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Updated on 04/06/2013 7:05PM
Pimlico: Ben's Cat cruises to fourth straight Mister Diz victory
By Joe DeVivo
The Mister Diz Stakes is named in honor of the horse who was chosen Maryland-bred champion four consecutive years, 1968-1971. So it was fitting that Ben’s Cat became a four-time winner of the $75,000 Mister Diz at Pimlico on Saturday afternoon.
Launching his 7-year-old campaign against a field of five Maryland-breds in the state’s first turf race of the season, Ben’s Cat ($2.80) took command at the eighth pole and easily drew clear to win by 1 3/4 lengths while completing five furlongs on a firm course in 57.74 seconds.
It was the 20th win in 30 lifetime starts and 15th stakes victory for Ben’s Cat, a homebred son of Parker’s Storm Cat owned and trained by King Leatherbury. Leatherbury indicated that Ben’s Cat, whose bankroll now stands at $1,402,290, will follow the same path he did a year ago, meaning the gelding’s next start will come in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on the Black-Eyed Susan undercard on May 17.
Winning jockey Julian Pimental said he didn’t need to do much other than position Ben’s Cat slightly off a contested pace set by Steady Warrior and Disco Elvis.
“We got a great trip,” Pimental said. “I asked him and he took off. He’s usually better when he sees a couple of horses in front of him.”
Steady Warrior, the 3-1 second choice, rallied to get second with Disco Elvis holding on for third.
Embarr scores off the bench in Dahlia
Embarr, making her first start since October, ran down 25-1 pacesetter Ask Me Anything in deep stretch to take the co-featured $75,000 Dahlia Stakes for fillies and mares on turf.
A 5-year-old homebred owned and trained by Susan Cooney, the 5-year-old Embarr ($8) completed a mile in 1:37.35 to win for the seventh time in 17 lifetime starts. Ridden by Forrest Boyce, Embarr is now 3 for 3 on Pimlico’s turf course, including a win in her first start of 2012.
“I wanted to run her in a little softer spot first time out,” said Cooney, whose mare finished second in the Grade 3 Athenia in her next-to-last start of 2012. Embarr spent the winter on a farm in Virginia, several hours away from Baltimore.
The 6-year-old Ask Me Anything, who was passed by Embarr in the stretch, re-rallied to gain a short lead before grudgingly having to settle for second, three-quarters of a length behind the winner. Charged Cotton finished third at 6-1. Julie’s Love, the 3-5 favorite, finished fourth.
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