Ben's Cat Heads Pimlico's Friday Undercard
by Jack Shinar
Date Posted: 5/12/2013 9:28:20 PM
Last Updated: 5/17/2013 3:44:53 PM

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

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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