Ben's Cat came charging down the stretch to take the Grade 3 Turf Monster Handicap at Parx Racing on Monday by a half-length. The $350,000 contest is a Win and You're In event leading up to the Breeders' Cup and automatically gives the King Leatherbury-trained gelding a berth in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, along with starting fees and travel expenses. The connections of Ben's Cat will first have to pay a supplementary or racehorse nomination fee to make him eligible for the race.
Jeremy Rose swung Ben's Cat to the far outside at the top of the stretch after Streakin' Mohican and Central City carved out the early pace. Fractions were : 22 flat and 45 1/5 for the opening half mile. Perfect Officer also finished well along the inside to take the lead in deep stretch but could not hold off the winner, who completed the distance in:57 1/5. Chamberlain Bridge, winner of the 2010 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, finished third. Favored Regally Ready checked several times in traffic, but had nothing left for the stretch drive, and finished 10th of 11 runners.
The winner is a 5-year-old gelding by Parker's Storm Cat out of Twofox, by Thirty Eight Paces. He was bred by Leatherbury, who also bred the Turf Monster's first two dams and trained Thirty Eight Paces to multiple stakes victories. Ben's Cat was winning for the 12th time in 17 starts. He races for The Jim Stable.
Central City, who set the early fractions, dropped back suddenly on the turn and was being eased by jockey Robby Albarado when he collapsed and died on the track. The Ronny Werner-trained 5-year-old was making his first start since December. Central City finished second to Chamberlain Bridge in the 2010 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint.
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