04/30/2008 11:00PM

Catlaunch's recent form a big edge


Four of the seven Ohio-breds entered in the six-furlong $50,000 Babst/Palacios Memorial Handicap on Saturday's closing day card at Beulah Park are Ohio champions, including the state's top sprinters for each of the past three years.

Catlaunch, Ohio's 2007 handicap horse of the year, has a distinct advantage, however, as the only champion among the group to have raced this season.

The 7-year-old Catlaunch, trained by Ivan Vazquez, won a six-furlong optional claiming race locally on March 29 by three-quarters of a length in the third fastest time of the meet. He was second by a neck in this stakes last year and won the 2006 running.

Dooze, the state's 2007 sprint champion, won 4 of 7 races last year, with two of his losses coming against open company at Churchill Downs and the other in the $50,000 Gendleman at River Downs, when he was pulled up going 1 1/16 miles on the grass.

Dooze is 3 for 3 locally for trainer Mike Maker but will be making his first start since November.

Pforperfectspistol, trained by Jeff Radosevich, was Ohio's 2006 sprint champ and 2 for 2 last season, including the Babst/Palacios. Pforperfectspistol is 7 for 9 lifetime but has not race since last June.

The 8-year-old Ben's Reflections is a multiple sprint champ, most recently in 2005. He has 3 wins and 3 seconds from 6 starts locally, including a runner-up finish to Catlaunch in this race two years ago.