07/11/2012 3:23PM

Thistledown: Raise the Reward, Catlaunch clash in George Lewis Memorial


Raise the Reward, who has collected 3 wins and 4 seconds from 8 starts this year, looks to continue his success as he heads a field of eight Ohio-accredited foals, including 2011 Ohio horse of the year Catlaunch, in Friday’s $50,000 George Lewis Memorial Stakes at Thistledown.

Raise the Reward, who was claimesd by trainer Jeffrey Radosevich in March for $7,500 at Beulah Park, returns from two consecutive victories, an optional $30,000 claiming race at 1 1/16 miles on June 23 and the six-furlong Michael Rowland Memorial Stakes on May 26. He finished third to Catlaunch in this 1 1/8-mile race last year.

Jacob Radosevich, Jeff’s nephew, will handle the riding assignment at a high weight of 120 pounds.

Catlaunch, who hit the million dollar earning mark winning this race last year, looks to snap an 0-for-4 slump this season. He has logged three wins and two seconds in this event since 2007. His best effort this season was a second-place finish to Raise the Reward in the Rowland. He is trained by Ivan Vazquez and will be ridden by Luis Martinez, Jr.

Only Boy has been consistently close this year, finishing fourth or better in seven of eight starts. Jareth Loveberry will ride for trainer Larry Rivelli.