04/07/2012 6:10PM

Pimlico: Ben's Cat comes flying in stretch to take Mister Diz for third time

Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club
Ben's Cat, ridden for the first time by Horatio Karamanos, runs down Steady Warrior in deep stretch to take the Mister Diz.

Ben’s Cat didn’t do much running early, but he came with a rush late in the stretch to capture the $75,000 Mister Diz Stakes at Pimlico for the third time Saturday afternoon.

Making his first start since Nov. 23, the 6-year-old Ben’s Cat ($3.20) had only one horse beaten in the field of six Maryland-bred turf sprinters down the backstretch while Steady Warrior and Delaunay battled up front early. With Horatio Karamanos subbing for the injured Jeremy Rose, Ben’s Cat swung five-wide turning into the stretch, made a big move down the middle of the track, and ran down Steady Warrior to prevail by a neck while completing the five furlongs in 57.26 seconds. It was another 2 1/2 lengths back to third-place finisher Delaunay, the 2-1 second choice.

“To a lot of people he is the best horse on the turf,” said Karamanos. “He’s a machine. I didn’t even have to hit him, I just touched him on the left shoulder and he took off. I am so glad to finally ride him.”

“It’s always close and he always scares you,” said owner-trainer King Leatherbury. "He’s back there like he’s not running a lick and then he runs in the stretch to get the job done. Once he gets rolling you feel like he’s going to win.”

Leatherbury said that Ben’s Cat, now 15 for 21 lifetime, including 10 stakes victories, will remain at Pimlico for the Jim McKay Sprint on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard on May 18.