Nutshell: Nine-year-old Ben’s Cat posted his first recorded work of 2015 yesterday — a bullet three furlongs in 36 seconds flat at Laurel Park.
For the first time since the conclusion of his 2014 campaign, Ben’s Cat has posted a recorded workout — and a bullet work at that.
The defending Maryland-bred champion, now nine years old, breezed three furlongs at his Laurel Park base in 36 seconds flat Tuesday morning. That tied him for the fastest of six at the distance.
Bred, owned, and trained by first-time Hall of Fame finalist King Leatherbury, Ben’s Cat has followed essentially the same campaign for each of the last three years. If form holds, that would make his near-term goal the Jim McKay Turf Sprint during Preakness weekend. Ben’s Cat has won that race in three of the last four years, including each of the last two.
In recent years, he has prepped for that race in the Mister Diz Stakes — a race he’s won five consecutive years — but the Mister Diz has been shifted out of the Pimlico meet to later in the year. In its stead, the Maryland Jockey Club is offering an open allowance race at five furlongs on the turf on April 17. That race carries a $55,000 purse and is open to three-year-olds and up.
In his remarkable career, Ben’s Cat has won 28 of 45 starts and earned more than $2.3 million.