Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) – Maryland champion Ben’s Cat made his 2015
debut Friday at Pimlico Race Course, but could do no better than second versus
four rivals in a turf sprint.
Trained by Hall of Fame finalist King Leatherbury, Ben’s Cat was making his
first start in more than four months in a $55,000 allowance race going five
The 9-year-old gelding went off as the 3-5 favorite in the five-horse field.
He pressed pacesetter Bold Thunder, but finished three lengths back in second
with his regular rider Julien Pimentel. The time for five furlongs was 57.62
seconds on a firm turf course.
“It was disappointing, naturally, anytime you get a horse that wins all the
time and doesn’t win. But, this is what happens in all races. We know there’s
no such thing as a sure thing,” Leatherbury said.
“He ran a good race, just not good enough. He met a horse that had everything
his way. He was the only speed in the race, and he’s a legitimate horse. He’s
beaten me before, and I’ve beaten him several times. He’s a nice horse, and he
Ben’s Cat, bred and owned by Leatherbury, has won 28 of 46 lifetime starts, 23
of them stakes, for $2,336,005.
“This should set him up for the next one. It’s been a good spot for us,”
Leatherbury said. “He’ll be ready for that. We’ll go on and follow the same
format as we did the last few years.”
He was named 2014 Maryland-bred Horse of the Year for a record fourth time and
was named champion older male, sprinter and turf horse. The 9-year-old has
earned 13 state-bred divisional championships in addition to Horse of the
Ben’s Cat last raced on Nov. 29 when he won Penn National’s Fabulous Strike
Stakes at six furlongs on the main track. Last year he also won the Parx Dash
Handicap, Turf Sprint and Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlico.