Photo: Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club
Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Emotional Kitten is currently possible for a run in next weekend’s Grade III $200,000 Modesty Handicap for fillies and mares over a grassy 1 3/16 miles. The homebred daughter of Kitten’s Joy recently was eighth in the Grade I Gamely Stakes at Santa Anita on May 26 and has two stakes wins to her credit, including the Grade II Mrs. Revere Stakes at Churchill Downs last November.
“We are looking at the Modesty for Emotional Kitten. It is definitely a good option,” said Mark Partridge, manager of the Ramsey stable. “She likes firmer turf, which is why we have been running her in California. She loves the tracks out there, but we definitely are still looking at Arlington.”
Currently based at Churchill Downs for trainer Wesley Ward, the chestnut filly worked a bullet six furlongs on June 29 in 1:16.60. In addition to the Mrs. Revere, she won the Hilltop Stakes at Pimlico last year and has twice placed in Grade I events - the American Oaks and Del Mar Oaks of 2013.
Grade I winner Admiral Kitten, who impressively annexed the Grade I Secretariat Stakes on Arlington Million Day last year, looks to return to the locale of his finest performance in the Grade III Arlington Handicap next week at Arlington International Racecourse. The Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey homebred son of Kitten’s Joy has raced six times since the Secretariat, including two Grade I placings - in the Jamaica Handicap at Belmont and the Hollywood Derby at Hollywood Park - and a win in the Grade III John B. Connolly Turf Cup at Sam Houston.
“He’s doing just fine right now,” trainer Mike Maker reported. “The Arlington Handicap is next for him and we look forward to it. Physically he looks the same as last year, but he’s probably down a notch (in competition) this year. Last year he was a Grade I horse as a 3-year-old and this year he’s more of a Grade II or Grade III horse. Obviously he won the Secretariat at the same distance and loves the track there.” The Arlington Handicap - at a mile and a quarter on the Arlington grass - is at the same course and distance as his Secretariat victory.
Ramsey stable manager Mark Partridge echoed Maker’s sentiments. “He hasn’t come back to form yet, but when a 3-year-old turns four, it’s definitely hard,” he explained. “We’ll start him in the Arlington Handicap and hopefully a good performance will earn him a spot in the Arlington Million gate with (stablemate and defending Million champion) Real Solution.”
Real Solution, who is exiting a grand win in the Grade I Manhattan at Belmont Park on June 7, is training well at his Belmont base with conditioner Chad Brown, according to Partridge. “Real Solution will train up the race. It’s only five or six weeks away and there really isn’t anything else for him in the meantime. We would have loved to have had (multiple Grade I winner) Big Blue Kitten in the Arlington Million, too, but he won’t be ready for a race until later in the year. He just came back into serious training.”