07/05/2003 12:00AM

Thistledown: Cat Singer wins easily

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NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Cat Singer assumed command along the rail going into the far turn and widened to the wire to win the $100,000 Cleveland Gold Gup by 4 1/2 lengths at Thistledown. Ben's Reflection, who had set the early pace, hung on for second, a diminishing neck in front of Southtown Slew.

Hackendiffy, who finished second in the Grade 2 Ohio Derby in his last start, was sent off as the 1-2 favorite and finished sixth, beaten 14 3/4 lengths.

Cat Singer, broke alertly under rider Hector Rosario Jr. and prompted the pace for six furlongs before taking the lead. He covered nine furlongs in 1:51.24 over a fast strip.

Hackendiffy's off-the-board finish trigged huge show mutuels. Cat Singer paid $7.60, $7, and $16.20. Ben's Reflection paid $16.80 and $28.80, and Southtown Slew paid $44.80