06/12/2008 12:00AM

Ohio champs face off in Gendleman


It will be a battle of Ohio champions in the $50,000 Sydney Gendleman Memorial at River Downs. Cat Singer, the 2006 Ohio handicap horse of the year, will face off against Catlaunch, the 2007 handicap horse of the year, in the 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up.

Cat Singer, an 8-year-old who has won more than $434,000, comes off an impressive local victory in an allowance on turf. The race was his first since May 2007 and second since October 2006. In 2006, Cat Singer won 4 of 5 races, including the Gendleman and the Best of Ohio Endurance.

Cat Singer is 2 for 2 over the River Downs turf and has won 3 of 5 over the turf in his career. He will be ridden by his regular rider, Rodney Prescott, and is trained by Doug Cowans.

Catlaunch, trained by Ivan Vazquez, is a perfect 3 for 3 this year, including the Babst Memorial at Beulah Park and the Mike Rowland Memorial at Thistledown in his last out, May 30. Catlaunch is winless in five starts on turf, but with rain predicted in the area Saturday, there's a chance the race could be run on the main track. Hector Rosario Jr. gets the mount.

Tom Archdeacon, named after the Dayton Daily News horse racing writer, comes off a lifetime best turf Beyer Speed Figure of 88 for finishing second in an allowance race over a yielding turf course at Arlington Park on May 17. The return to Ohio-bred ranks should prove helpful, and so should his come-from-behind style in a field rich in speed. Tom Archdeacon also was entered in an allowance race Saturday at Arlington Park.