11/16/2006 1:00AM

Two in a row for Count on My Word?


Count on My Word will try to defend his title when he faces seven Ohio-bred rivals in the $50,000 Ruff/Kirchberg Memorial Handicap at Beulah Park. The race has been shortened from 1 1/4 miles to 1 1/8 miles this year.

Count on My Word rallied to score a three-quarter-length victory in last year's Ruff/Kirchberg. He is winless in four starts since then, but did rally to finish third in the $75,000 Governor's Buckeye Cup at Thistledown last out Sept. 4. A 7-year-old gelded son of Full Count, he has won 8 of 36 starts and has always done his best work at Beulah, where he has a 6-1-2 record from 9 starts.

Trained by Bobby Ranwick Jr., Count on My Word will be ridden by Ernest Oro and carry 118 pounds.

The main competition on Saturday may be provided by a pair of 3-year-olds, Acts Like a King and Chop Spats.

Acts Like a King captured the Horizon Stakes on turf at River Downs in August before finishing second, beaten 6 3/4 lengths, in the Governor's Buckeye Cup in September. Acts Like a King has faced tough open company in his two most recent starts, finishing eighth in the Grade 2 Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park and fourth against allowance company at Keeneland last out. He is trained by Kris Solomon.

Nathan Solomon, son of the trainer, has a return call on Acts Like a King, who should appreciate the return to statebred company.

Chop Spats ran the best race of his career last out, rallying to finish second, beaten 4 1/2 lengths, in the $100,000 Best of Ohio at 1 1/4 miles on Oct. 6 at Thistledown. Filmer Munaylla has a return call aboard Chops Spats, a winner of 3 of 9 career starts.

Catlaunch is the 122-pound starting highweight and likely pacesetter in the Ruff/Kirchberg. Ivan Gonzalez rides Catlaunch for trainer Ivan Vazquez.