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Horse Racing

Digest: Ben's Cat will race in Parx Dash on Saturday

Having raced three times in less than five weeks to open his 10-year-old season, multimillionaire Maryland-bred gelding Ben's Cat is set to make his 57th career start in Saturday's Parx Dash Handicap, a Grade 3 race.

Jim McKay

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"To get three winning races in five weeks is what the Triple Crown is about. He had two wins and he was coming back within five weeks of the two wins, trying for a third one, and he couldn't do it. That's why the Triple Crown is so hard to win," Leatherbury said. "Now he's snapped back and hopefully he'll come back to one of his real good races, which he'll need to win this one I think."

For Saturday's race, Ben's Cat drew post 4 at the co-high weight of 124 pounds in a field of 10 horses that includes multiple graded stakes winner Pure Sensation, Grade 2 winner Rocket Heat, Grade 3 winner Power Alert and multiple stakes winner Bold Thunder. None of those contenders are older than 6.

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Over his career, Ben's Cat has accumulated 32 victories, 26 of them in stakes, and purse earnings of $2,607,782, running in nine career graded stakes with four wins, one second and one third.

Sixth last year, he won the Parx Dash in 2013 and 2014 when it was graded, and again in 2012 before it received graded status.

Ben's Cat tuned up for his latest assignment with a bullet three-furlong work in 35.60 seconds July 1 at Laurel. His other graded stakes wins came in the Turf Monster Handicap (G3) in 2011 and 2012.

"He's alive. He's good and sharp. This is a race that he's won before. It's going to come up tough they tell me, but I've got to give it a shot," Leatherbury said. "I feel good about it. I'm sure other trainers are feeling as good about their horses, too. We'll have to see."

Men's college lacrosse: Loyola Maryland hired Marc Van Arsdale as offensive coordinator. Van Arsdale spent the past 15 seasons as an assistant at Virginia, the previous 10 as the Cavaliers' associate head coach. He helped Virginia win three NCAA championships (2003, 2006 and 2011). A 1985 Hobart graduate, Van Arsdale also has coached at his alma mater and at Nazareth.

Track and field: A pair of Anne Arundel County athletes moved a step closer to earning berths on the U.S. Olympic team Thursday night at the track and field trials in Eugene, Ore. Broadneck graduate Matt Centrowitz, running for Nike, finished fourth in the third heat of the men's 1,500-meter run in 3 minutes, 42.48 seconds. The top six in each heat advanced to the semifinals. Centrowitz ran nearly the entire race from the back of the pack and did just what he needed to in the final 100 meters. The semifinals are scheduled for 7:12 tonight with the finals Sunday at 8:20 p.m. Old Mill graduate Alexis Franklin, a sophomore at Ohio State, advanced to the women's 400-meter hurdles semifinals. She qualified by placing second in her heat. Franklin finished in 57.22 seconds, finishing just behind Liandria Buckley (57.02). She was the 16th-fastest qualifier overall. The top two finishers in each heat and the next five fastest times moved on. Dalilah Muhammad was the fastest qualifier, in 55.33. The semifinals are scheduled for 7:31 tonight with the finals Sunday at 7:51 p.m.

Baltimore Sun Media Group

NBA: The Washington Wizards re-signed backup shooting guard Marcus Thornton to a one-year deal for the veteran's minimum. Thornton, 29, averaged 9.7 points in 61 games between the Houston Rockets and Wizards last season. ... The Chicago Bulls signed former Maryland guard Rasheed Sulaimon to their Summer League roster, where he joins former Terp Dez Wells.

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Major League Soccer: D.C. United acquired wing Lloyd Sam from the New York Red Bulls in exchange for general allocation money. Sam, a native of Leeds, England, and a Ghanaian international, had 10 goals and seven assists last season.


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