King Leatherbury said Tuesday he will not be taking Ben's Cat to the Breeders' Cup next week at Churchill Downs.
"I made the rule from the beginning, if I could not raise the [supplemental] $100,000 entry fee, I wasn't going," the legendary Maryland horse trainer said. "I couldn't raise the money, so the decision was made for me. I am a little disappointed, but I have a race here."
Ben's Cat qualified for the Breeders' Cup Grade II, $1 million Turf Sprint by winning a "Win and You're In" qualifying race. But because the horse was not nominated to the Breeders' Cup in his birth year, Leatherbury, who bred, owns and trains Ben's Cat, was required to pay the $100,000 supplement.
Instead, Leatherbury will run Ben's Cat Saturday at Laurel Park in the 6-furlong, $75,000 Laurel Dash.
"Ben's Cat is fine," said Leatherbury, who is based at that track. "We're taking the easier route. We'll just walk over to the paddock from the barn for a little less money."
If Ben's Cat wins Saturday, he'll collect $45,000 from the purse. The first-place payout for the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint is $540,000.