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Stephanie’s Kitten Eyes BC Juvenile Fillies Turf

Wayne Catalano shook a lot of hands and returned a lot of hugs this morning as congratulations for winning Friday’s $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (G1) with Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Stephanie’s Kitten and scoring the first Keeneland stakes victory of his career. Ridden by John Velazquez, Stephanie’s Kitten covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:43.12, a stakes-record time for the race since 2006, when it first was run on Polytrack.

 

“When you win these Grade 1s and these kind of races – to win at Keeneland is very special,” Catalano said. “It was the kind of race that we needed. You always need to win the good ones, and we wanted to get back to the Breeders’ Cup, so this puts us in there. We’re happy about that.”

 

Stephanie’s Kitten also was nominated to Thursday’s JPMorgan Chase Jessamine (G3) on Keeneland’s turf course, but Catalano chose to run her in the Darley Alcibiades to give her more time until the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Churchill Downs. Catalano said the filly, who now has a win on turf and on an all-weather surface in her four races, will return to turf for her next start in Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (G2) on November 4. He said she would remain at Keeneland for a time until moving to Churchill, where she possibly would receive her final breeze for the Breeders’ Cup over the turf course.

 

Catalano sent out his first starter at Keeneland in 2000. Among the horses he has raced here are She Be Wild, who was second in the 2009 Darley Alcibiades and then won the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1) en route to being named champion 2-year-old filly, and Lewis Michael, runner-up in Keeneland’s 2007 Commonwealth Breeders’ Cup (G2).

 

Catalano also trained champion Dreaming of Anna, winner of the 2006 Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1). At Keeneland in 2007, Dreaming of Anna was second in the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (G1). Now Catalano has another talented 2-year-old filly.

 

“People send you horses and they send you a lot of fillies,” he said when explaining his success. “When you win with fillies, I guess you get a little reputation that you can get the fillies home.”

 

Stephanie’s Kitten, whose second dam is Grade 1 winner and Keeneland stakes winner Bail Out Becky, is a homebred racing for the Ramseys, who own her sire, champion Kitten’s Joy, and stand him at their Ramsey Farm in Nicholasville, Kentucky. Stephanie’s Kitten, named for the Ramseys’ granddaughter, was offered for sale at the 2010 Keeneland September Yearling Sale.

 

Among the other Darley Alcibiades competitors: Trainer Ken McPeek said third-place finisher Putthebabiesdown, who finished third, came out of the race well and would remain at Keeneland for another 10 days or so before moving to Churchill. He said the daughter of Closing Argument would make her next start on dirt in the Grey Goose Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies (G1).

 

 

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