Preakness 2016:

Ben's Cat to make sixth straight appearance in Jim McKay Turf Sprint

The Baltimore Sun
Ben's Cat is back in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint.

Ten-year-old gelding Ben's Cat is coming back to Pimlico to run in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint for the sixth straight year.

The horse will run out of the No. 2 position Friday at Pimlico. The race is for horses 3 years old and older, with a $100,000 prize.

Ben's Cat has won the Jim McKay Turf Sprint in four of the past five years, including three straight (he finished fifth in 2012). In his career, the horse has 54 starts with 31 wins, totaling more than $2.5 million in winnings. His only start this year was May 1 at Laurel Park, where he won an allowance race worth $38,532.

"He doesn't seem to get older, that's the amazing thing," his trainer, King Leatherbury, said in a release Thursday. "See the thing is … you get good horses come up every year, but they don't last. So people can fall in love with horses and two years, then they're gone. But here's a horse that's been around and keeps coming back every year, so that makes him special."

Leatherbury, 83, was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year. In all, his horses have 35,854 starts with 6,468 wins, earning more than $63 million. He has saddled four horses in the Preakness — in 1978, 1981, 1985 and 2005 — with two fourth-place finishers, Thirty Eight Paces in 1981 and I Am The Game in 1985.

"[Ben's Cat will] probably be the favorite [Friday], and we'll probably be the best horse in the race," Leatherbury said in the release. "And we're expecting to win."

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