Ben's Cat pounces, wins Laurel Dash

Maryland ranked No. 11 in AP preseason poll

October 30, 2011|Sports Digest

Laurel Park

Ben's Cat pounces, wins Laurel Dash

Ben's Cat powered away from five foes to win the $75,000 Laurel Dash Stakes on Saturday on the slop at Laurel Park, a race that had originally been carded for the turf. Ridden by Jeremy Rose and trained by King Leatherbury, Ben's Cat tracked front-runners Ju Jitsu Jax and Royal Currier into the turn before passing both and pulling away to win the six-furlong test by two lengths in 1 minute, 11.11 seconds over the sloppy going. Royal Currier held on for second, and Action Andy was a late-closing third. "Ben just toyed with them," Rose said. "To me it was one of his more powerful races. King and I were talking. He hasn't been on dirt for a while, so I didn't want to get behind a bunch of horses, so I just tipped to the outside. What amazes me is the 2 horse (Royal Currier) has back class. He just won the Gallant Bob in impressive fashion and he (Ben's Cat) ran by him like he was a $12,000 claimer. I was laughing when we passed Luis (jockey Luis Garcia who rode the runner-up). I would like to see one day where somebody can actually stay with him to see what kind of kick he has. I haven't got to the bottom of this horse." Bred, owned and trained by Leatherbury, Ben's Cat has won 14 of 19 starts, including nine stakes, with lifetime earnings of $778,230. The son of Parker's Storm 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, including four on the main track. "He keeps amazing me," added Leatherbury, who ranks third on the all-time win list with 6,331 victories. "He did it for the fun of it today." Ben's Cat, who has won four of five stakes on the turf this year, could have started in next Saturday's $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Churchill Downs if Leatherbury had supplemented his 5-year-old star for $100,000.

Women's college basketball

Maryland ranked No. 11 in AP preseason poll

Maryland is ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press preseason poll, released Saturday. The Terps have started the season ranked in each of the past seven years. Maryland will play eight games against preseason Top 25 teams, including four at home, starting with a 2p.m. matchup Nov. 13 against No. 10 Georgetown. The Terrapins, who have four of their five starters back from last season's 24-8 team, are one of five Atlantic Coast Conference teams that are ranked. Miami begins the year at No. 7, Duke at No. 8, Florida State at No. 14 and North Carolina at No.20. Maryland will play host to Messiah at 7p.m. Tuesday in the first of its two exhibitions.

More colleges

UMBC men lose, 4-1; Streilein out of hospital

A shaken UMBC men's soccer team dropped a 4-1 decision in the regular-season finale at Vermont but received good news after the game as senior midfielder Andy Streilein was released from a Vermont hospital and will subsequently travel home with the team. Streilein suffered a head injury in a collision with a Vermont player five minutes into the contest. UMBC (7-7-3, 4-3-0), the defending America East champion, will be the No. 4 seed in the America East tournament and will host No. 5 Hartford on Saturday. No. 3 Vermont (4-2-1, 9-6-1) will entertain No. 6 Albany in the other quarterfinal match. "We are all disappointed by the result, but relieved that Andy has been released from the hospital," coach Pete Caringi said. "It keeps things in perspective."

Women's soccer: Navy's game at Bucknell was called after nine minutes of scoreless play because of heavy snow. The game was rescheduled for noon today at Susquehanna in Selinsgrove, Pa. The game will be restarted from the beginning.

Swimming: Washington College coach Kim Lessard earned her 300th career victory in a 116-86 Centennial Conference win at Bryn Mawr.

Pan American Games

Ex-Terp O'Donnell helps U.S. to field hockey upset

Former Maryland star Katie O'Donnell helped Team USA defeat world No. 1 Argentina, 4-2, on Friday in the Pan American gold-medal game in Guadalajara, Mexico. The win for the 13th-ranked U.S. team clinched a spot in the London Olympic Games next summer. Argentina, which won last year's world title, was undefeated in Pan Am play since 1987, when the sport was first included. O'Donnell, the 2010-11 ACC Female Athlete of the Year, scored as time expired in the first half to give the Americans a 3-1 lead. "We have made history today by getting a bid to the Olympics," O'Donnell said. "I don't think anyone on this field thought that we would ever lose this match, and that was the most important thing we had going for us. We had so much trust in each other and knew we would come out on top."

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