the gums but can cause a horse discomfort.
“He seems to be a lot more comfortable in his mouth,” trainer Jonathan Thomas said Tuesday.
Thomas also had some chiropractic work done on Catholic Boy, who did have one slow half-mile breeze, in 52.12 seconds, over Saratoga’s main track on Aug. 9.
Thomas said he likely will not breeze Catholic Boy until the end of the month and won’t decide on the next race for him until after he’s put in a few workouts.
“Rather than target a race I need to get back into rhythm and a routine with him,” Thomas said. “I’d like to have three or four good works that we’re happy with; he’s good about telling us when he’s ready.”
Since Catholic Boy is a multiple graded stakes winner on both turf and dirt, Thomas said he’s open-minded to running him on either surface once he gets the horse right.
“On his day, he’s very competitive,” Thomas said. “It’s my responsibility not to allow him to run if he’s not perfect.”
At 3, Catholic Boy won the Grade 1 Belmont Derby on turf and the Travers. This year, he won the Grade 2 Dixie on turf at Pimlico on Preakness Day before running second in the Suburban on dirt at Belmont.