09/03/2009 12:00AM

Catlaunch looks for revenge in stakes


Catlaunch was beaten three-quarters of a length by Smarmy in last year's $75,000 Governor's Buckeye Cup Stakes, but he will look to even the score in this year's renewal Saturday at Thistledown.

Catlaunch heads a field of 10 Ohio-bred 3-year-olds and up slated to match strides over 1 1/4 miles. The rugged 8-year-old Catlaunch has been a model of consistency through his career, while carving out a 29-13-9 record from 70 starts for earnings of $668,536. He has won at distances ranging from five furlongs to 1 1/4 miles.

Catlaunch, a double stakes winner this year, has raced against Smarmy several times, and the only time Smarmy finished in front of Catlaunch was in 2008 Governor's Buckeye Cup Stakes.

Catlaunch likes to run on or near the lead but may get a battle for the early lead from ambitiously placed Key Low, who was claimed for $4,000 at Thistledown on June 9 by Shane Meyers for his mother, Judy Meyers. Key Low was immediately placed in a $5,000 starter allowance for statebreds and won by a comfortable four lengths. His next move was to River Downs, where he won a $16,000 optional claimer at a mile in front-running fashion.

If a speed duel develops, it may set the race up perfectly for Smarmy's late-running style.

Catlaunch is owned by his breeder, Scioto Farm, and trained by Ivan Vasquez. He will be ridden by Hector Rosario Jr.

Tim Hamm trains Smarmy for Bruce Ryan and Blazing Meadows Farm. Oswaldo Pereira will be in the irons.