Riding High Off Travers Win, Thomas Sends Entirely To Sharp Susan Stakes

Jonathan Thomas experienced the highlight of his burgeoning training career at Saratoga last Saturday when he saddled Catholic Boy for a dominating triumph in the Travers Stakes (G1).

“We’re thrilled that our team has had the opportunity to train for some top-tier owners and can get our hands on horse with the quality of Catholic Boy and a few others. I think more than anything we’re very humbled to have the opportunity to be in this position with these kind of horses,” Thomas said from Saratoga Thursday morning. “This is what we’ve always set out to do – to play in the upper tier of racing with good horses and clients. The bottom line is: that’s what it’s all about. You can’t do it without the horses and the clients.”

Based at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, Fla., Thomas has attracted an impressive list of clients, but none more respected and deeply ensconced in the Thoroughbred racing industry than George Strawbridge Jr., whose Augustin Stable will be represented by Entirely in Saturday’s $100,000 Sharp Susan on the undercard of the FTBOA Florida Sire Stakes program at Gulfstream Park.

“We’ve been fortunate to have had horses for him. To date, I’d say this is probably one of the more talented we’ve had for him,” Thomas said. “We have some 2-year-olds for him that haven’t raced that we like. We’ve been very fortunate to have picked him up as a client. We’re thrilled to be associated with him.”

Entirely has been installed as the 9-5 favorite in the 7 ½-furlong turf stakes for 2-year-old fillies. Like Catholic Boy, who debuted impressively at Gulfstream Park last summer, Entirely won impressively at first asking for Thomas over the Gulfstream turf. The homebred daughter of Point of Entry broke a step slow in the five-furlong maiden race before surging through the stretch to beat the boys with a going-away 3 ¾-length score.

“We weren’t expecting her to win in that fashion. We liked her and thought she was a good 2-year-old candidate in the sense that she came to hand pretty easily,” Thomas said. “To see her win against the boys going away wasn’t something we expected, but we were happy to see it.”

Entirely shipped to Saratoga following her sharp performance to prepare for a start in the My Dear, a 5 ½ furlong stakes run over Woodbine’s synthetic surface. She made a bid heading into the stretch before finishing fourth.

“We were trying to garner some black type for her. The plan was to take her up to New York, and obviously, that race was a little further up the road. We felt like she was training well for the race. I was a little cautious about the surface. I think it kind of robbed her a little of her turn of foot,” Thomas said. “She made a pretty premature move early in the race and got caught out a little bit in the last sixteenth. Between the surface and the trip – We weren’t discouraged by her effort. She was beaten by only two lengths – it wasn’t exactly what we were looking for.”

Entirely is scheduled to return to turf and stretch out around two turns in the Sharp Susan, which drew nine juvenile fillies, including Jeanieonthebeach, Too Much War, Rosedale, A Bit Special and Dangerous Curves, all debut winners in their most recent starts.

“She’s shown in her works and through her pedigree that she’s kind of got the two-turn capabilities. She seems to rate really well. She has a style where she can come from out of it. I think the two turns is going to agree with her,” Thomas said. “Hopefully, there’ll be a decent pace scenario early that will flatter some closing horses. It doesn’t look like there’s a tremendous amount of speed in the race, but there are horses exiting one turn races that will probably add to the pace.”

Emisael Jaramillo, who rode Entirely in her debut, will return to the irons for the Sharp Susan.

Meanwhile, Thomas said no decisions have been made concerning Catholic Boy’s next start.

“There aren’t a lot of different variables for him with the timing of things. Basically, we have that kind of Super Saturday window where you could go in the Jockey Club [Gold Cup} or Hill Prince [at Belmont Sept. 29} or, what has worked for us very well and with horse in particular is just training up to the [Breeders’ Cup] Classic [at Churchill Downs Nov. 3]. It’s something we would do with confidence. That might also be the best plan,” Thomas said. “Right now, the horse is having a quiet week of walking and turn-out – just being a horse. He’s going to start under tack on Sunday. We’ll just let him tell us. If he’s doing so well weight-wise that we’ll skip a prep, that’s something we’ll certainly embrace.”

The post Riding High Off Travers Win, Thomas Sends Entirely To Sharp Susan Stakes appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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