Working for the first time since making his 11-year-old debut April 16, multi-millionaire gelding Ben’s Cat breezed three furlongs over Laurel Park’s main track Thursday morning.
Bred, owned and trained by Hall of Fame horseman King Leatherbury, Ben’s Cat went the distance in 36.40 seconds, fourth-fastest of 16 horses.
“He worked fine, real nice. It was a beautiful work,” Leatherbury said. “It was a very useful work. We’re going to work him one more time before he runs.”
Leatherbury is pointing Ben’s Cat, a four-time Maryland-bred Horse of the Year and winner of 32 career starts – 26 in stakes – and more than $ 2.6 in purse earnings, to the $ 100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint at five furlongs May 19, Black-Eyed Susan Day at historic Pimlico Race Course.
Ben’s Cat has won the Jim McKay four straight times and five of the last six years dating back to 2011. He finished fifth behind Fiddlers Patriot in 2012.
Following his annual winter vacation, Ben’s Cat finished a rallying fifth from the rail post in his 2017 debut, a 5 ½-furlong open turf allowance at Laurel Park, beaten just three-quarters of a length.
It was the sixth consecutive loss for Ben’s Cat, who had never gone more than three races without a victory since opening his career with eight straight wins until last year.
“He came out of the last one good,” Leatherbury said. “He’s sound and doing good. We look forward to trying them again.”
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