07/07/2017 8:40PM

Ben's Cat recovering from colic surgery

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Barbara D. Livingston
Ben's Cat is recovering from colic surgery in Kentucky.

The popular Ben's Cat, who recently arrived at his new home in Kentucky to begin his retirement, underwent colic surgery Thursday.

The 11-year-old gelding was operated on by Dr. True Baker at the renowned Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Lexington to repair an epiploic foramen entrapment – the displacement of a segment of small intestine through a small hole. He is currently recovering at the clinic.

“In the short time Ben’s Cat has been in Kentucky, he has endeared himself to all that have been around him and cared for him,” said Christina Welker, who houses the gelding at her Spring Ridge Farm in Versailles. “His intelligence and demeanor are a true testament of his class as a racehorse. I can assure all his loyal fans that every effort will be made to see him through to a full recovery, and we are fortunate to have such skilled and high levels of equine medical care in our area.”

Ben's Cat arrived at Welker's farm in the final week of June after breeder, owner, and Hall of Fame trainer King Leatherbury announced the retirement of his stable star.

Ben’s Cat won 32 of 63 starts, including 26 stakes races, and bankrolled more than $2.6 million.

Welker, who is good friends with Maryland Jockey Club director of racing Georganne Hale, was among Ben’s Cat’s many fans and had written Leatherbury a letter several years ago to offer her farm – a commercial breeding operation – as a potential retirement location.