01/06/2016 1:05PM

2015 Eclipse Awards: Ken and Sarah Ramsey

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Ken and Sarah Ramsey have essentially earned an annual reservation at the Eclipse Awards in recent years by believing in their own product and knowing when to believe in the products of others.

Last year, the Ramseys pulled off an unprecedented feat by sweeping the Eclipse Awards for outstanding owner and breeder for a second consecutive year. It was the fourth time the Nicholasville, Ky.-based couple won the owners’ Eclipse, having previously won it in 2004 and 2011.

The Ramseys finished 2015 ranked second on the North American owners’ list by earnings, with 654 starters and 135 winners for combined progeny earnings of $9,359,132.

That success has been driven by their homebred stallion Kitten’s Joy, whom the Ramseys have consistently supported with mares, to the point where the word “kitten” in a horse’s name has become almost synonymous with the Ramseys’ red and white colors.

Chief among them were Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Stephanie’s Kitten and multiple Grade 1 winner Big Blue Kitten, who headed up a slew of homebred graded stakes-level performers. Both are finalists for Eclipse Awards.

However, the accolades also have come from the ability of the Ramseys and their staff to find a diamond in the rough, be it through claiming or at an auction.

International Star, a multiple Grade 2 winner who earned the most points on the Kentucky Derby trail prior to being scratched the morning of the race, was an $85,000 purchase at auction. Meanwhile, Shining Copper earned a Grade 1 placing in the Arlington Million as a rabbit for Big Blue Kitten, three starts after being claimed for $62,500.

The Ramseys racked up seven meet titles in 2015, taking the spring and fall titles at Keeneland and Churchill Downs, the fall meet at Belmont Park, the championship meet at Gulfstream Park, and the title at Kentucky Downs.