Arlington Million

Barn Notes: Monday, August 12, 2013 – 1st Edition

| Churchill Downs Communications | 08/12/2013 #
  • The offspring of Kitten's Joy, shown winning the 2004 Secretariat Stakes, could play a major role in the '13 Festival.

In Today’s Notes: Kitten’s Joy Offspring Figure Prominently in International Festival of Racing

When the book is written on Kenneth & Sarah Ramsey’s impact on North American Thoroughbred racing as breeders and owners, the 2004-2005 International Festivals of Racing at Arlington Park will no doubt be a pivotal moment.

While the Ramseys are reaching new heights this year with their Nicholasville, Kentucky-based operation as the leading owners at Keeneland, Churchill Downs, and Saratoga, it was Arlington that helped launch the stallion career of the Ramsey Farm’s foundation sire, Kitten’s Joy.

Kitten’s Joy won the 2004 Secretariat and finished second to Powerscourt in the 2005 Arlington Million. The Ramsey’s homebred El Prado horse retired following that Million, and Ken Ramsey credits the prestige gained from competing at the lucrative festival for helping launch the stallion’s career in 2006.

Ramsey again hopes the International Festival bolsters Kitten’s Joy’s reputation, as four of his five pre-entrants are by the leading sire, including likely Arlington Million starter Real Solution, who was third – beaten just 1 ¾ lengths – behind multiple Grade I winner Point of Entry in the Grade I Manhattan Handicap at Belmont Park last out. Chad Brown trains and Alan Garcia is scheduled to ride the 4-year-old colt who began his career in Italy and was the favorite for the Italian Derby last year.

“We were told he had a lot of talent, but there were some hiccups along the way,” Brown said of Real Solution, who worked 5 furlongs in 1:00.40 on the Saratoga training turf course on Sunday. “He’s doing very well now, though. He had his final workout, and even though he didn’t win the Manhattan, he took a big step forward. He’s in a groove right now.”

Ramsey’s other pre-entrants are Admiral Kitten and Amen Kitten in the Secretariat, Artemus Kitten in the Beverly D., and Dark Cove in the American St. Leger. The Million, Secretariat, and Beverly D. pre-entrants are all by Kitten’s Joy while Dark Cove is by Medaglia d’Oro.

Ironically, the St. Leger might be the Ramseys’ best chance at a festival victory, as Dark Cove is the most likely shortest price of the sextet. Trained by Mike Maker, Dark Cove has won three consecutive races each at 1½ miles, including the local prep for the St. Leger, the Stars and  Stripes Handicap.

Through Aug. 10, the Ramseys lead the nation in money earned with more than $6.2 million in purses – more than $1.7 million more than their closest competitor, despite about half as many starts. Brown is one of several trainers Ramsey employs.

“I feel very fortunate that Mr. Ramsey chose me [to train Real Solution],” Brown said. “I find the Kitten’s Joys to be very reliable. They love to train, run well in the afternoon, and are sound horses—sturdy and long winded. For the program I run as a trainer, the Kitten’s Joys are everything I’m looking for.”