Ben's Cat races to repeat in $75K Mister Diz Stakes
The Jim Stable's Ben's Cat carried Jeremy Rose to a repeat score in the $75,000 Mister Diz Stakes, Saturday's feature offering at Pimlico Race Course. Bred, owned and trained by the legendary King Leatherbury, Ben's Cat won for the ninth time in 12 lifetime starts. The son of Parker's Storm Cat has won four stakes since his debut as a 4-year-old last year, but this was his first added-money victory racing on the main track. In Saturday's five-furlong test over a track rated good, Ben's Cat dropped off a contested pace before charging up three wide into the lane and driving by the front-runners to win by 11/4 lengths. Sandbagin' Lover finished second with Digger third. "I still think he is a little better on the turf but this was his strongest effort on the dirt," said Leatherbury, who ranks third on the all-time win list with 6,316. "It is hard to say who he beat. The one horse I was worried about [Digger] did not fire, but he ran well." Ben's Cat completed the distance in 57.82 and paid $5.40. He topped a $32 exacta and $118.80 trifecta. The former claimer, whose debut had been put on hold because of a broken pelvis, reeled off eight straight wins in 2010, including three stakes wins on the Laurel Park turf course. The gelding had not won since November but was competitive in three stakes efforts, including a fourth-place finish in the Grade 2 General George Handicap in his previous start. With regular rider Julian Pimentel in New York to ride Norman Asbjornson in the Grade 1 Wood Memorial, Rose picked up the mount, but only after Sheldon Russell had committed to Heros Reward, who was scratched by trainer Dale Capuano when the Mister Diz came off the turf. "I was just a passenger today," said Rose, who rode three winners on the Saturday card. "I broke, sat inside, went outside while he did all the work. You have to like any horse who puts a string of wins together like he did. Today, I loved how easy he was to rate and when I hit the accelerator, he was gone." Leatherbury indicated that Ben's Cat, who has now earned $268,230 in his career, could run in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on the Black-Eyed Susan card May 20 or a day later in the Grade 3 Maryland Sprint Handicap on the Preakness undercard.
Special Olympics Maryland will present "The 19th Hole — An Intimate Evening With Arnold Palmer and Jim Nantz," at the Martin's West Ballroom on May 25. Tickets to the inaugural event, featuring the golf legend and award-winning broadcaster, and benefiting Special Olympics Maryland, are $175, and tables of 10 can be secured for $1,750, along with an ad in the event program. A VIP Meet & Greet, limited to only 150 people, will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The cost is $500 and includes a photo with Palmer and Nantz, cocktails and hors d'oeuvres, and dinner. For information and tickets, go to 19thholemd.net. The pair will chat about Palmer's career and other golf topics from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. The inaugural presentation of the "Heart of the Cup," the Maryland Golf Industry Community Service Award, will take place before the chat.
Mystics: The team acquired All-Star forward-center Nicky Anosike from the Minnesota Lynx. The Lynx will receive the Mystics' first round pick in the 2012 WNBA draft.
Cheerleading: The second-seeded Maryland competitive cheer team beat sixth-seeded Quinnipiac 280.512 to 271.583 on Friday night in the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association's semifinals in Eugene, Ore. The Terps were to compete against top-seeded Oregon Saturday night. The Terrapins beat the Ducks 287.930 to 286.380 in the teams' only meeting this year on March 24 in College Park. … The Maryland Marlins cheerleading staff will hold a free clinic and open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and May 11. Youths age 4 through 18 and all levels are welcome. Learn cheerleading basics or perfect your advanced skills. Sign up by calling 410-796-2244 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
—From Sun staff and news services