07/11/2007 11:00PM

Catlaunch a threat to wire Lewis


Acts Like a King likely will be with the pace in the George Lewis at Thistle.P

The multiple stakes winner Catlaunch should be the odds-on favorite in the $50,000 George Lewis Memorial Stakes for Ohio-bred 3-year-olds and up Saturday at Thistledown.

Catlaunch, a 6-year-old gelded son of Noble Cat, has been a model of consistency throughout his 50-race career, having posted a 17-9-6 record for earnings of $324,018. This year he has won 3 of 5 starts, including the Michael Rowland Stakes, and has been second twice in stakes. He won at the 1 1/8 miles of the George Lewis last year at Beulah Park.

Catlaunch likes to run on or near the lead and is capable of wiring this field. He is owned by Scioto Farm, trained by Ivan Vazquez, and will be ridden by Hector Rosario Jr. at 113 pounds.

Main opposition for Catlaunch should come from Acts Like a King and Head to Toe.

Acts Like a King had serious traffic problems going into the first turn of the Gendleman Handicap on the grass at River Downs in his last start on June 16. He rallied for third behind second-place finisher Catlaunch. He won his other two 2007 starts, both allowance sprints at River Downs.

Acts Like a King has the speed to be with the pace. Kris Nemann trains Acts Like a King, who will be ridden by Ramon Luna at 113.

Head to Toe, a 3-year-old Storm Boot gelding, is also a multiple stakes winner. He was fourth at this distance in his last race, which was restricted to 3-year-olds. He will be facing older horses for the first time in his career. Leading rider Scott Spieth will ride for trainer William Napier.

Pyrite Springs is part of a three-horse Pyrite Stable-owned entry trained by Miguel Feliciano. He prepped for the George Lewis with an impressive win going 1 1/16 miles here on June 28. He did not race in 2006, but won the Cleveland Gold Cup going this distance here as a 3-year-old in 2005. Ricardo Feliciano will ride at 115 pounds.