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  1. #1
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    Default Ben's Cat making 8th start in 2013, 37th lifetime, Nov 27th

    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? ..."

    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.
    Miami Herald Sep 16, 2011 "Ben's Cat has hoof out for some help"

    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.
    DRF Sep 18, 2011 "Leatherbury seeks sponsor to enable Ben's Cat to run in Breeders' Cup"

    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.”
    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?
    Last edited by Glimmerglass; Nov. 27, 2013 at 05:28 PM.



  2. #2
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    Hmm. He could finish dead last and you still wouldn't have blown as much money on one horse as Magnier, Smith, and Tabor.



  3. #3
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    YES!

    But, I LOVE Ben's Cat and have three PSC babies on the ground and 3 on the way so I'm a bit biased.

    I do think he has shown tremendous improvement his past two races.



  4. #4
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    If I had money to burn, I'd damn sure do it! Since of course I don't, I'm going to have to back Chamberlain Bridge again. He loves Churchill, and I love Bret Calhoun! I wonder how much Maggie Moss regrets letting that one go. All but 86k of his 1.6m earnings have come after Calhoun and Moore claimed him from her for 35k

    Now that was a good investment!!!
    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

    What's the status on Tuco?


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  5. #5
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    Horse has $676k in earnings, including over $450k this year.... and the dude can't come up with the $100k supplemental himself?
    So basically he wants you to risk $100k for the chance of winning $250k/$50k/$5k, while he is unwilling to risk $100k to win $500k/$100k/$10k, i.e twice as much of a return for the same odds.
    Yeah.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnfairy View Post
    Hmm. He could finish dead last and you still wouldn't have blown as much money on one horse as Magnier, Smith, and Tabor.
    True. But you could also win every Breeders Cup race for the next 10 years and you still wouldn't have made as much money as J Magnier has on horseflesh. He is the single most successful horse person (in terms of $ earned through horses) ever.


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
    Horse has $676k in earnings, including over $450k this year.... and the dude can't come up with the $100k supplemental himself?
    So basically he wants you to risk $100k for the chance of winning $250k/$50k/$5k, while he is unwilling to risk $100k to win $500k/$100k/$10k, i.e twice as much of a return for the same odds.
    Yeah.
    I'm sure he can come up with the cash, they don't call him the King for nothing! It's brilliant if he actually gets someone to do it.



  8. #8
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    I concur with the sentiment that the King is looking for someone else to shoulder the most risk - although this is a gambling sport and he's a savvy guy. Rather than put up his own cash for the gelding he can inquire if another will. If that doesn't materialize he won't go and I don't think that will break his heart.

    Ben's Cat is running this Saturday at Laurel Park in defense of his Maryland Million Turf crown October 1st - Race 2 - for $100k - regardless. If he wins I suppose there might be a boost to this collection-plate-out idea although he technically would be at least $50k richer towards that supplement fee.

    Why this is almost out of a tired old Hollywood flick or Brady Bunch episode that you see on tv late at night ... "they need $100 to get to [insert talent show here] and look here they have a contest here that just happens to pay $100"

    An odd twist with the BC fee that was substantially reduced for a window of time this year - see article below.

    B'more Sun 9-27-11: ".. needs $100,000 to get Ben's Cat into the Breeders' Cup"

    "Does it eat at me?" Leatherbury said, when asked about not nominating Ben's Cat as a foal. "No. If I nominated my horses every year and didn't nominate this one, then I'd feel bad. But I never nominate. The Breeders' Cup is the biggest race day in the country. You practically have to have a champion to nominate. The kind of horses I usually raise, it wouldn't make sense to nominate them."

    The Breeders also, for the first time, allowed all horses of racing age to be nominated to the program for $25,000 from Feb. 1 through the end of June. Gluckson said the program was widely circulated. A total of 104 breeders and owners took advantage of it, but word of it apparently never reached Maryland.

    Mike Gathagan, the Maryland Jockey Club's vice president of communications, said he never heard or saw anything about the program.

    And Leatherbury didn't either.

