Ben's Cat picks up his 22nd win in the Parx Dash.

Ben's Cat picks up his 22nd win in the Parx Dash.

Bill Denver/EQUI-PHOTO

Ben's Cat Back to Winning Ways in Parx Dash

Turf sprint specialist defends title with bold outside run in July 5 event.

Ben's Cat returned to winning ways July 5 in the $200,000 Parx Dash Handicap (gr. IIIT), launching a bold outside run to best Tightend Touchdown for his 22nd victory from 33 starts (VIDEO).

In his last race, the June 1 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup, the 7-year-old gelded son of Parker's Storm Cat was forced to check abruptly while racing mid-pack on the outside, and made a remarkable recovery to get up for third.

This time for trainer King Leatherbury at Parx Racing, Ben's Cat encountered no such trouble. Hesitant to load, he sat well back fifth in a field of six once the gates opened. Wild Memories gunned to the lead for a :22.19 quarter and a half in :46.67 with favored Tightend Touchdown giving chase while Ben's Cat was still fifth.

Jockey Julian Pimentel tipped the 17-time stakes winner out from his rail spot as the field turned for home, with Tightend Touchdown the one to catch having taken over the lead. Ben's Cat closed in a flash down the center of the course and inhaled his final competitor for a 1 1/4-length win margin.

The victory reversed the tables from the Governor's Cup, which Tightend Touchdown won for Mr. Amore Stable by 5 1/2 lengths in :54.62—one 1/110th of a second off the Penn National Race Course track record.

Final time for the 5-furlong turf sprint was :59.43 over turf labeled "good." Melnyk Racing Stables' Bridgetown completed the tri, with Luckysdream, Wild Memories, and Catalactic rounding out the order of finish. Spring to the Sky scratched. 

Ben's Cat returned $4.60, $2.20, and $2.10 as the second choice while Tightend Touchdown brought $2.20 and $2.10 and Bridgetown paid $2.20.

With the Parx Dash victory, Ben's Cat improved his earnings to $1,597,140 for a 22-3-2 record from 33 starts. Bred in Maryland by Leatherbury and Associates out of the Thirty Eight Paces mare Twofox, he races for Leatherbury under The Jim Stable.