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Ramseys Show the Way at Gulfstream


Prolific owner-breeder Ken Ramsey is a familiar figure in the Gulfstream Park winner’s circle these days as he leads each of his winners into the enclosure to get their picture taken when he is in town, most recently Wednesday afternoon. He hopes do the same with he and his wife Sarah’s 3-year-old homebred colt Charming Kitten after Saturday’s second running of the $100,000 Kitten’s Joy Stakes.

The Ramseys are having a strong meet as the mid-point of the season approaches and currently lead the owners’ standings with 20 victories, 10 more than 2011-12 meet leader Frank Calabrese. The Ramseys have won numerous meet titles at home in Kentucky at Churchill Downs and Keeneland.

“We’ll have to stay on top of it if we want to win this title,” says Ramsey. “We won it in 2009 and Frank Calabrese has won it the last three years.” The Ramseys currently have horses with six different trainers in South Florida this winter – Mike Maker, Wesley Ward, Chad Brown, Wayne Catalano, Christophe Clement and Todd Pletcher

The Ramseys were voted Eclipse Award owner in 2004 when buoyed by the accomplishments of Eclipse Award turf champion Kitten’s Joy and Dubai World Cup (G1) winner Roses in May, both trained by Dale Romans. They chose to retain and stand Kitten’s Joy at their Ramsey Farm near Lexington, Ky. while selling Roses in May to stand in Japan.

The choice to keep Kitten’s Joy has proven to be a tremendous success story with his progeny earnings hitting $6.8 million in 2011 and their homebred filly Stephanie’s Kitten leading the way after winning the Alcibiades Stakes (G1) at Keeneland and $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G2) at Churchill Downs. Kitten’s Joy came back with another productive year in 2012 as his offspring earned $6.5 million.

“He had 15 stakes winners and 31 stakes runners last year, He didn’t have the Grade 1 winner like he did in 2011 with Stephanie’s Kitten, but it was another solid year.” said Ramsey, who can recite statistics on his sprawling operations that includes horses in training in several states at a time, his own sizable broodmare band and of course, Kitten’s Joy and his matings.

“He was bred to 214 mares last year (60 of his own) and we expect he’ll have somewhere around 190 foals this spring. We turned down another 143 mares. He’ll breed to somewhat fewer mares this year as the quality of his book is getting stronger. Unfortunately, one of the mares was Hollywood Wildcat who died in foal.” The 1993 Eclipse Champion 3-year-old filly died June 23 from complications of cancer.

Kitten’s Joy stood for a $50,000 fee in 2012 and remains the same in 2013 for those that can get to him.

The Ramseys bred Kitten’s Joy in Kentucky. The flashy chestnut by El Prado out of Kitten’s First, by Lear Fan earned one of his first major victories at Gulfstream early in 2004 when he won the $100,000 Palm Beach Stakes (G3). After a fifth-place career as a 2-year-old in 2003 debut sprinting on dirt at Saratoga in 2003, he would go on to finish one-two in all 13 of his starts thereafter with nine wins and four seconds.

In addition to Stephanie’s Kitten, the most accomplished offspring have included Dean’s Kitten, winner of the Lane’s End Stakes (G2) at Keeneland, Del Mar Derby (G2) winner Banned, Csaba, Queen’splatekitten, Politcallycorrect and Big Blue Kitten.



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