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Parx: Ben’s Cat up in time to win Turf Monster
By Mike Farrell
Ben’s Cat got up in the final strides in a three-way photo on Monday to capture the Grade 3, $350,000 Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing.
The victory by the 6-year-old gelding was significant on so many levels.
It was the second straight Turf Monster win for Ben’s Cat, a prize pupil for Maryland training legend King Leatherbury. Ben’s Cat improved to 17 for 26 in his career, with a sparkling 10-for-15 mark on the turf.
The latest triumph lifted him over $1 million career earnings. Most significant of all, Ben’s Cat now has a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint in November at Santa Anita after capturing this Win and You’re In race.
Not bad for an afternoon’s work on the soggy course at Parx Racing. And it didn’t come easy.
Great Mills broke well and was immediately hooked by Ju Jitsu Jax. While those two dueled, Chamberlain Bridge, a two-time Turf Monster winner and the 2010 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion, was laying third right behind the leaders.
Great Mills cut the corner brilliantly turning for home and quickly opened a substantial lead. Chamberlain Bridge began his run down the center of the track with Ben’s Cat, fifth most of the way, a late arrival on the scene with a strong run on the extreme outside.
The trio hit the wire together with a determined Ben’s Cat and Julian Pimentel getting up by a head over Chamberlain Bridge with Great Mill a nose back in third.
The top three were 5 1/2 lengths clear of fourth-place finisher Catalactic.
Ben’s Cat paid $5.80 to win as the slight favorite at 19-10 over Chamberlain Bridge at 2-1. The time was 1:00.62 over the course rated soft.
Super Chunky was fifth followed by Car Thief, Ju Jitsu Jax, and Kyma.
That was a great race. Can't believe Chamberlain Bridge is still running his heart out.
Unfortunatly I believe you are right Tom. Mike Farrell, writer of this article, either has a poor memory or no knowledge of what transpired last year. As to his opinion that the most significant aspect of Bens Cat's win was the "win and your in" Breeders Cup invitation, it is likely to have no significance at all when it comes to the BC Turf sprint. Fans of Bens Cat will likely again be disappointed. I see no reason to believe otherwise.
FYI -- Ben's Cat was part of the "Win and You're In" scenario last year for winning the same race he won today. And just as last year, he needs to be supplemented to the Breeder's Cup with a $100K fee. I am guessing that similar to last year, we will see this gritty gelding compete for the $60K winner's share of the Maryland Million Turf Sprint for his next race, and not see him at Santa Anita. That being said, a big congrats to Ben's Cat and to King T. Leatherbury, the King of Maryland racing!
Great win for King Leatherbury! So proud for Ben's Cat and a great race for Chamberlain's Bridge. What a finish and what a horse race! Loving this.
Bens Cats is a monster turf sprint horse. Glad he's in the Breeders Cup this year since he couldn't be in the race last year. Surprised Chamberlain Bridge is till running. He's not as consistent as he used to be but he's still a classy turf sprint horse. Hopes he runs in the turf sprint too. Wish Black Caviar didn't et hurt so she could run in the turf sprint too.
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