06/10/2010 12:00AM

Catlaunch the one to catch in Gendelman


Catlaunch heads a talented and full field of 12 in the $50,000 Sydney Gendelman Memorial Handicap at River Downs on Saturday.

Catlaunch is the high weight in the field, and deservedly so. A 9-year-old trained by Ivan Vazquez, Catlaunch has won 2 of 4 outings this season, most recently the Michael Rowland Memorial on May 29 at Thistledown. Vazquez has yet to stretch Catlaunch out to two turns this season, but he has not had a problem with it in previous years. The 2009 running of the Gendelman was taken off the turf and run at the same distance, 1 1/16 miles, and Catlaunch won by more than 15 lengths. He appears to be the lone speed in a race full of closers, and that should work to his advantage.

The lone question is whether Catlaunch, winner of over $750,000, can win on the turf. He has yet to win in five attempts. With rain in Friday's forecast, the answer to that question may not be revealed in the Gendelman this year. Ivan Gonzalez rides.

Fourteen Ohio-bred horses were drawn into the race, but only 12 will run. Others in the field are Hurley's Way, Allsarott, Two Step Hero, Dinkers Class Act, Tom Archdeacon, Cajun Prize, Sneak a Cold Treat, Pyrite Personal, Mr Easy E. Raise the Reward, Extrication, and the entry of Acts Like a King and Call it the Blues.

If there are no late scratches, Acts Like a King and Extrication will not run because they have the fewest earnings in 2009-2010.