11/02/2014 4:36PM

Bobby's Kitten will aim for BC Mile in 2015

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Tom Keyser
Bobby's Kiteen, coming off a win Saturday in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint, will be put on the path to the 2015 Breeders' Cup Mile by his connections.

ARCADIA, Calif. – The future for Bobby’s Kitten, the winner of Saturday’s $920,000 Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint at Santa Anita, will focus on the 2015 BC Mile at Keeneland in October, with consideration for an international journey to England for the Royal Ascot meeting in June.

Trainer Chad Brown said he hopes to run Bobby’s Kitten in the BC Mile at Keeneland, near the home of owners and breeders Ken and Sarah Ramsey. A start at Royal Ascot – in a race such as the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes over a straightaway mile June 16, 2015 – was described by Brown in a text message Sunday as a “possibility.”

The BC Turf Sprint was the richest win for Bobby’s Kitten, who closed from last in a field of 14 to win the race over about 6 1/2 furlongs on the hillside turf course by a half-length over the 7-2 favorite No Nay Never. Bobby’s Kitten, a 7-1 shot, was 12th with a furlong remaining under jockey Joel Rosario.

The BC Turf Sprint was the shortest race in Bobby’s Kitten’s 11-race career.  Brown and the Ramseys had Bobby’s Kitten pre-entered in the BC Mile on Saturday but opted for a cut back in distance to the Turf Sprint.

Ramsey admitted in the press conference that he feared “another Breeders’ Cup disaster” when Bobby’s Kitten was last with a quarter-mile remaining.

“Then I saw him kicking it in on the outside,” he said. “When he hit the wire, I didn’t know if he got it, and I looked around and said, ‘Did he? Did he?’ They said, ‘Yes,’ and took off to the winner’s circle.”

Ramsey and Brown hoped to be in the winner’s circle of the 2013 BC Juvenile Turf at Santa Anita with Bobby’s Kitten, who was the 6-5 favorite in that race. Bobby’s Kitten led into the stretch after setting a fast pace but was caught and finished third. Brown said the loss was not easy to forget.

“It’s taken me the full year really to get over it until this win,” he said. “I just thought that was one Breeders’ Cup that got away from us.”

Bobby’s Kitten won the Penn Mile for 3-year-olds on turf at Penn National in May and was third in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile on Sept. 14. After that race, thoughts turned toward the BC Turf Sprint. Bobby’s Kitten has won 5 of 11 starts and $1,294,916.

After Saturday’s race, Ken Ramsey and Brown reflected on their mutual relationships with the late Hall of Fame trainer Bobby Frankel, the namesake of Bobby’s Kitten. Ramsey was a client of Frankel’s. Brown was Frankel’s New York assistant. Frankel died in November 2008.

Ramsey, who stands Bobby Kitten’s sire, Kitten’s Joy, reserved the name Bobby’s Kitten a few years ago and told Brown to find the appropriate colt for the name. In early 2013, Brown worked two prospects by the stallion Kitten’s Joy and watched as one pulled far clear from the other. He quickly was on the phone to Ramsey.

“This Bobby’s Kitten beat the other horse by 20 lengths, and I never work horses that way,” Brown said. “I called him at the farm and said, ‘This is the horse. Put the name in before I change my mind,’ and he named it.”