Courtesy of Blood-Horse Daily, story by Ron Mitchell
Never mind that Ken and Sarah K. Ramsey’s Oscar Nominated, a son of their homebred sire Kitten’s Joy, raced to his 42-1 odds, finishing 17th in the Kentucky Derby (gr. I). The couple’s stallion still had an exceptional weekend.
Earnings from two graded stakes winners and one winner of a downgraded stakes jumped Kitten’s Joy up to 12th on the General Sires List. Ranked 1th on the General Sires’ List prior to Derby weekend, the stallion, who stands for $100,000 at Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., now has seasonal progeny earnings of $2,991,078. The leading turf sire the last three years, Kitten’s Joy holds a commanding lead atop that list also.
On Churchill Downs’ Derby undercard, Buff Bradley sent out Gunpowder Farms’ Divisidero, a 4-year-old son of Kitten’s Joy, to win the Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) by a neck. On the same card the Ramseys’ 3-year-old homebred Camelot Kitten scored a head victory in the American Turf (gr. IIT) or trainer Chad Brown.
At Santa Anita Park the previous day, Home Run Kitten, a 5-year-old trained by David Hofmans for Tarabilla Farms, won the American Stakes that was downgraded from a grade III turf race to a listed stake when rain forced its move to the main track.
The ever-upbeat Ramsey was not really surprised by Oscar Nominated’s Derby effort, even though he had the paid the $200,000 to have the colt nominated late to the Triple Crown series.
“I told half a dozen people that if he took to the dirt, which more than likely he’s not going to, he could end up in the (Derby) superfecta (top four), but if he didn’t like the dirt he would be in the lastfecta,'” Ramsey said. “This horse is bred for grass on the top and he’s bred for grass on the bottom. But we knew that going in (to the Derby), so we’re thinking about grass for him the next time.
“We had a great time (at the Derby), and we got the stallion’s name out there.” In addition to the May 6-7 successes of Kitten’s Joy, his son Hawkbill, a $350,000 yearling purchase for Sheikh Mohammed’s Godolphin, improved his recrod to four wins in six starts with a victory in the April 30 Newmarket Stakes, an Epsom Derby (Eng-I) prep.
That same day the Ramseys’ homebred Smokem Kitten (Kitten’s Joy) captured the Miami Mile (Gr. IIIT) at Gulfstream Park.
“He’s on a roll and gotten hot here lately,” Ramsey said before predicting Kitten’s Joy will repeat at leading turf stallion. “Spring is just here and the grass is just now getting green, so there wasn’t too much grass racing at Aqueduct in January, February, March. Long live ‘the Kitten.'”