11/07/2007 12:00AM

Democrat Taxes figures tough

EmailLOUISVILLE, Ky. - There are little to no political agendas in the operation of an everyday racing stable, but Ken Ramsey just couldn't help himself. Ramsey pinned the name Democrat Taxes on one of his more promising homebred fillies as an overt testament to his Republican leanings and his disdain for the opposition.

"I wanted to run her one more time before the election," Ramsey said with a laugh Wednesday, the day after the Republican incumbent, Ernie Fletcher, was soundly defeated by Democrat Steve Beshear in the general election for Kentucky governor. "I guess I was a little late."

Unlike Fletcher, who lost by 18 percent of the vote after trailing by similar margins in pre-election polls, Democrat Taxes stands an excellent chance to win Friday at Churchill Downs, where two allowances anchor a 10-race program. Democrat Taxes, a game second at Keeneland last out, drew the outside post in a field of seven 2-year-old fillies entered in the ninth race, a $50,000 entry-level allowance at seven furlongs.

"She's a very good filly," Ramsey said. "She barely got beat in that last race at Keeneland. We really think a lot of her future."

Politics and racing aside, Ramsey has been struggling in recent months with the devastating effects that a major stroke has had on his wife, Sarah, who was stricken in February while in Florida for the Gulfstream Park meet. Sarah Ramsey is still unable to speak and continues to undergo rigorous therapy sessions in Lexington, Ky., near their Nicholasville farm.

"It's really heart-wrenching," Ken Ramsey said. "Our 50-year wedding anniversary will be next September."

Ken and Sarah Ramsey have long had a dominant stable on the Kentucky circuit, and they enjoyed such an outstanding year in 2004 that they were voted an Eclipse Award as top owner.

Democrat Taxes, with Robby Albarado riding for trainer Ronny Werner, appears to have two fillies in particular to beat: Magger Bags, an impressive last-out maiden winner for trainer Dallas Stewart, and Spritely, a winner of her lone start for trainer Todd Pletcher.

The Friday co-feature, the eighth race, also carries a $50,000 purse and an entry-level allowance condition. Curvature, trained by Bill Mott, looks like a clear-cut favorite in the one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds and up. A field of 12 is entered, although only as many as 10 can start if the race stays on the grass as expected. First post is 12:40 p.m. Eastern.