Ben's Cat

Ben's Cat

Alyssa Spakowski/EQUI-PHOTO

Ben's Cat Nears 2016 Debut at Laurel Park

The 10-year-old gelding tuned up today with his fifth breeze since his winter break.

Multi-millionaire Ben's Cat, the Maryland-bred and based gelding, inched closer to his 10-year-old debut with a five-furlong breeze the morning of April 7at rainy Laurel Park.

Bred, owned and trained by Hall of Famer King Leatherbury, Ben's Cat had the fastest time of four horses over the main track, going in 1:03 in the fifth work since returning from his annual winter vacation.

"He's coming along nice," Leatherbury said. "He's following the same format that he's done the last six, seven years. It's the same format and it's working, so we didn't change much. We're very satisfied. Hopefully he'll come back as close to his good form as I can get."

Ben's Cat has not run since finishing seventh in the Fabulous Strike Handicap Nov. 25 at Penn National. He has 30 wins, 25 stakes wins, four of them graded, and nearly $2.5 million in earnings from 53 career starts.

"He indicates that he's still willing. No negative impressions are we getting from him at all," Leatherbury said. "Whenever he (races) people applaud him coming into the paddock. It brings tears to my eyes really."

Leatherbury is looking at getting a race into Ben's Cat prior to the May 20 Jim McKay Turf Sprint, a race he has won three straight years and four times since 2011. The race is part of the undercard for Pimlico's Black Eyed Susan (gr. II) day.

"It's just going to be something here at Laurel, if something comes up for him. He usually does not run his best race first time back each year, so I hope I can get something under him," Leatherbury said. "My main objective is the Jim McKay."