05/24/2012 3:40PM

Thistledown: Catlaunch targets rebound in Rowland Memorial

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Catlaunch’s two races this year have been out of character for the Ohio-bred millionaire, and he will look to rebound in Saturday’s $50,000 Michael F. Rowland Memorial Handicap.

Age may be catching up to the 11-year-old, who has won this six-furlong race five times since 2006, with his only loss coming in 2009 when he finished third, beaten a length by Left On Base. Catlaunch, the 2011 Ohio horse of the year, will need a top effort to win the Rowland. He faces Raise the Reward, who has beaten him in both of his 2012 starts.

Catlaunch’s most recent race was a seventh over a muddy track in the six-furlong Babst/Palacios Memorial Handicap at Beulah Park on May 5. He was beaten 17 1/2 lengths. In his only other start this year, Catlaunch finished third, beaten 2 1/4 lengths in an Ohio-bred allowance race at Beulah on April 14.

Raise the Reward has 1 win and 4 seconds from 6 starts this year. He finished second in the Babst/Palacios, beaten 2 1/4 lengths, and was second by a half-length in the April 14 allowance race.
Jody’s Power will try stakes company for the first time. He has won three of his nine starts and may have enough speed to make the lead here.