08/06/2003 11:00PM

Thistledown track report


NORTH RANDALL, Ohio - Ohio-bred 3-year-olds will be burning some oil in the $40,000 North Randall Stakes here Saturday. Six of the seven starters in the six-furlong race are speed merchants, and it looks as if Cat Singer will be able to finish the strongest and make it back-to-back stakes wins.

Cat Singer, owned by Joe Sugar and Eugene Daniels, was a handy winner of the 1 1/8-mile Cleveland Gold Cup in his last start, and he is undefeated in the three start in Ohio. On May 28, he was third in the six-furlong Checkered Flag Stakes at Indiana Downs, beaten three lengths after setting the early pace. He then won a one-mile allowance race at River Downs before the Cleveland Gold Cup

He will have a lot of company up front in the North Randall, but is versatile enough to make the lead despite shortening up in distance. Under the allowance conditions of the race, he will be co-highweighted with Woodburner at 120 pounds. Hector Rosario will come in to ride for trainer Luis Palacios.

Cat Singer is cross-entered in Saturday's $600,000 West Virginia Derby at Mountaineer Race Track.

Ben's Reflection is a quick Cahill Road gelding who chased Cat Singer in the Gold Cup and finished second. He has won two sprints wire to wire by double-digit margins in four lifetime starts. Danny Cox rides for trainer Michael Nance.

Woodburner is the only two-time stakes winner in the field. He won the 1 1/16-mile Horizon Stakes at River Downs on July 20 and the six-furlong Rollin on Over at Beulah Park on April 12. He is another in this field who likes to run on the lead. Trainer Austin Smith has named Luis Gonzalez to ride.