More Than Ready's 3-year-old colt Catholic Boy put himself in rare territory on Saturday when he won the Travers S. (G1) by four lengths in stellar fashion.
Winner of the Belmont Derby (G1) on the turf on July 7, Catholic Boy joins the likes of John Henry and Lava Man as Grade 1 winners on both turf and dirt. As a 2-year-old, Catholic Boy also won graded races on both surfaces: the Remsen (G2) on the main track and the With Anticipation (G3) on the grass.
He has now won six of nine starts overall and earned $1,842,000 for the group of Robert LaPenta, Madaket Stables LLC, Siena Farm and Twin Creeks Racing.
Even without the presence of retired Triple Crown winner Justify, the Travers drew a stellar field of 10 sophomores. European shipper Mendelssohn sprinted to the lead, but Javier Castellano put Catholic Boy just off his flank. Those two began their own match race going into the first turn. Setting solid fractions of :47.81 for the half-mile and 1:11.97 for six furlongs, the pair was five lengths up on the rest of the field.
Entering the stretch, Catholic Boy assumed command as the pace began to take its toll on Mendelssohn. Catholic Boy still had plenty of run left and drew off with complete authority to finish the 1 1/4-miles in 2:01.94 on a fast track.
"His sire is More Than Ready. He's More Than Ready squared," said LaPenta. "He is great on the turf and I think he's great on the dirt."
"Maybe today he proved he's better on dirt," said his trainer Jonathan Thomas, who scored his first Grade 1 win.
Catholic Boy was bred in Kentucky by Fred Hertrich III and John Fielding.