Whereas everything went smoothly earlier in the day for Indulgent, Avery Island did not have the best of runs in the G2 Remsen Stakes over nine furlongs on dirt at Aqueduct, USA, on Saturday, December 2.
The two-year-old Street Sense colt, who made most of the running when powering to an impressive victory under Joe Bravo in the mile G2 Nashua Stakes at the New York course on November 6, made an attempt to go to the front again.
However, three others in the 10-strong field had the same idea and it was Bandito who went on, with Avery Island sitting a close third.
Racing a bit keenly and restrained by Joe Bravo, he was fourth and then fifth turning into the straight.
Avery Island, switched out to make his challenge, kept on in good fashion to finish a clear second, but had no answer to the kick of Catholic Boy who won in 1m 52.50s.
He was beaten four and three quarter lengths, but had a length and three quarters margin over the third Vouch, with the fourth Alkhaatam another four and three quarter lengths in arrears.
Godolphin’s Jimmy Bell reported: “I think he learnt a lot in second. He won the G2 Nashua on the lead, but did not have things his own way today.
“This was another step forward in his progression, as this was the sort of race he should have to become a better racehorse.
“Avery Island finished up the race nice enough, took the dirt in his face very well and for a large 17 hands two-year-old it is kind of remarkable what he has done this year. Today’s winner looked very talented.
“It will be vacation time for Avery Island now. We have a couple of improving colts (the other is Enticed) who are two-turn types that we need to discuss with and have guidance from Sheikh Mohammed.”
Joe Bravo said: “Avery Island broke in front and I kind of felt like we had a target on our back and they kind of pushed us coming into the first turn, so I took it upon myself to make the sit back off the horses and he breathed.
“He was behind horses, he took the dirt and he relaxed. He was comfortable and just waiting for the rider’s orders. Any time I asked for a little bit, he jumped on the bit, and he was there for me. At the top of the lane, we kicked and he really ran hard. I am more proud for him to come off the pace and come running down the lane then winning wire-to-wire.”