05/01/2016 2:22PM

Ben's Cat scores in 10-year-old debut

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Ben's Cat, ridden by Trevor McCarthy, rallies to get up by a neck in a no-conditions allowance Sunday.

He was eager and pulled a bit until he settled down on the far turn, raced at least five wide to the stretch, but then Ben's Cat dug in under his new rider, Trevor McCarthy, to reel in front-running Rapid Dan in the final sixteenth and win his 10-year-old debut by a neck in Sunday’s fourth race at Laurel Park.

And, he made $6 to win look pretty good to his faithful followers.

Ben's Cat will now move on to the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint on Black-Eyed Susan Day at Pimlico, a race he has won the last three years and four of the last five. When Ben's Cat retires, the late Mr. McKay may have to share naming rights with him.

Ben's Cat was timed in 1:03.21 for the 5 1/2-furlongs over "good" grass, even though he ran much farther than that because of his trip. He is now 31 for 54, and the win in the no-conditions allowance enabled him to surpass $2.5 million in earnings.

Ben's Cat was bred, and is owned and trained, by Hall-of-Famer King Leatherbury, who brought Ben's Cat back from a five-month layoff.

Rapid Dan was second at 12-1, a length ahead of 3-1 Night Officer. Aztec Brave, part of an even-money entry trained by Joe Sharp, finished fifth.