Ben's Cat: no bueno with the BC proposition
Maryland trainer King Leatherbury has an interesting proposition with 'win and you're in' victor Ben's Cat (he bred, owns and trains the horse) who can only get into a starting gate at Churchill Downs for the $1M Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint with a supplement fee.
Invest $100,000 into the BC starter and, if the horse finishes win/place/show you'll get that money back first and he'll split the remaining purse money.
On Labor Day, Laurel Park-based Ben’s Cat captured the $356,000 Turf Monster Handicap (G3) at Parx Racing, which earned the King Leatherbury homebred an automatic berth
It begs the question - if you could would you put that money into this one-time venture?
Courier Journal Sep 15, 2011 "Looking for a Breeders’ Cup horse? ..."
Miami Herald Sep 16, 2011 "Ben's Cat has hoof out for some help"
A victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint returns $600,000 with second place worth $200,000. The third place finisher collects $110,000.
Bred, owned and trained by Leatherbury, Ben’s Cat has won 12 of 17 starts, including seven stakes.
Ben’s Cat has won three of five on the turf this year, the Jim McKay Turf Sprint at Pimlico Race Course on Preakness weekend, the Pennsylvania Governor’s Cup at Penn National and the Turf Monster, where he defeated among others defending Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint winner Chamberlain Bridge.
DRF Sep 18, 2011 "Leatherbury seeks sponsor to enable Ben's Cat to run in Breeders' Cup"
Jockey Jeremy Rose, who was aboard Afleet Alex in winning the 2005 Preakness and Belmont Stakes, is certain Ben's Cat belongs in the Breeders' Cup.
"He fits well in this race. I have plenty of confidence in him," Rose exclaimed.
I think its a rather interesting proposition with perhaps more downside than upside. However how many opportunities legally exist whereby $100k put in could within just 2-minutes yield up to a 250% return?
Ben’s Cat had to recover from a broken pelvis before he made his maiden debut at age 4, and then began his career with eight consecutive victories.
“He has been a tremendous surprise,” Leatherbury said. “I ran him for $20,000 in his first start but he kept winning and winning and worked his way up the ladder. The last race was his best effort. He is peaking at the right time.”