It's on to the Breeders' Cup for Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebreds Big Blue Kitten and Real Solution, trainer Chad Brown said Sunday morning.
stablemates ran against each other for the first time on Saturday, with
Big Blue Kitten finishing a nose behind Little Mike in the Grade 1 Joe
Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational. Real Solution checked in another
length back in third.
came out of the race good, so far," said Brown. "I thought they both
ran very well, and so did the winner. We were just on the wrong end of
the bob this time. It happens. I thought we were in front just before
the wire and after the wire, but on the wire [Big Blue Kitten] was on
the wrong end of it but to a good horse."
three horses are expected to meet up again on November 2 at Santa Anita
Park in the Breeders' Cup Turf, a race Little Mike won last year.
they stay healthy and they train well, I plan on taking them both out
there," said Brown. "Hopefully, we get good, cozy draws. Both of these
horses have proven now that they are among the top long-distance grass
horses in this country. We'll look for the rematch out at Santa Anita."
Blue Kitten had won his two previous starts, the Grade 1 United Nations
at Monmouth Park in July and the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational last
month at Saratoga Race Course. Jockey Joe Bravo has been aboard for his
past four races, including a runner-up finish on June 9 in the Grade 2
thought Big Blue Kitten had a good, ground-saving trip, other than the
fact that he had to pause momentarily turning for home, which probably
cost him the win," said Brown. "Up to then he did save a lot of ground
and had clear sailing, but that's turf racing. I thought Joe did a good
job making a split-second decision to get himself out of trouble. It was
only a momentary pause, but anytime you lose by an inch you probably
can say it cost us."
said Real Solution had to prove himself at the 1 ½-mile distance before
he would consider the Breeders' Cup. In his previous start, he finished
second but was elevated to the win via the disqualification of The
Apache in the Grade 1 Arlington Million.
Solution's trip I was a little more concerned with, because he was so
wide the whole way," said Brown. "He only got beat a length for the
whole thing, and he had to run farther than a length for how wide he
was. You're going to have to go around horses at some point, but I felt
watching the head-on [replay] that he was quite wide the entire way
going a mile and a half. I really needed to see if he could go a mile
and a half to go on to the Breeders' Cup. Only getting beat a length
going that wide, he earned his right to go out there."
Brown is also considering the Breeders' Cup for Grade 3 winner Easter Gift,
who was fifth, beaten just 2 ½ lengths, in the Grade 2 Kelso
Invitational Handicap. Earlier this year, the Hard Spun colt strung
together three consecutive wins, including the Mountainview Handicap in
June at Penn National.
Gift had a bad trip. He had a bad post, and he's not crazy about
running on the inside of horses," said Brown. "I don't think [Hall of
Fame jockey] Mike [Smith] had any choice. Several times he tried to get
him off the rail, and there was just nowhere to go. It's more or less a
non-effort. The horse looks like he really didn't run much this morning.
I don't know what I'll do. I wouldn't rule out taking that horse out to
the Dirt Mile. He's the kind of horse that has a big race in him, I
think. He's run a couple numbers already that would make him competitive
if he runs his very best race going a mile on the dirt."
Also for Brown on Saturday, Last Gunfighter finished
fifth in the Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup Invitational, ahead of three
Grade 1 winners in Alpha, Cross Traffic and Kentucky Derby hero Orb.
never happy when I finish fifth in a race, but I would say I'm not
disappointed with his effort. He gave me as good a race as he possibly
could," said Brown. "It was a tough race and he didn't disgrace himself
any. We'll just regroup with him. I have no plans for him yet."