CATLAUNCH 2001-2018

Noble Cat - Skilaunch, by Relaunch | 2001 Gelding - (View Pedigree)


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Catlaunch © Rick Capone Catlaunch © Rick Capone
Catlaunch © Rick Capone Catlaunch © Rick Capone
Catlaunch with Shea and Julien Leparoux photo ©equisportphotos Catlaunch with Shea and Julien Leparoux photo ©equisportphotos
Catlaunch with Shea and Julien Leparoux photo ©equisportphotos Catlaunch with Shea and Julien Leparoux photo ©equisportphotos

CATLAUNCH 2001-2018's Info:

Owner: Scioto Farm
Breeder: Scioto Farm Supply Inc
State Bred: OH
Winnings: 107 Starts: 40 - 22 - 15, $1,122,309

At 5: Won Babst/Palacios Mem. H, M. Rowland Mem. H, Ruff/Kirchberg Mem. H.
At 6: Won Governor's Buckeye Cup, M. Rowland Mem. H, Ruff/Kirchberg Mem. H.
At 7: Won Best of OH Endurance S., Babst/Palacios Mem. H., M. Rowland Mem. H, G Lewis Mem. S
At 8: Won S. Gendelman Mem H, G Lewis Mem. S.
At 9: Won M. Rowland Mem. H., Sydney Gendelman Mem. H., Governor's Buckeye Cup S. [R,Tdn,10F], Best of OH Endurance S.

At 10: Won Babst/Palacios Mem. S., M. Rowland Mem. H., Sydney Gendelman Mem. H., George Lewis Mem. S., Ruff/Kirchberg Mem. H.
At 11: 2nd Michael Rowland Mem. H.
At 12: Won Sydney Gendelman Mem. H.

Foaled: 3/18/01.

Ohio 2006 accredited male, 2007, 2009 handicap horse

Retired 4/11/2013--arrived at Old Friends KY in Jan 2014.


Modified On: 5/25/2018

Obit from long time volunteer Vivian:
I admit, I have struggled with how to say goodbye to these two. Several times since the Derby fanfare has faded, I sat down to tell their story. But I have stumbled over how to fit such big hearts into such a little space.

Both Tour of the Cat and Catlaunch were the kind of athletes who left it all on the track. They were warriors who had no quit in them.

Catlaunch was the pride of Ohio racing. He ran 107 races and earned over a million dollars one contest at a time. He was a stakes winner from age 5 until his retirement at age 12. He received every accolade Ohio racing had to offer, including multiple horse of the year titles. But as classy as his form was on the track, it paled compared to his sweet nature. He was a true gentleman. Curious, sweet and an all around solid citizen. Catlaunch had legions of admirers and made anyone who met him part of his fan club. He was a barn favorite and when it came time, he was surrounded by love and the kind hands who loved and cared for him on a daily basis. As someone with Ohio roots, Catlaunch's loss felt all the more personal. Like Appygolucky, my late Beulah retiree, he boasted 107 starts. There is a post under the comments section on his bio page...Ohio loves you. In the end, we all did.

Tour of the Cat raced until age 11. He, too was a millionaire. A graded stakes winner who took his connections from Derby preps to the sands of Dubai. When his form faltered, he descended through the claiming ranks until a series of vet scratches and an outcry from concerned advocates brought about his retirement thanks to a claim by Maggi Moss. I recall Michael speaking very movingly about Tour's toughness after being treated for a foot issue shortly after his retirement. The horse had seen such tough times and yet he knew that he had landed in a place among friends. He stood stoically as the vet worked on him, Michael close by, full of admiration and respect for this champion.

Despite the ups and downs of his journey, Tour of the Cat never held a grudge. He held his head high and rolled with the punches. He exuded class and kept his dignity until his sudden illness took him after 9 years of retirement.

I can tell you, it's not much use trying to fit hearts as big as these in to this small space. These two, who one could argue lived the lives of several horses, ran out of days to enjoy the retirement they had so earned. They represented the best of us, the bravest and most determined.

To these noblest of Thoroughbreds, your earthly race is won. Your legacy is written in the memories of all who admired you.

Keep running on, no fences.

Your friend,


Obit Press Release:
MAY 10, 2018 - Old Friends, the Thoroughbred retirement facility based in Georgetown, KY., announced the passing of two of its most beloved retirees this morning.
Multiple graded stakes winner Tour of the Cat, 20, died very suddenly at the Old Friends satellite farm at Kentucky Downs in Franklin, KY. According to Old Friends resident veterinarian, Dr. Bryan Waldridge, the cause of death is still unknown but the results of a full necropsy are pending.
Ohio-bred millionaire Catlaunch, 17, was euthanized due to chronic neurologic disease.
Tour of the Cat, a Florida bred gelding, was a multiple graded-stakes winner of more than $1.1 million. Among his greatest victories were the GR2 Richter Scale Sprint Handicap, the GR3 Spend a Buck Handicap, and the GR3 Miami Mile Breeders' Cup Handicap.
After a prestigious career, he was found racing at bottom level claiming races at age 11. Concerned owner Maggie Moss claimed him in order to retire him at Old Friends in 2009.
The son of Noble Cat out of the Relaunch mare Skilaunch, Catlaunch was campaigned by Ron Fields of Scioto Farm Supply and was trained by Ivan Vazquez. The gelding won a remarkable 40 of his 108 starts, including 22 stakes, and earned more than $1.1 million.
He was long a fan favorite at Thistledown, River Downs, and Beulah Park, before retiring to Old Friends in 2013.

"While it has been an exciting week in racing, as the industry crowned a new Kentucky Derby champion, it's been a sad week of loss here," said Old Friends founder and President Michael Blowen. "We were so proud to have had both of these wonderful horses with us, and proud to be able to give them the dignified retirement they earned and so richly deserved.
"I want to thank everyone at Kentucky Downs, including our farm manager there, Jennifer Jones, for taking such good care of Tour of the Cat," Blowen continued. "He was one of the most popular retirees on their tour there, and he met many fans over the years.
"Catlaunch, with his warm personality and good looks, was a favorite among all of our volunteers and farm staff. Both of these guys will be deeply missed."

Catlaunch is a hero. Any way you look at it. The winner of over a million dollars, this horse earned it the hard way, racing at Midwest working class tracks from the age of 2 in 2003 through 12 in 2013. The Ohio bred’s many victories include, in 2006 the Babst/Palacios Memorial at Beulah Park, the Michael Rowland Memorial at Thistledown, the Ruff/Kirchberg Memorial and the Samuel H at Beulah. In 2007 he again won the Michael Rowland, along with the Governor’s Buckeye Cup at Thistledown and that year’s renewal of the Ruff/Kirchberg. In 2008 he took the Babst/Palacios and Michael Rowland again, won the George Lewis Memorial at Thistledown, and the Best of Ohio Endurance Stakes...well, you get the picture. For year after year, Catlaunch won the best races at a number of tracks at distances from 6 furlong sprints to the classic mile and a quarter. And at 12 years old he was still winning stakes races. In all, Catlaunch won 40 of his 108 starts, ran in the money 77 times, was ranked 17th best in the nation for number of wins in 2006, and earned $1,122,309. Need we say more?
Maybe so. Catlaunch is also smart, gorgeous and one of the sweetest natured horses Old Friends has ever had the honor to care for. Catlaunch stands tall and he is every inch the hero.


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