Updated on 05/16/2012 3:22PM

Pimlico: Leatherbury hopes history repeats with Ben's Cat in McKay Turf Sprint

Barbara D. Livingston
Ben's Cat is following a similar pattern that produced a win in last year's Jim McKay Turf Sprint.

Trainer King Leatherbury hopes Ben’s Cat continues his trend as a copycat.

Last year, Ben’s Cat won the Mister Diz Stakes, got roughed up when fifth in his next start, and rebounded to win the $100,000 Jim McKay Stakes on Preakness eve.

Friday, Ben’s Cat, who won the Mister Diz Stakes two starts back, will try to rebound from a disastrous sixth-place finish in an allowance race when he heads a full field in the $100,000 Jim McKay Turf Sprint at five furlongs at Pimlico. The McKay, whose 12-horse field is likely to stay mostly intact, is the first leg of a late pick-four wager that has a guaranteed pool of $200,000.

Leatherbury, who ranks third all-time in Thoroughbred racing with 6,342 victories, said his horse got bumped badly in his last allowance race.
“We got turned sideways,” Leatherbury said. “The boy that hit us got five days [suspension]. Now off the same exact form, we’re coming back into this race which means I’m supposed to win it.”

Leatherbury said he was surprised by the large field for the McKay but said he’s fine with it as long as there is plenty of speed.
“We welcome all the speed horses that you can make run in the race,” Leatherbury said.

Ju Jitsu Jax, who has won three of his last four starts, and Disco Dandy, a winner of four of his last six, look to be the speed of the race. Birdie Beats Park, entered Wednesday night at Presque Isle, is also speed.

Awakino Cat, Zeb, and Fiddlers Patriot all scratched out of Wednesday’s off-the-turf overnight stakes at Belmont and are all expected to run in this spot, according to their connections.