Two-time Ohio Horse of the Year Catlaunch became racing's newest millionaire on Saturday when he led wire to wire in the $50,000 George Lewis Memorial at Thistledown. The 10-year-old gelding was recording his 38th career victory in the 1 1/8 mile test. The Ohio-bred's payday of $30,000 pushed his career earnings to $1,011,884.
Ridden by Luis Gonzalez, they quickly set the pace and held sway by at least three lengths at every point of call, with River Downs' shipper chasing Busha chasing him in second all of the way. At the wire Catlaunch was 3 3/4 lengths in front and Busha lasted over Raise the Reward by a nose. The final time was 1:53.48.
Owned and bred by Ron Fields and trained by Ivan Vazquez, Catlaunch was making his 87th career start. "He pretty much trains himself," says Vazquez, who has been with the gelding since his 2-year-old season. "At River Downs he has to be the first horse out on the track in the morning or he gets mad. He seems to know exactly how hard he has work to maintain his shape. In the races he pretty much challenges the other to come and get him and if they do he digs right back in. He is a wonderful horse to be around."