06/13/2013 3:45PM

Churchill Downs: Kitten’s Dumplings looks tough in Regret Stakes


LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Mike Maker-trained horses owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey have seemed nearly unstoppable everywhere from Kentucky to New York this spring. And Saturday night in the Grade 3 Regret Stakes in the race following the Stephen Foster at Churchill Downs, fans can expect more of the same.

Kitten’s Dumplings, a 3 3/4-length winner of the Edgewood Stakes over the Churchill Downs turf course May 3, looks poised to rally past the opposition under Joel Rosario in the 1 1/8-mile turf race.

The résumés of her opposition in the Regret are short, with none of the 10 having won more than two races.

Kitten’s Dumplings, meanwhile, has already won two stakes, plus a maiden race in her debut last summer at Saratoga. In addition to her Edgewood victory, she won the La Senorita Stakes at Retama Park as a juvenile in 2012.

She also ran second in the Grade 2 Florida Oaks on turf in February before finishing fifth in the Grade 1 Ashland over Keeneland’s synthetic Polytrack surface – a track she doesn’t like as much as turf.

The grass course at Churchill Downs might very well be her favorite, judging by her Edgewood, in which she ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.24 on firm ground, earning a race-best 90 Beyer Speed Figure.

A repeat of “her last should do it,” Maker said of her chances of victory.

Returning in the irons is Rosario, a rider with whom Maker teamed with record-establishing success at Keeneland this spring before the jockey departed for New York after Kentucky Derby week.

“She’s a difficult to horse to ride,” Maker said of his filly. “He knows her, so it’s a good fit.”

Kitten’s Dumplings, bred by the Ramseys, is a 3-year-old filly by Kitten’s Joy, who stands at their Kentucky farm.

Those seeking a pricier alternative to likely favorite Kitten’s Dumplings in the win pool or for use in gimmick wagers should consider Oscar Party, a 6-1 shot who won her seasonal debut May 25 at Churchill Downs after some good stakes efforts last year.

Broken Spell, the most experienced member of the field with 15 starts, also has the class to challenge if she is able to improve upon a third-place finish in the Edgewood for trainer D. Wayne Lukas. She was second in the Grade 1 Alcibiades last year on Polytrack in the highlight of her career.