From a Maryland Jockey Club release

Owner/trainer King Leatherbury told Maryland Jockey Club officials Friday afternoon that he is “leaning not to run” Ben’s Cat in Saturday’s Dave Friend Stakes at Laurel Park. The 7-year-old was made the 5-2 morning line favorite in the 6-furlong test on the main track.

One of the top turf sprinters in the country, Ben’s Cat has won 23-of-36 starts, including 18 stakes victories, for earnings of $1,720,640. The son of Parker’s Storm Cat is 8-of-12 on the dirt.

Leatherbury indicated he would likely run his star in either the $250,000 Fabulous Strike at Penn National on Nov. 27 or the $300,000 Fall Highweight Handicap (G3) at Aqueduct on Nov. 28.

“I haven’t officially scratched but probably will,” Leatherbury said.

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The Dave’s Friend (race 7) is one of four $100,000 stakes races on the nine-race card, joining the Jennings Handicap (race 4), the Smart Halo Stakes (race 6) and the James Lewis Stakes (race 8).

Prior to the fifth race, the Maryland Jockey Club will honor recently retired Dance to Bristol with a  winners’ circle ceremony. Conditioned by Ollie Figgins III at the Bowie Training Center, Dance to Bristol finished her career with 10 wins and eight second place finishes in 20 starts for earnings of $980,880. The daughter of Speightstown and jockey Xavier Perez reeled off seven straight victories this year, including a win in the Skipat Stakes at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness weekend and three graded races in New York: Bed Of Roses (G3), Honorable Miss (G2) and Ballerina (G1). She will be headed to Mill Ridge Farm in Kentucky on Monday to start a new livelihood as a broodmare.