05/06/2006 12:00AM

Catlaunch victorious in Babst/Palacios Memorial Handicap


Catlaunch ($7.20) took command on the turn and went on to score a 1 1/2 length victory over starting highweight Ben's Reflection in Saturday's $50,000 Babst/Palacios Memorial Handicap at Beulah Park.

Jockey Ivan Gonzalez was aboard Catlaunch who scored his third straight victory as the 5-year-old gelding covered the 6-furlongs in 1:10.01. Ben's Reflection easily bested the rest finishing 7 1/4 lengths clear of Blazing Element in the closing day feature of Beulah's successful 75-day winter-spring meeting. 6/5 favorite Cat Singer stumbled leaving the gate unseating rider Hector Rosario Jr.

Ivan Vazquez, longtime assistant trainer to Albert Palacios for whom this race is named, trains Catlaunch who won for the ninth time in 36 career starts for his owner-breeder Scioto Farm.