Inimitable gelding and fan favorite Ben’s Cat (Parker’s Storm Cat–Twofox, by Thirty Eight Paces) was euthanized Tuesday. The four-time Maryland Horse of the Year succumbed to complications that arose while he was recovering from July 6 colic surgery to repair an epoploic foramen entrapment. He was 11 years old.
“It is with great sadness that we report that Ben’s Cat was euthanized this afternoon due to post-operative complications following colic surgery,” said Dr. Rana Bozorgmanesh, an internal medicine specialist at Hagyard Equine Medical Institute who was overseeing his care.
The dark bay was owned by Hall of Famer King Leatherbury’s The Jim Stable and was bred and trained by Leatherbury. He won the hearts of racing fans, particularly in Maryland, by racking up 32 wins in 63 starts, including 26 stakes successes, from ages three to 10. His last win came in the 2016 Turf Sprint S. at Pimlico, and he was retired to Bayne and Chris Welker’s Spring Ridge Farm after a ninth-place finish in the Maryland-bred Mister Diz S. June 24 at Laurel.
“I had loved Ben for years and was beyond grateful that Mr. Leatherbury entrusted me with his care,” Chris Welker said. “I am so thankful to the team at Hagyard for the round-the-clock care they provided Ben since his surgery. Their efforts were incredible, but his medical issues became insurmountable. My heart is shattered, not only for Ben, but for Mr. Leatherbury, the team who took care of him day-in and day-out for years, and the fans who loved him.”