Ben’s Cat, a comfortable winner of the off-the-turf Laurel Turf Dash in his last start, hopes to keep the momentum going in the $200,000 Six Bits Handicap at Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course Nov. 23.
The Six Bits, at six furlongs, is one of the new stakes this year at the Pennsylvania track. It’s one of four stakes on the Thanksgiving Day eve program.
Owned and trained by King Leatherbury, Ben's Cat is known as a turf sprinter but he is undefeated in four starts at six furlongs on the dirt. He won the Oct. 29 Dash in the slop at Laurel using his customary style of rating early and rolling late.
Ben’s Cat, a 5-year-old Maryland-bred gelding by Parker's Storm Cat, has won 14 of 19 starts in his career. The call goes to Jeremy Rose, who rode Ben’s Cat to five wins and a second in his last six starts.
Leatherbury had considered running Ben's Cat in this year's Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) but opted not to pay the $100,000 supplemental fee.
Ben’s Cat is the 3-1 second choice in the morning line as the 122-pound high weight. Favoritism went to Fresh Start Stable’s J J's Lucky Train, who was scratched after entries were taken.
Robert Abbo Racing Stable’s Immortal Eyes, one of the top sprinters in the mid-Atlantic region, has won four stakes this year and just failed last time out in the $150,000 Frank J. De Francis Memorial Dash at Laurel. Travis Dunkelberger rides for trainer Damon Dilodovico at 119 pounds.
Immortal Eyes, a 6-year-old Florida-bred by Greatness, set the track record for 4 1/2 furlongs at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races earlier this year.
The racing surface at Penn National was drying out the afternoon of Nov. 23 and is expected to be rated good by post time.
The Six Bits goes as the third race on the program with a probably post time of 6:49 p.m. EST. Other stakes on the card are the $75,000 Blue Mountain Futurity for Pennsylvania-bred 2-year-old fillies (race two); the $75,000 Swatara Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles (race four); and the $75,000 Le Bagoter for 3-year-old sprinters. First post time is 6 p.m.
$200,000 Six Bits Handicap, Race 3, 6:49 p.m. (EST) 3 & Up, 6 Furlongs
Program number, PP, Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer
1 1 Wink At the Girls (FL) A R Quinones 115 M L Rojas 12/1
SCR J J's Lucky Train
3 3 Philly Bound (PA) D Cora 116 T C Kreiser 10/1
4 4 Sloane Ranger (PA) D G Whitney 118 M E Ciresa 10/1
5 5 Ben's Cat (MD) J Rose 122 K T Leatherbury 3/1
6 6 Immortal Eyes (FL) T L Dunkelberger 119 D R Dilodovico 7/2
7 7 Ravalo (KY) J Sanchez 118 D H Barr 9/2
8 8 Cabaret Cowboy (KY) S Gonzalez 113 R Vega 12/1