Ben's Cat Heads Pimlico's Friday Undercard

Ben's Cat Heads Pimlico's Friday Undercard
Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Ben's Cat won the Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes in 2011.

Popular Ben's Cat will run in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes for the third straight time on the undercard for this year's Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II) program May 17 at Pimlico Race Course.

The five-furlong Jim McKay is one of five non-graded stakes each worth $100,000 on the 13-race Friday program. It is the ninth event on the card and drew a field of eight.

Ben's Cat, the first to topple the $1 million mark in earnings for venerable owner-trainer King Leatherbury, won the race in 2011 but was upset last year, finishing fifth. The 7-year-old Parker's Storm Cat   gelding is a lifetime winner of 20 of 30 races with more than $1.4 million in purses. He has won 15 stakes in his remarkable career.

"Every 80 years, a man gets this kind of horse," Leatherbury half-joked. "He has never been better."

The 77-year-old horseman ranks fifth on the all-time trainers' win list with 6,381 career victories.

Ben's Cat will be competing against another Leatherbury trainee, Kens Cape, who has different ownership (Double K Stable) and defeated Ben's Cat in an allowance race in April 2012. "May the best horse win is all I can say," Leatherbury said.

Melnyk Racing Stable's multiple graded-stakes winner Bridgetown makes his first appearance since the Breeders' Sup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) Nov. 3 at Santa Anita Park. Todd Pletcher trains the 6-year-old son of Speightstown  .

Euro Stable's Super Chunky ran second in last year's Jim McKay but has not won since September 2011.

The other hundred-granders on the card are the Skipat Stakes for fillies and mares at six furlongs (race 6); the Miss Preakness Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs (race 8); the The Very One Stakes for fillies and mares at five furlongs on turf (race 11); and the Hilltop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles on turf (race 13).

In the Skipat, Dance to Bristol returns after a nine-length victory in the Sugar Maple Stakes at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races April 20. Copperville Farm's daughter of Speightstown   earned a 109 Beyer figure in the Sugar Maple and is on a three-race  win streak for trainer Ollie Figgins III.

Bobby Rankin's fleet-footed homebred Funnys Approval was a front-running winner of the seven-furlong Barbara Fritchie Handicap (gr. II) in the mud Feb. 16 at Laurel Park. She was most recently fifth after setting the pace in the one-mile Ruffian Handicap (gr. II) April 6 at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Adele Dilschneider and Claiborne Farm's homebred Tread, a nose away from being unbeaten in three starts for trainer Al Stall Jr., makes her stakes debut in the Miss Preakness. Joel Rosario rides the daughter of Arch  .

Stakes-placed I'm Mom's Favorite, a seven-length allowance winner on the track for trainer Tony Dutrow, and recent Pimlico stakes winner Jewel of a Cat, trained by Ben Perkins Jr., both rate solid chances as well.

Fourteen horses, plus three also-eligibles, passed the entry box for the The Very One. Sweet Cassiopeia, winner of the Giant's Causeway Stakes as the favorite on the Keeneland grass April 20, puts her five-race win streak on the line. William Connelly trains the 5-year-old Five Star Day mare for owners/breeders Steve Snowden and Dan Considine.

Multiple stakes winner Sensible Lady is back to defend her win in last year's The Very One, in which she produced a two-length victory at odds of nearly 25-1. Three Lyons Racing's 4-year-old daughter of Street Sense  , 2-for-2 on the local lawn, is trained by Tim Salzman.

Bona Venture Stables' Summer of Fun, third in the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IT) at 43-1 odds, will attempt to nail down her first stakes win in the Hilltop for trainer George Weaver. In her only start since the Breeders' Cup, the Include   filly captured a first-level allowance/optional claiming test at 1 1/16 miles on the Gulfstream Park turf by 3 1/2 lengths March 23.

