Ben's Cat, Mountain Dew Elected to Maryland Thoroughbred HOF

Ben's Cat and King Leatherbury | Jon Kral/MJC

The legendary 26-time stakes winner and fan favorite Ben's Cat and star foxhunter Mountain Dew are the newest inductees into the Maryland-Bred Thoroughbred Hall of Fame after a vote by a committee of Maryland racing industry members coordinated by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association and Maryland Racing Media Association.

A son of Parker's Storm Cat, Ben's Cat did not debut until his 4-year-old season after breaking his pelvis at two, an injury that required six months of stall rest. He won his first two career starts in claiming company and his first eight overall for owner,  breeder and trainer King T. Leatherbury, including the first three of those black-type victories. He won the Maryland-bred Mister Diz S. a half-dozen times from eight starts in the race, the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on five occasions and the Maryland Million Turf Sprint H. three times. He was a graded-stakes winner each year from 2011-2014, all in turf sprints at Parx Racing. In 2017, he was awarded the Secretariat Vox Populi Award, chosen by voters from around the world.

Janon Fisher, Jr.'s Mountain Dew was a star foxhunter before switching to timber racing in the early 1960s. He won the Maryland Hunt Cup three times (1962, 1965 and 1967) with rider Janon Fisher III and was runner-up in 1963, 1964 and 1966. He was injured at the 19th of 22 fences in the 1968 Hunt Cup when leading and remarkably continued to jump fence 20 while being pulled up. Mountain Dew competed in 24 sanctioned timber races and never fell. He was injured in a single start on the flat as a 3-year-old.

“We are so proud that, with this year's inductees, we are able to celebrate not only two of our most important Maryland-bred horses, but Maryland's remarkable horsemen and the diversity of our sport that they represent,” said Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. “King T. Leatherbury and the Fisher family are great examples of the persistence and longevity that Maryland is known for.”

This year's inductees will be celebrated during a ceremony between races at Timonium Race Course Saturday, Sept. 2.

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