Photo of Ben’s Cat by Laurie Asseo.
From a Maryland Jockey Club release
The Jim Stable’s Ben’s Cat, the popular, Maryland-bred fan favorite who has won 30 of 53 starts for $2.4 million, is back at Laurel in light training for his Hall of Fame conditioner King Leatherbury after taking the winter off at Stephanie Nixon’s farm in Virginia.
The son of Parker’s Storm Cat could start his 10-year-old campaign during Preakness Week at Pimlico in May.
“He’s come back, routine type of thing right now,” Leatherbury said. “So far, so good. I got my people who watch him and I have other trainers tell me how good he’s doing. I get their opinion and it doesn’t cost me a penny.
“My objective is the Jim McKay [Turf Sprint],” added Leatherbury. “If I can get a race in him before that, I will.”
Ben’s Cat won the McKay last May by a neck after a memorable stretch drive that resulted in the gelding being applauded when he returned to the winner’s circle by a crowd of more than 42,000 fans on Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico.
Ben’s Cat, who also won the Mister Diz Stakes at Laurel last year and finished second in the Maryland Million Sprint and Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup, has won the Jim McKay Turf Sprint the past three springs.
“He’s gone out every winter and come back and raced at Pimlico every year of his life, so we’re following the same format,” Leatherbury said.