07/08/2009 11:00PM

Chock full of champions


Saturday's $50,000 George Lewis Memorial at Thistledown has drawn four Ohio champions and the last two winners of the race. The Lewis is a 1 1/8-mile race for Ohio-breds and has drawn a field of 10.

Catlaunch, a rugged 8-year-old, won the Lewis last year and comes into the race off a 15 1/2-length win in the Gendelman Stakes at River Downs on June 13. Catlaunch has been a model of consistency, posting a 28-12-9 record from 68 starts for earnings of $656,036. He has 4 wins from 7 starts at this distance and will carry 118 pounds, four more than any of his opponents. Catlaunch, the 2008 Ohio horse of the year, is trained by Ivan Vasquez and will have his regular rider, Hector Rosario Jr., aboard.

The other Ohio champions in the field are Type A Personality, last year's Ohio champion 3-year-old; Pyrite Personal, the 2007 Ohio champion 3-year-old; and Acts Like a King, Ohio's champion male of 2005. Acts Like a King won the 2007 edition of the Lewis.

Allsarott finished second to Catlaunch in the Gendelman and may well be his main competition on Saturday. Trained by Jeff Greenhill, Allsarott is 3 for 5 with 2 seconds at Thistledown.

Type A Personality was unplaced in the Gendelman, his first start since last October. In his final start of 2008, he raced on even terms with Catlaunch for nine of the 10 furlongs of the Ohio Endurance before weakening to be beaten 2 1/2 lengths. With a race under his belt he could be a factor.

Turnpike Mike is undefeated in three starts this year and won his last race of 2008. He has been steadily climbing the claiming ladder, with his last win coming at Mountaineer against $30,000 claimers going a mile. He will be competing with Ohio-breds for the first time since 2007 and has the speed to dispute the pace.