Multiple graded stakes winner and Maryland Horse of the Year Ben’s Cat has been retired from racing at age 11.
The Daily Racing Form reports that the hard-knocking gelding finished his career with 32 wins from 63 starts, and earned over $ 2.6 million.
Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury, who also bred and owned Ben’s Cat, told the Form on Tuesday, “I feel bad about stopping on him because he still likes what he does and I still like sending him out there.”
“It’s a shame, but as a trainer you only have so many excuses. The bottom line is he’s just not getting anything anymore.”
In his most recent start, Ben’s Cat finished ninth in the Mister Diz Stakes at Laurel Park June 24. He had started three times this year and hadn’t posted a victory.
Leatherbury, 84, credits Ben’s Cat for helping him get into the Hall of Fame. Leatherbury was inducted in 2015.
“I had a great run but when you get older you don’t get the owners like you used to, they go to younger trainers,” Leatherbury said. “Ben came along when I was dying out. He kept me rolling and he got me into the Hall of Fame. He got the attention of the nominators and the voters. I’m sure of it.”
Leatherbury said that Ben’s Cat would spend his retirement on a farm in Kentucky.
“There’s a lady who comes to the Preakness every year, and she always tells me that when he is ready to retire that she’d love to have him,” Leatherbury said. “I called her last night and said, ‘This is the call you’ve been waiting for.’ ”
Read more in the Daily Racing Form
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