Digest: Ben's Cat tops 'Class on the Grass' nominations at Laurel Park

From Sun staff and news services

Ben's Cat is one of 145 horses nominated to six turf stakes worth $450,000 as part of Laurel Park's "Class on the Grass" program Saturday. The six $75,000 stakes over Laurel's turf course mark the busiest and richest of seven stakes Saturdays during the 33-day summer meet. Maryland-bred/sired horses will contest the 6-furlong Mister Diz and Jameela, while the 1-mile Edward Evans and Nellie Mae Cox and 51/2-furlong White Oak Farm and M. Tyson Gilpin races are for Virginia-bred/sired horses. Ben's Cat, bred, owned and trained by Hall of Famer King Leatherbury, had a string of six consecutive victories in the Mister Diz broken when he finished third behind John Jones last summer. Also among the 24 Mister Diz nominees are Hillwood Stable's Phlash Phelps, back-to-back winner of the Maryland Million Turf in 2015 and 2016 who has yet to make his 6-year-old debut, and stakes winners Corvus, Eyeplayeveryday and Talk Show Man.

Et cetera

D.C. United planning to sell Kamara to club overseas

D.C. United is planning to sell reserve forward Alhaji Kamara to a club overseas, sources familiar with the situation told The Washington Post late Sunday. Kamara, 23, was not with the team for the U.S. Open Cup last Tuesday or the Major League Soccer match in Toronto on Saturday. He was also absent from his usual assignment with the second-division Richmond Kickers over the weekend. His name did not appear on United's injury list. According to sources who requested anonymity because the matter is unresolved, Kamara has been seeking to leave the club to play regularly elsewhere. A Middle Eastern team has taken particular interest in Kamara, one source said. In exchange, United would receive a small transfer fee for the Sierra Leone native.

—Steven Goff, The Washington Post

National Women's Soccer League: Estefania Banini, an Argentine attacker who led the Washington Spirit in scoring during a run to the final last year, will rejoin the struggling club after spending the past season with Spanish side Valencia. She'll become eligible to play when her visa and international transfer certificate are finalized, a process that doesn't usually take more than a couple of weeks. Banini, who will turn 27 on Wednesday, scored five goals in 13 regular-season appearances (nine starts) in an injury-marred 2016 season. After the season, amid a roster overhaul, she decided to play overseas. The Spirit retained her NWSL rights.

—Steven Goff, The Washington Post

Track and field: Mount St. Mary's graduates Kelly Yanucil and Tom FitzSimons will be competing at the USA Track and Field outdoor championships this week. Yanucil qualified in the javelin and FitzSimons will be competing in the decathlon. The meet will be held at Sacramento State from Thursday to Sunday.

Varsity girls soccer: Cammie Murtha of Walter Johnson was named Gatorade Maryland Girls Soccer Player of the Year. The 5-foot-8 senior forward led the Wildcats to an 18-1 record and the Class 4A state championship this past season. Murtha had 30 goals and 24 assists, including a goal and two assists in a 3-2 overtime win over Perry Hall in the state final.

Women's college lacrosse: Maryland sophomore goalie Megan Taylor (Glenelg) was selected Inside Lacrosse Women's Co-National Goalie of the Year this week after helping the Terps to a 23-0 record and the NCAA championship this season. Taylor shares the honor with Princeton's Ellie DeGarmo (Bryn Mawr). Taylor repeated as the Big Ten Goaltender of the Year and ranked third nationally with a .535 save percentage. DeGarmo was the nation's leader in save percentage (.556) for the second straight season. ... Randolph-Macon senior defender Kristin Patrick (Chesapeake-AA) was named NCAA Division III Scholar-Athlete of the Year by the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association. Patrick, graduated magna cum laude in May with a major in biology and minors in French, mathematics and chemistry with a cumulative grade point average of 3.97.

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