$100,000 Skipat Stakes (Race 6, 2:34 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Orange's Lil Sis (KY), H Karamanos, 118, J C Vazquez
2. Funnys Approval (KY), J P Vargas, 124, J L Lopez
3. Winning Image (KY), J C Caraballo, 118, M C Aro
4. Pretty Miss Trippi (FL), R Monterrey, 118, S R Brown
5. Dance to Bristol (KY), X Perez, 124, O L Figgins III
6. Strike the Moon (KY), J Pimentel, 118, M J Trombetta
7. Kalambaka Queen (FL), J D Acosta, 118, W A Campbell

$100,000 Miss Preakness Stakes (Race 8, 3:36 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 6 Furlongs
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Cheetah Pants (FL), R Napravnik, 116, J Good
2. Tread (KY), J Rosario, 116, A M Stall Jr.
3. Mellonbrook (PA), no rider, 116, P Farro
4. Big Sky Country (FL), A S Arroyo, 116, C A Lynch
5. Blueeyesintherein (KY), R Albarado, 122, G W Simms
6. Sense of Reality (ON), no rider, 116, P Farro
7. Flattering Bea (KY), G Whitacre, 122, C G Pickett
8. I'm Mom's Favorite (KY), S Russell, 116, A W Dutrow
9. Lighthouse Bay (KY), K Carmouche, 116, G Weaver
10. Jewel of a Cat (FL), C P DeCarlo, 122, B W Perkins Jr.
11. Livin Peace (KY), R Albarado, 116, M Stidham
Blinkers On: Mellonbrook

$100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint Sprint (Race 9, 4:16 p.m.), 3 & Up, 5 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Spring to the Sky (KY), J Castellano, 118, B R Brown
2. Bridgetown (FL), J R Velazquez, 118, T A Pletcher
3. Night Officer (MD), J Lezcano, 116, B R Brown
4. Zabarajad (IRE), H Karamanos, 118, S P Hammond
5. Sneaking Uponyou (FL), A Serpa, 118, M Ness
6. Kens Cape (KY), E D Rodriguez, 118, K T Leatherbury
7. Ben's Cat (MD), J Pimentel, 120, K T Leatherbury
8. Super Chunky (FL), S Russell, 118, K M Cox
Blinkers On: Sneaking Uponyou

$100,000 The Very One Stakes (Race 11, 5:21 p.m.), Fillies & Mares 3 & Up, 5 Furlongs (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Donna Getyourgun (KY), L Garcia, 118, D Kobiskie
2. Quality Lass (ON), C M Cruz, 118, G Preciado
3. Sensible Lady (KY), A Serpa, 118, T E Salzman
4. Nechez Dawn (KY), J Rose, 118, J Bonde
5. Nastar Medallist (MD), R Monterrey, 118, P Bagwandeen
6. Hidden Ball Trick (KY), no rider, 116 T L Keefe
7. Sounds of the City (KY), no rider, 118, A E Goldberg
8. Mosaicist (IRE), E Trujillo, 118, J J Toner
9. Colony Club (MD), F Boyce, 118, A S White
10. Spun Cap (KY), J Rosario, 118, E Caramori
11. Too Clever by Half (FL), S Russell, 116, H I McMahon
12. Queen Chatanika (MD), X Perez, 118, D T O'Ryan
13. Sweet Cassiopeia (KY), J Lezcano, 124, W R Connelly
14. There Is No Limit (KY), R Napravnik, 118, D F O'Neill
Also Eligible
15. Suzzona (KY), J Pimentel, 118, B M Feliciano Jr.
16. World Gone Wrong (FL), J Pimentel, 118, A W Merryman
17. Three Am Tour (IRE), J Rosario, 118, W A Ward

$100,000 Hilltop Stakes (Race 13, 6:22 p.m.), 3YO Fillies, 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1. Kitten's Point (PA), E S Prado, 122, H G Motion
2. Zenzara (KY), S Elliott, 116, J C Servis
3. Hold Our Destiny (KY), G Cruise, 116, D Kobiskie
4. Birdlover (GB), K Krigger, 122, D F O'Neill
5. Premier Steps (IRE), J Castellano, 122, C C Brown
6. Emotional Kitten (PA), J Rosario, 116, W A Ward
7. Listen Boy (MD), J Lezcano, 116, I Correas IV
8. The Tea Cups (NY), G Cruise, 116, D Kobiskie
9. Le Fascinator (KY), J R Velazquez, 116, H G Motion
10. Summer of Fun (KY), P Lopez, 116, G Weaver
11. Miss Lucky Sevens (KY), R Napravnik, 116, W M Catalano

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