Thursday, April 28, 2011


BALTIMORE, 04-28-11---Graded stakes winner Baletti ships from Fair Hill Training Center on Saturday to face ten other older runners in the grassy $75,000 Henry S. Clark Stakes at Pimlico Race Course.

Baletti (2-1) was claimed by Michael Pino out of his most recent start, a victory over optional claimers at Gulfstream Park at Saturday’s one mile distance. The son of Gulch has competed in graded stakes races in eight of his last 12 starts, including a victory in the Grade III Ft. Marcy Stakes at Belmont Park last year. Luis Garcia will ride the seven-year-old who has finished on the board in 17 of 29 lifetime starts.

Local hero Ben’s Cat (5-2) is the second choice on the morning line following a solid score in Pimlico’s Mister Diz Stakes three weeks ago. Bred, owned and trained by the legendary King Leatherbury, the son of Parker’s Storm Cat has won four stakes since his debut as a four-year-old last year, including three on the Laurel Park turf course. Julian Pimentel has the riding assignment.

“I really didn’t want to stretch him out. I’d rather keep him sprinting but he’s in good form,” said Leatherbury, who ranks third on the all-time wins list with 6,316 career winners. “There has never been a race where I was very comfortable about winning, so just about every time he reaches the wire first it is a surprise.”

Leatherbury indicated Ben’s Cat is likely to run in the Jim McKay Turf Sprint on the Black-Eyed Susan card at Pimlico on Friday, May 20.

Tom Voss has entered both Followmyfootsteps and Paris Vegas (7-2). The former raced in Europe before entering the Voss barn in 2010. He has two wins, a second and two thirds for his present connections. Paris Vegas makes his four-year-old debut. Mario Pino is named to ride both.

Pocket Patch (15-1), who won the Maryland Million Turf at Laurel Park, has been absent since that October victory. The Flint Stites trainee carries regular rider Jonathan Joyce.

Crimson Comic (20-1) finished a half-length behind multiple stakes winner Baltimore Bob in last year’s Henry Clark. The son of Distorted Humor followed that performance with a win in the Memorial Day Stakes at Mountaineer Park but has not visited the winners’ circle since. Erick Rodriguez will ride the Mark Shuman trainee.

Completing the field are Lonely Whistle (12-1) and 15-1 shots Auctoritas, Mythical Hero, Safety Valve and Rockaby Bay, who was third in the 2010 Henry Clark.

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