02/25/2014 7:24PM

Ben’s Cat named Maryland’s 2013 Horse of the Year

Barbara D. Livingston
On Tuesday, turf sprinting legend Ben's Cat was voted as Maryland-bred Horse of the Year by the state's breeders for an unprecedented third time.

Ben’s Cat was named Maryland-bred Horse of the Year for 2013, based on the results of an annual poll conducted by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

The 8-year-old Parker’s Storm Cat gelding became the first horse to be named Maryland’s top Thoroughbred three times, leaving the company of two-time winners Cigar, Richard’s Kid, Safely Kept, Broad Brush, Jameela, Twixt, and Politely. He previously won the award in 2011 and 2012.

Homebred and trained by King Leatherbury, Ben’s Cat won five of eight starts in 2013, never finishing out of the money, for earnings of $505,350. His season was highlighted by wins in the Grade 3 Parx Dash Handicap, as well as the listed Fabulous Strike Handicap, Laurel Dash Stakes, Jim McKay Turf Sprint Stakes, and Mister Diz Stakes.

Ben’s Cat was also named Maryland’s champion older male, turf horse, and sprinter for 2013. It is his fourth honor as champion turf horse and his third as champion older male and sprinter.

In total, Ben’s Cat has won 24 of 37 career starts over four seasons of racing for earnings of $1,862,640. He is a 19-time stakes winner, including three Grade 3 victories at Parx Racing.

Also earning repeat honors was Bold Affair, who earned her second consecutive champion Maryland-bred older female title. She previously earned Maryland’s champion 3-year-old female honors in 2011.

The 6-year-old Two Punch mare went undefeated in three starts last year, taking the What a Summer Stakes, Conniver Stakes, and Primonetta Stakes. She raced as a homebred for Mike Zanella and Charles Reed and she was trained by Howard Wolfendale.

Bold Affair was retired following her victory in the Primonetta Stakes in April and was bred to Ghostzapper. She finished her career with 12 wins in 19 starts, including nine stakes wins, for earnings of $719,540.

A complete list of Maryland-bred champions for 2013 can be found below.

Champion 2-year-old male: Joint Custody
Gr. or ro. g., 2011, by Outflanker—Paying Off, by Malibu Moon
Owner: Konrad Wayson
Trainer: John Robb
Breeder: Janet Wayson (MD)

Champion 2-year-old female: Jonesin for Jerry
B. f., 2011, by Great Notion—Derwin’s Lady, by Langfuhr
Owners: Brad Gould Jr. and Hidden Hill Farm
Trainer: John Robb
Breeder: Roland Farm (MD)

Champion 3-year-old male: Grateful Nation
Dk. b. or br. g., 2010, by Great Notion—Trueytoo, by Concern
Owner: Rebecca Davis
Trainer: Richard Small
Breeders: Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Bowman and Rebecca Davis (MD)

Champion 3-year-old female: Walkwithapurpose
B. f., 2010, by Candy Ride—Lightning Lydia, by Broad Brush
Owner/Breeder: Sagamore Farm
Trainer: Ignacio Correas IV

Champion older male: Ben’s Cat
Dk. b. or br. g., 2006, by Parker’s Storm Cat—Twofox, by Thirty Eight Paces
Owner/Trainer/Breeder: King Leatherbury/The Jim Stable (MD)

Champion older female: Bold Affair
Ch. m., 2008, by Two Punch—Hunka Hunka Lori Z, by Colonial Affair
Owners/Breeders: Charles Reed and Michael Zanella (MD)
Trainer: Howard Wolfendale

Champion steeplechaser: Foyle
Dk. b. or br. g., 2005, by Yarrow Brae—Londonderry, by Perfecting
Owner: Merriefield Farm
Trainer: H. Bruce Fenwick
Breeder: Mrs. C. Frank Hopkins (MD)

Champion turf horse: Ben’s Cat

Champion sprinter: Ben’s Cat

Horse of the Year: Ben’s Cat