    "If I would have, I would have done that," Leatherbury said. "I used to not nominate for the Maryland Million. I didn't nominate Ah Day [Maryland Horse of the Year in 2006]. I took a lot of grief for that."

    Leatherbury — the breeder, owner and trainer of Ben's Cat — said if he had known what a good horse Ben was going to turn in to, "I naturally would have nominated him. But I didn't know."



  9. #9
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    Ben's Cat is running this Saturday at Laurel Park in defense of his Maryland Million Turf crown October 1st - Race 2 - for $100k - regardless. If he wins I suppose there might be a boost to this collection-plate-out idea although he technically would be at least $50k richer towards that supplement fee.
    Ben's Cat won the Maryland Million Turf Sprint Handicap today


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  10. #10
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    Why didn't they nominate him in the spring at $25k?

    Ah, well, rooting for him to win this weekend and win the BC, too.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slewdledo View Post
    Why didn't they nominate him in the spring at $25k?

    Ah, well, rooting for him to win this weekend and win the BC, too.

    It says they didn't hear about the 25k entry or they would have.



  12. #12
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    Even after yesterday's victory it sounds like leatherbury is still hoping for an investor.

    I'm curious, since I don't follow turf sprinters much, who else will be going in the BC race that Ben's Cat HASN'T beaten yet?



  13. #13
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    Still up in the air ... this article (the last on the subject) is a couple days ago and the actual cut-off for BC pre-entires was at noon today [Mon Oct 24th]

    Brisnet Oct 22, 2011 "Ben's Cat 50-50 to be among Turf Sprint pre-entries"

    [re: $100,000 supplemental fee]

    "We are working on it," Leatherbury said Friday afternoon. "I almost gave up on it yesterday but then we received a shot in the arm this morning. It is just a matter of getting everybody to put their money where their mouth is. I'd say there is a 50-50 chance this is going to happen, up from about 10 percent yesterday."

    If he decides against running in the Breeders' Cup, Leatherbury will run his star in the six-furlong $75,000 Laurel Dash on October 29.

    "I would probably be 3-5 in that one," Leatherbury said. "One concern I have about the Breeders' Cup is the distance, which is five furlongs. His running style would handicap us. The other dilemma is that we would need to run 1-2 at the Breeders' Cup to make any money."



  14. #14
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    Thanks Glimmerglass I have been anxiously waiting to see if he goes or not. I sure hope he does. He did work 3f at Laurel last weekend



  15. #15
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    As an outsider, no I would not put the money up for him. As the owner/trainer I absolutely would have put up the cash.



  16. #16
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    "We are working on it," Leatherbury said Friday afternoon. "I almost gave up on it yesterday but then we received a shot in the arm this morning. It is just a matter of getting everybody to put their money where their mouth is. I'd say there is a 50-50 chance this is going to happen, up from about 10 percent yesterday."
    Oh the irony!



  17. #17
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    No white knight arrived or sucker if you look at it from some angles ...

    10-25-11 "Leatherbury & Ben's Cat can't scratch together enough for Breeders' Cup Fees"

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

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

    Ben’s Cat will instead run in Saturday’s $75,000 Laurel Dash.



  18. #18
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    No, they have the money (since he just won it). Let them put it up!
    Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

    Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.



  19. #19
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    I am a little disappointed not to be able to go down to Churchill, it would have been fun,” added Leatherbury. .
    This, I do not understand.
    The guy is in his 80's right?
    He has a horse that is by his own admission the best horse he has ever had... and he has been in this game a loooong time. In other words a once in a lifetime horse.
    A horse that is not only good enough to go the the BC, the biggest race day in horseracing, but likely start as favorite.
    He, by all accounts, has the $100k if he wanted to pay it himself.
    Once again, he is 80 years old, and once again, he has a once in a lifetime horse that could likely win a BC race.
    And then he says he is disappointed he isn't going to the BC..... ????
    You ain't going to live forever.


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  20. #20
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    One thing that will be certain: King will be cashing a nifty check come Monday after winning the $75,000 Laurel Dash on Saturday October 29

    A bird in the hand is better than two in the bush.



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