By Frank Angst
After an upset win in the American Turf Stakes (gr. IIT) May 7 at Churchill Downs, Camelot Kitten will try for a second straight graded stakes score in the $200,000 Pennine Ridge Stakes (gr. IIIT) June 4 at Belmont Park.
In the American Turf, Camelot Kitten and Irad Ortiz Jr. rallied from 11 lengths back in the field of 13 3-year-olds to score a head victory in the 1 1/16-mile race. The Kitten’s Joy colt will stretch out to 1 1/8 miles on the inner turf at Belmont Saturday with Ortiz back in the irons.
Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s homebred won his debut on the Belmont inner turf last year and then placed second in the Bourbon Stakes (gr. IIIT) at Keeneland before finishing off the board in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT). He opened this season with a runner-up finish in an allowance race at Keeneland to set up his American Turf win.
Awaiting Camelot Kitten in the expected field of 10 3-year-olds will be Azar, who enters off a fifthplace finish in the American Turf. Trained by Todd Pletcher, Azar finished second, a neck behind the Ramseys’ Oscar Nominated, in the Horseshoe Casino Cincinnati Spiral Stakes (gr. III) April 2 on the Turfway Park Polytrack.
Last year Alto Racing’s Azar won the With Anticipation Stakes (gr. IIT) on the Saratoga Race Course turf. BH