05/05/2011 1:04PM

Ohio champions meet in Beulah's Babst/Palacios Memorial


Ohio sprint champion Tri Uimet makes his season debut in a tough spot Saturday, when he faces several former Ohio champions in the $50,000 Babst/Palacios Memorial at Beulah Park.

A six-furlong event, the Babst/Palacios has a 14-horse field and goes as the ninth of 11 races on a special Derby Day card.

Tri Uimet is one of the three entrants trained by Jeff Radosevich, including an entrymate. An 8-year-old, Tri Uimet capped his 2010 campaign with a win in the six-furlong Best Of Ohio Sprint at Thistledown on Oct. 2, when he was kept just off the early pace en route to a 4 1/2-length win. It was the third win in seven starts for Tri Uimet, who is winless in two local attempts. Regular rider Scott Spieth retains the mount

Also making his season debut in the Babst/Palacios is Catlaunch, last year’s Ohio horse of the year, handicap horse, and accredited male champion. A 10-year-old gelding, Catlaunch won 5 of 11 last season, including the 1 1/4-mile Best of Ohio Endurance by four lengths. Trained by Ivan Vazquez, a former assistant to the late Albert Palacios, Catlaunch finished a close second in this event last year, beaten three-quarters of a length by Royal Nemesis, another starter in this full field. Luis Gonzalez will ride.

That’s a Heckofacat was the 3-year-old Ohio male champion last season and appears ready after a local bullet work last Saturday. John McKee ships in to ride for trainer Doug Cowans.