05/03/2008 12:00AM

Catlaunch, Dooze dead-heat for win


The $50,000 Babst/Palacios looked to be an exciting race, with three Ohio sprint champions and the 2007 handicap horse of the year in the field of seven. Everything was as advertised as the Babst/Palacios ended in a dead heat between handicap horse of the year Catlaunch and 2007 sprint champion Dooze.

Catlaunch, breaking from the outside post, raced just off of and then pressed for the lead in the six-furlong Babst/Palacios. Turning for home, Catlaunch, ridden by Ivan Gonzalez for trainer Ivan Vazquez, drew clear from the field then dug in gamely to dead heat with Dooze.

Jockey Victor Lebron had Dooze on the rail early, but they angled out on the turn and rallied into the stretch. The two champions dueled through the final 70 yards.

Dooze, trained by Mike Maker, paid $3.40 in his first start of the year. Catlaunch returned $3.

The running time for the six furlongs over a muddy track was 1:10.12.

Ben's Reflection, a multiple sprint champion ridden by Luis Martinez, finished 1 1/4 lengths back in third.