At the beginning of the year, all the turf buzz surrounded
heavy weights Wise Dan, Animal Kingdom, Point of Entry, Little Mike, Jeranimo,
Slim Shadey, Data Link, Interaction, Unbridled Command, and Silver Max. No
mention of Big Blue Kitten was made whatsoever, but you can believe that after
back-to-back Grade 1 wins, Big Blue Kitten will not be left out of the turf
Despite his breeding, Big Blue Kitten has been one of the
lesser known of Kitten’s Joy’s progeny, at least until recently. Jockey Joe Bravo rode the Ramsey owned and bred horse for the first time two back in the G2
Monmouth Stakes, and the duo got up for the place, 1 ¼ lengths behind Point of
Entry’s stable mate Boisterous.
After the race, Bravo told trainer Chad Brown that he had
learned how to best ride Big Blue Kitten during the course of the 9 furlong
race and that Brown should run him back a month later in the G1 United Nations
Stakes. Chad took Bravo’s advice, and it paid dividends. Thanks to some savvy
riding on Bravo’s part and a thin physique on Big Blue Kitten’s part, the pair
was able to squeeze through on the rail and win going away. They stopped the
clock in 2.11:98 for the 1 3/8 mile race.
Bravo and Big Blue Kitten have become a match made in horse
Despite facing a large field of 11 other rivals in today’s G1
Sword Dancer Invitational, the duo made winning look easy despite not getting
the intended help on the frontend from stable mate Stormy Lord. Also belonging
to the Ramsey contingent, multiple stakes winner Stormy Lord was entered as a
rabbit to ensure a brisk pace. However, the race didn’t exactly unfold
according to plan as the gelding loped along through average fractions of 24:02
for the opening quarter, 49:80 for the half, and a slow 1.39:41 for the mile.
Those dawdling fractions did nothing to hinder Big Blue
Kitten’s explosive stretch run, though. As the field straightened for home, it
looked like world record setting Twilight Eclipse, who was always up close to
the pace, would remain a perfect 3 for 3 at the 12 furlong distance. Alas, a
grade 1 win for the Purim gelding remained just out of reach, and instead, Big
Blue Kitten bounded down the center of the track, eating up ground with huge
strides to take down his second consecutive grade 1 race.
Big Blue Kitten completed the mile and a half race in
2.26:46. Twilight Eclipse finished a length back in second and was 1 ¾ lengths
clear of third place finisher Nutello. Owner Ken Ramsey says the 12 furlong G1
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont Park will likely be next on Big
Blue Kitten’s agenda. And with Joe Bravo in the irons, he will be a force to be
reckoned with, wherever his next start may be.
Big Blue Kitten's win was the first of three huge wins for the Ramseys and sire Kitten's Joy in Grade 1 turf stakes today. Just minutes after Big Blue's Sword Dancer win, Admiral Kitten captured the G1 Secretariat Stakes on the Arlington Million undercard. Real Solution then capped the day by winning the Arlington Million itself via the disqualification of The Apache who drifted out and carried Real Solution with him during the stretch drive.