06/15/2006 12:00AM

River Downs: Catlaunch tries turf again


Too Much Bling may be the most recognizable Ohio-bred sprinter in the country, but Catlaunch, who has stayed closer to home throughout his 37-race career, is pretty good, too. Catlaunch has earned Beyer Speed Figures ranging from 89 to 98 in winning all four of his starts this year, including two sprint stakes. Still, he will be severely tested to continue that streak in the $50,000 Sydney Gendelman Memorial at River Downs.

The Gendelman is scheduled for 1 1/16 miles on the turf, and while Catlaunch is one of the most accomplished horses in the field, he appears vulnerable, having failed to hit the board in three previous tries on grass. That is a bit odd, given that he descends from turf influences Storm Cat and Relaunch.

Cat Singer, a former statebred champion who has started just three times in the last 19 months, may vie for favoritism. Cat Singer will attempt to rebound from a loss as the favorite in the Babst Memorial at Beulah, a race won by Catlaunch. Cat Singer stumbled badly leaving the gate that day, failed to race on, and did not finish.

Cat Singer has a single grass win in three turf attempts during his career, but one of those losses was a fourth-place finish in the Grade 3 Churchill Downs Turf Sprint two years ago.

The Potters Hand, fifth in the Gendelman last year, may be the best pure grass specialist in the field. He enters off a win and a second in two high-end grass allowances this meet.

Only One King, a hard-knocking high-end claimer in from Mountaineer, is plenty fast enough to win the Gendelman. He has been racing exclusively on the main track for some time, but does have a win and a third from a pair of turf starts earlier in his career.