04/29/2009 11:00PM

Babst/Palacios: Clash of champions

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Catlaunch heads a field of 11 Ohio handicap horses in the $50,000 Babst/Palacios at Beulah Park on closing day of the 70-day meet. Trained by Ivan Vazquez, Catlaunch is the 2008 Ohio handicap champion and faces the Ohio sprint champions of the past four years as well as two other former Ohio champions in the six-furlong Babst/Palacios. Catlaunch ran second in his 2009 debut here April 11 in a six-furlong allowance event. An 8-year-old gelding, he won 7 of 9 races last year, including five stakes, at distances from six furlongs to 1 1/4 miles. Catlaunch signaled his readiness with a bullet work at River Downs April 25. Luis Martinez Jr. retains the mount.

Pforperfectpistol, the 2006 and 2008 Ohio sprint champion, comes into the Babst/Palacios off a third-place finish at River Downs April 19 in a six-furlong allowance race.

Dooze, the 2007 Ohio sprint champion, comes into the Babst/Palacios off a fourth in an allowance race locally. He stumbled badly at the start in the six-furlong event April 11. It was her first start after being claimed by trainer Joe Woodard for owner Billy Hays. Dooze finished in a dead heat with Catlaunch in the Babst/Palacios in 2008. Yuri Yaranga will ride. The Woodard-Yaranga

trainer/jockey combo has won at a

44-percent rate here this year.

The $15,000 Alyssa Handicap for fillies and mares also will be run Saturday. Donamour is the highweight but is cross-entered in the Angenora at Thistledown.