10/26/2011 11:20AM

Breeders' Cup: Ben's Cat, Unzip Me not entered for Turf Sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Ben's Cat was not pre-entered for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.

A total of 14 horses pre-entered the Turf Sprint, including eight geldings and three fillies or mares. Conspicuous by their absence were the gelding Ben’s Cat, who earned a fees-paid berth by winning the Turf Monster; and the mare Unzip Me, a rallying third in last year’s Turf Sprint.

King Leatherbury, who bred, owns, and trains Ben’s Cat, said earlier in the week it was “just a matter of getting everybody to put their money where their mouth is” to come up with the $100,000 supplemental fee, but a deal failed to materialize and he will run instead in Saturday’s $75,000 Laurel Dash.

“His running style would handicap us,” said Leatherbury in regard to the five-furlong distance of the Turf Sprint. “The other dilemma is that we would need to run 1-2 at the Breeders’ Cup to make any money.”

Unzip Me will run Saturday in the $100,000 Cal Cup Distaff at Santa Anita.

The last two Turf Sprint winners are in. California Flag, the 2009 winner, will run in the race for a fourth straight year. The 7-year-old gelding worked a half-mile at Santa Anita on Sunday for trainer Brian Koriner. Defending winner Chamberlain Bridge, idle since a fast-closing third in the Turf Monster, had his last major work Oct. 19, breezing five furlongs in a bullet 59 seconds on a wet-fast track at Churchill Downs for trainer Bret Calhoun. His splits were 11.80, 23.40, 35.40, and 47 seconds.

“Hard to say, but he’s maybe never worked that good ever,” assistant trainer Dennis “Peaches” Geier said.

The three distaffers are Broken Dreams, who notched her first graded stakes win in the Sen. Ken Maddy at the expense of Unzip Me; Holiday for Kitten, recent winner of the Grade 2 Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes on Keeneland’s synthetic surface; and the speedy Rapport, fourth in the TCA first time back from an 11-month layoff.