Race of the Week 2017

No BC for Ben’s Cat? Say it ain’t so, King!

Tomorrow at this time we will celebrate the approximately 200 horses that are pre-entered for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. Today, I will lament over a horse that will not be on the list. Ben’s Cat has been 2011’s best turf sprinter in the nation, bar none, yet for some reason his connections are not willing to pay the Breeders’ Cup supplemental fee to enter their turf star. Let’s see what his trainer had to say about the sad state of affairs…

“It was a case of being practical,” legendary trainer King Leatherbury said Tuesday morning.

But King, this is the Breeder’s Cup.


“Putting up $100,000 really didn’t agree with me, which is why I was looking for investors. On Saturday afternoon, we were $20,000 short but then guys started dropping out.”

You are not going to run in a one million dollar race over a measly 20k?

“For me to supplement on my own it would have been throwing the money that he earned back at them. It just didn’t add up. We would have had to run 1-2 to make any money.”

Didn’t he win just win a $350,000 race in September? And you are worried about finishing 1-2? No problem, your horse in on a major roll!

“I am a little disappointed not to be able to go down to Churchill, it would have been fun.”

You’re a little disappointed, think about all of Ben’s fans.


“They told me there was an opportunity to supplement for $25,000 earlier this year. I was unaware of that but in the spring I wasn’t sure he was good enough.”



He has improved a great deal this summer and would have certainly been a contender in the Breeders’ Cup.”

Yes he has. So much so that you should have found a way to ante up the $100,000 to run him in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint. Instead, the best turf sprinter in America will run in Saturday’s $75,000 Laurel Dash.


“This is a six-furlong turf race in our backyard. All we have to do is walk him out of the stall.”

Come on King, Louisville is really not that bad a van ride.

“Somebody said to me during this process that I didn’t win 6,000 races by picking the toughest spots each time.”

You got me there, but still I have to wonder … wouldn’t it have been nice to win your first Breeders’ Cup race?


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Older Comments about No BC for Ben’s Cat? Say it ain’t so, King!...

In the world of thoroughbred racing, a $100k is not big bucks. I'm surprised someone did not step up to make this happen. I can only assume (I surely have no knowledge of the situation) that investors did not like the chances; or King Leatherbury is not an easy guy with whom to strike a business deal.
I obviously what type of financial situations the owners are in, but this is real disappointing. Isn't it the idea to go to the pinnacle of the sport when you have a horse that can get you there? Also, Ben's Cat has already earned his supplemental fee. Makes me wonder if they're too cheap to buy him carrots after a victory.
Oh, don't remind me. Two of my original 15 are already out. I'll be doing lots of handicapping in the next few days, but right now I might lean towards Scarface.
Brian, since this was your original pick, who would be your runner-up, that would now be tops?
Hey, I might have chipped in a few bucks.

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