07/05/2013 5:37PM

Parx: Ben's Cat turns tables on Tightend Touchdown in Parx Dash

Bill Denver/Equi-Photo
Ben's Cat, with Julian Pimental aboard, wins the Parx Dash for the second straight year.

A far cleaner trip in a much smaller field helped the millionaire turf sprinter Ben’s Cat turn the tables on Tightend Touchdown in Friday’s Grade 3, $200,000 Parx Dash Handicap at Parx Racing.

Shuffled extremely wide and forced to steady when one of his nine rivals bore out badly in last month’s Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National, Ben’s Cat finished 7 1/4 lengths behind front-running Tightend Touchdown on June 1. The rematch, however, unfolded far differently.

For starters, Tightend Touchdown and jockey Javier Castellano were outgunned leaving the gate by Wild Memories, a former claimer whose best success has come in starter allowance races. Wild Memories opened up a three-length lead, chased down the backstretch by Tightend Touchdown, the 4-5 favorite in a field reduced to six by the scratch of Spring to the Sky.

Wild Memories, who set modest fractions of 22.19 and 46.67 seconds, tired badly at the top of the stretch, allowing Tightend Touchdown to inherit the lead and he moved 1 1/2 lengths in front with a furlong remaining. But Ben’s Cat ($4.60), who was as far back as nine lengths early, had no traffic problems this time and took dead aim on Tightend Touchdown. Urged on by Julian Pimental, Ben’s Cat took the lead inside the sixteenth pole and was 1 1/4 lengths clear at the finish.

It was the second straight Parx Dash title for Ben’s Cat, a 7-year-old gelding owned and trained by 80-year-old King Leatherbury. A year ago, Ben’s Cat set the Parx five-furlong course record of 54.96 seconds. Friday, he needed a relatively slow 59.13 to get the job done. Ben’s Cat has now won 22 of 33 starts and $1,597,140.

Tightend Touchdown settled for second, six lengths clear of the Todd Pletcher-trained Bridgetown in third.


Anonymous More than 1 year ago
King, don't be cheap! You have the money & you're not getting any younger. Send him to SA for the Breeders Cup Sprint. Remember, you can't take the money with you!
Amy Hurley More than 1 year ago
Never get tired of watching the Cat run. What a game, cool horse! Congrats to the King, Julian, and the rest of the connections. Hope to see him back for the Turf Monster at Parx, and maybe even the B.C. Turf Sprint this year. Come on, King, you can afford the supplemental fees now.
Joe Quillen More than 1 year ago
They said that the turf course was firm today. With all the rain in the area over the last week or two, I'm sorry. I cannot believe that the turf today was firm.
scott More than 1 year ago
The course was listed as good, not firm.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
How can you not love Ben's Cat?
Frank Kulcsar More than 1 year ago
wake up Castalleno--lost race at start--should have been on lead--last race went to your head--just another jockey like Borel
PennNatRick More than 1 year ago
Give credit to Castellano...if he went head to head with 2 horse...it would have been Ben's Cat/Bridgetown exacta. Perhaps its a new tactic for TT to come off the pace. Just lost to a legend.
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago
Frank cant handicap lol..2 was speed of the speed
michael More than 1 year ago
TT shud never havevwon the Penn race if someone chalkened him. With his record, Bens Cat shud never play second fiddle to TT. The Penn race was a complete aberration.
Tom More than 1 year ago
What is a "shud"? What does "chalkened" mean?
michael More than 1 year ago
Shud is short for should. Chalkened shud have read challenged. Do I have to spell it out4 u. Lol.
PennNatRick More than 1 year ago
Can't help that Penn Nat. was favoring front runners that day. Tightend Touchdown ran a great race at Penn and no one was going to catch him.
RockaFelter21 More than 1 year ago
race was total throwout after the 138-1 shot blew up everyone in the turn
Steve Schnell More than 1 year ago
Actually, it was the defending champion that bore out in the turn of the Penn Race, not a 138-1 shot.