11/29/2014 8:44PM

Ben's Cat takes Fabulous Strike for third straight year

B & D Photography
Ben's Cat, ridden by Julian Pimentel, wins the Fabulous Strike Handicap by 3 1/4 lengths Saturday.

Ben's Cat received a perfect trip under jockey Julian Pimentel in the $200,000 Fabulous Strike Handicap at Penn National, and he made the most of it, finishing full of run to win the six-furlong race going away by 3 1/4 lengths.

The win was Ben's Cat's third straight in the Fabulous Strike. He has won 28 of 45 starts and more than $2.3 million for his owner, trainer, and breeder, King Leatherbury. Ben's Cat began his career in May 2010 and at age 8 shows no signs of slowing down.

Ben's Cat settled in behind a five-horse speed duel in the Fabulous Strike. Strapping Groom, making his first start since April, took the lead five wide on the far turn and led the field into the stretch.

Ben's Cat followed Strapping Groom on the turn and was taken to the middle of the track for the stretch run. He took the lead outside Strapping Groom nearing the furlong pole and pulled off with authority.

Strapping Groom, trained by David Jacobson, finished sixth in the Fabulous Strike, then fell after the finish. Acoording to Penn National stakes coordinator Craig Lytel, Strapping Groom was being vanned back to New York to be evaluated with a leg injury. According to Penn National stewards, jockey Jevian Toledo got to his feet after the accident, and did not appear to be badly injured.

Bern's Identity, who dropped very far back early, finished with a late rush to get second by a nose over 70-1 shot Barracuda Wayne, who broke slowly.

Ben's Cat paid $8.40 as the second choice in the nine-horse field. River Rocks, the 8-5 favorite, raced on the early pace between horses, remained a factor to upper stretch and finished fifth.

Ben's Cat was timed in 1:09.46 after fractions of 21.77 seconds, 44.61, and 56.96.

Swatara Stakes: Stormin Monarcho gets up late

Stormin Monarcho lived up to his role of favorite in the 1 1/16-mile $100,000 Swatara Stakes, but it wasn't easy.

Between horses in the second flight early, jockey Jevian Toledo sent Stormin Monarcho toward the leaders along the inside nearing the far turn, but they spurted away. Toledo took a hold of Stormin Monarch and then launched his winning bid three wide into the stretch. He was up to gain the lead outside of Adirondack King in the final sixteenth and won by a length.

Adirondack King was 2 3/4 lengths clear of Yougotthatgoinforu, who took the lead on the far turn but weakened in the stretch.

Stormin Monarcho paid $4.40 to win. Trained by David Jacobson, he was timed in 1:44.40. Stormin Monarcho could make his next start in the $100,000 Queens County at Aqueduct on Dec. 13.

Rockin Jojo wins Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies

Rockin Jojo, third in the Maryland Million Lassie in her last start, rallied wide under Laurel Park's leading rider, Trevor McCarthy, to win the $75,000 Blue Mountain Juvenile Fillies in the first of three stakes at Penn National on Saturday night.

Rockin Jojo was kept in the four path on the far turn of the six-furlong Blue Mountain and was clearly best, taking the lead in midstretch and drawing off for a 1 1/2-length victory.

Rockin Jojo paid $4.80 in the eight-horse field and was timed in 1:11.44 after splits of 22.43 and 46.10. She is trained by Bernard Houghton.

Kazuri defeated Miss Rockport by three-quarters of a length for second. The pair raced as a Thomas McClay-owned entry. Miss Rockport was reluctant to load in the gate, delaying the start for several minutes. She had a clear lead in upper stretch but was outfinshed.

Early pacesetter Chillin' It dropped back suddenly on the far turn and was steadied.

Awesome Singer broke slowly from the inside post.