09/23/2015 12:20PM

Leatherbury faces dilemma with Ben’s Cat

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Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
There is no race on the Maryland Million card that fits Ben's Cat perfectly.

Ben’s Cat came out of his fifth-place finish in the Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing on Sept. 7 in good condition and might make his next start on the Oct. 17 Maryland Million card at Laurel Park, according to his owner-trainer-breeder, King Leatherbury.

The problem Leatherbury faces is that the Maryland Million Turf Sprint, which Ben’s Cat won each year from 2010-12, has been discontinued. The last two years, Ben’s Cat has raced in the one-mile Maryland Million Turf, finishing second both times.

“He’s 9, going to be 10 next year, and I’m in a tight spot,” Leatherbury said. “We can run him in the Turf, but it’s too far for him, and he just doesn’t hang on. Our other option is to run him in the Sprint on the main track, but that race usually comes up tough. It sounds strange because it is a restricted race, but that race always gets some very fast horses.”

Leatherbury is on the lookout for other options.

“As they say, this is a game of constant decisions,” he said.

Ben’s Cat was beaten 1 3/4 lengths in the five-furlong Turf Monster. The race went in a quick 55.81 seconds. Ben’s Cat earned a 95 Beyer Speed Figure.