05/27/2010 12:00AM

Catlaunch heads cast at Thistledown


The multiple stakes winner Catlaunch goes after his 31st victory from 76 lifetime starts when he will match strides with five Ohio-bred rivals in the $50,000 Michael F.

Rowland Memorial Handicap at Thistledown.

Catlaunch, a 9-year-old gelded son of Noble Cat, has been a model of consistency throughout his career, and he has earned of $723,245. He has made three starts this year, with his last being a second-place finish in the six-furlong Babst Memorial at Beulah Park on May 1. The rugged gelding comes into the race off of two bullet works at River Downs, and if he runs his usual race he will be very hard to deal with.

Catlaunch is owned by his breeder, Scioto Farm, trained by Ivan Vasquez, and will be ridden by his regular rider, Ivan R. Gonzalez. He is the highweight in the field and carries 124 pounds.

Main opposition for Catlaunch should come from Key Low and Howdy Boy Rib.

Key Low, a 5-year-old Private School gelding, has displayed

remarkable improvement since being claimed out of $4,000 race at Thistledown last June 29. Two weeks later he won a starter allowance here, then went to River Downs to win a $16,000 optional claimer. He finished third in the 10-furlong

Governor's Buckeye and then went to Keeneland, where he dropped a one-length decision after setting the pace at seven furlongs. He has the speed to set the pace and is capable of wiring this field.

Key Low is trained by Bart Barnes and will be ridden by veteran Tommy Meyers.

Of the others, Howdy Boy Rib has the best chance of upsetting. He has won one of his three starts in 2010, that being a starter allowance at Turfway Park on Feb. 5. Christian Pilaris will ride for trainer Donald L. Goeing.