02/11/2013 8:29PM

Ben’s Cat repeats as Maryland Horse of the Year

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Alyssa Spakowski/Equi-Photo
Ben's Cat winning Turf Monster

Ben’s Cat capped another outstanding season in 2012 by being voted repeat winner as Maryland Horse of the Year, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association announced on Monday when it released the results of its annual poll for divisional awards among state-breds.

The 6-year-old Parker’s Storm Cat gelding won five of nine starts in 2012, all in stakes, and earned $557,060. He captured the Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap (a repeat win) at Parx Racing, the Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlico, the Parx Dash Handicap, the Maryland Million Turf Sprint Handicap (for the third consecutive year) at Laurel, and the Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National.

Owned, bred, and trained by King Leatherbury, Ben’s Cat has won 19 times from 29 starts, with 14 stakes wins, and has earned $1,357,290 in three seasons. He is out of the stakes-placed Thirty Eight Paces mare Two Fox and from the same family as state-bred champions Thirty Eight Go Go, Notches Trace, and Ah Day, all bred by Leatherbury. Ben’s Cat also received honors as champion turf horse for the third consecutive year and repeated as champion older male.

The complete list of Maryland-bred divisional champions for 2012:

Horse of the Year, champion turf runner, champion older male: Ben’s Cat (Dk. b. or br. g. 2006, by Parker’s Storm Cat—Twofox, by Thirty Eight Paces. Owner, breeder, and trainer: King Leatherbury [Md.])

Champion 2-year-old male: Alpha Mike Foxtrot (B. g., 2, by Two Punch—Shashobegon, by Broad Brush. Breeders: Dr. Thomas Bowman, Chris Bowman, and Richard Small [Md.]; owner: Larry Knight, Jr., trainer: Richard Small)

Champion 2-year-old filly: Mystic Love (Dk. b. or br. f., 2, by Not For Love—Memories of Mystic, by Dixie Union. Breeder: Dark Hollow Farm [Md.]; owner, John Davidson; trainers: Francis and Jessica Campitelli)

Champion 3-year-old male: Bellefire (Ch. c. 3, by Proud Citizen—Lovely Langfuhr, by Langfuhr. Breeder and owner: Joe Balsamo [Md.]; trainer, Leo Azpurua, Jr.)

Champion 3-year-old filly: Jazzy Idea (Dk. b. or br. f. 3, by Great Notion—Jazz Band, by Dixieland Band. Breeders: Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Merryman [Md.]; owner and trainer: Edwin Merryman)

Champion older female: Bold Affair (Ch. m. 2008, by Two Punch—Hunka Hunka Lori Z, by Colonial Affair. Breeders and owners: Charles Reed and Michael Zanella [Md.]; trainer: Howard Wolfendale)

Champion sprinter: Action Andy (Dk. b. or br. g. 2007, by Gators N Bears—Love Me Twice, by Not For Love. Breeder: Carol Kaye [Md.]; owner: Robert Gerczak; trainer: Carlos Garcia)

Champion steeplechaser: Incomplete (B. g. 2001, by Press Card—Sioux Lady, by Poker. Breeder: Hugo Procopio [Md.]; owner: Robert A Kinsley; trainer: Ann D. Stewart).