07/22/2004 11:00PM

River Downs: Top threats try turf

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Catlaunch and Dawn's Revenge, a couple of 3-year-olds who have become quite familiar in recent months to Ohio racing fans, rank among the top contenders in the $40,000 Horizon Stakes on the turf at River Downs in Cincinnati.

Catlaunch, trained by Luis Palacios, will be trying to rebound off a seventh-place finish in the Cleveland Gold Cup, a July 4 race that drew the best of the Ohio-bred 3-year-old class. Dawn's Revenge, trained by Jerry Sparks, also exits the Cleveland Gold Cup, having faded to eighth that day at Thistledown.

Catlaunch and Dawn's Revenge both had been in sharp form in their three starts before the Gold Cup: Catlaunch had two wins and a second, while Dawn's Revenge had two seconds and a third. Both horses will be making their grass debut in the 1 1/16-mile Horizon.

Catlaunch and Dawn's Revenge drew posts 1 and 2 among the nine statebreds entered in the Horizon. A stable coupling trained by Joe Shuman gives the Horizon eight betting interests.

Other logical contenders include White Angel Light, a consistent gelding who finished second in his lone previous turf attempt, and Benewin, who makes his stakes debut after having won four of his first seven starts.

The Horizon purse includes a $14,000 supplement from the Ohio Thoroughbred Fund. The race is the 10th of 14 on River's shared 7&7 card with Thistledown.