07/30/2011 8:30PM

Penn National: Ben's Cat wins four-horse photo in Governor's Cup

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B&D Photography
Ben's Cat surges in deep stretch to just get up as the favorite in the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor's Cup.

Ben’s Cat found a seam in deep stretch and was up to win a four-horse photo Saturday night in a thrilling conclusion to the $200,000 Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup Handicap, the richest race of the year at Penn National Race Course in Grantville, Pa.

Ridden by Jeremy Rose, Ben’s Cat returned $4.80 as the favorite in a field of 10 older turf sprinters. The 5-year-old gelding now has won 11 of 16 starts after finishing the five-furlong distance in 56.48 seconds over a firm turf course.

Cardashi and Car Thief, both longshots, surged from inside posts to vie for command down the backstretch, and they continued that way until Ben’s Cat found room leaving the eighth pole and angled outside of them for his winning run. Cardashi held second, with Car Thief third and Awakino Cat fourth. The first three margins were neck, neck, neck.

Legendary Maryland horseman King Leatherbury is the breeder and trainer of Ben’s Cat, who is owned by Leatherbury’s nom-de-course, The Jim Stable. Ben’s Cat, now an earner of $466,230, is based at Laurel Park. Bred in Maryland, the son of Parker’s Storm Cat won the first eight races of his career and had finished a fast-closing second in his latest out, the $200,000 Parx Handicap on June 18.

• Earlier on the card, Live in Joy ($6.20) edged clear from front-running Crimson Knight after getting a good stalking trip to post a 1 1/4-length triumph in the $100,000 Capital City.

Rose was aboard Live in Joy for breeder-owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey and trainer Wayne Catalano. The stakes triumph was the first for Live in Joy, a 3-year-old Kitten’s Joy colt who finished the one-mile distance in 1:34.23 over the turf. Seven 3-year-olds started.

• Later in the evening, Poseidon’s Warrior ($4.60) completed a sweep for the favorites when running off to a 6 1/4-length romp in the $100,000 East Hanover. Frankie Pennington was aboard Poseidon’s Warrior, a 3-year-old Speightstown colt who finished six furlongs in 1:09.36. Butch Reid trains for the Swilcan Stable LLC.