05/03/2011 10:27AM

Derby Kitten

Date Track Race Finish Chart Distance Time BSF Video
4/23/11 KEE Lexington 1st 1 1/16 mile 1:42.00 92 Video

Derby Kitten

Owner: Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey
Trainer: Michael Maker
Record: 9-2-3-1
Best Beyer: 92
Breeder: Kenneth L. Ramsey & Sarah K. Ramsey
Tomlinson Distance Rating: 200*

Auction: Homebred
Dosage Profile: 3-2-7-2-0 (14)
Dosage Index: 1.55
Center of Distribution: 0.43



By Marcus Hersh

Improving form. Beyer speed figure advocates will note this horse ran a higher number in his first start at 3 than he did all of 2010, and that his numbers have improved in all three subsequent starts. He comes up to the Kentucky Derby in by far the best form of his career, having won well in the G2 Lexington Stakes on April 23 at Keeneland. Skeptics will point out that his lone dirt performance was dismal, but that came early last fall, before Derby Kitten’s improvement. His trainer, Mike Maker, noted after the Lexington that Derby Kitten had “been his own worst enemy,” and apparently the horse is better behaved now.
Derby Kitten’s profile is reminiscent of Derby winner Charismatic, who, like the horse in question, ran for a claiming tag early in his 3-year-old season before winning the Lexington.

The Derby wasn’t in the plans for this horse even immediately after the Lexington, when his connections assumed he wouldn’t make the field due to insufficient graded-stakes earnings, and talked up a possible start in the Preakness. Having the right horse is the most important factor in winning the Derby, but it surely is helpful if a horse has specifically been pointed to and trained for the race.

Derby Kitten has raced seven times on turf, once on synthetic, and once on dirt. His career debut in a two-turn grass race was terrible, but Derby Kitten has been around the money in all his other starts – save the one on dirt. He has the high leg action generally associated with grass/synthetic performers, and may not be anywhere near the same horse on dirt that he was at Keeneland. Moreover, he got an excellent pace setup and trip in the Lexington while facing just five foes, factors that flattered his performance.

Betting Value
Derby Kitten should be every bit of 50-1 in the win pool. If you think he will hold serve on dirt and see a bay version of Charismatic here, such odds should be sufficient to play the horse straight.


By Dan Illman

Long-winded Kitten's Joy earned champion turf male honors in 2004 after winning the Grade 1 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic at 1 1/2 miles and the Grade 1 Secretariat Stakes at 1 1/4 miles. Kitten's Joy was winless from two starts on dirt, but was an extremely versatile grass horse, winning races at distances ranging from eight furlongs to 1 1/2 miles.
Although Kitten's Joy's progeny can be expected to excel on turf and synthetic surfaces, he is the sire of Puerto Rican champion Sweet Kitten, who raced exclusively on dirt. Dean's Kitten finished fourteenth in last year's Kentucky Derby after winning the Lane's End Stakes at nine furlongs on synthetic.

Derby Kitten is a full brother to William's Kitten, who won the $148,000 Sunday Silence Stakes on dirt going 1 1/16 miles at Louisiana Downs. William's Kitten finished second behind eventual Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver in the Grade 2 Kentucky Jockey Club at 1 1/16 miles at Churchill Downs and was third in the Grade 3 Holy Bull Stakes around a one-turn mile at Gulfstream Park.
Blush, Derby Kitten's dam, won three sprint races (two on dirt) during a 15-race campaign.
This is the female family of Grade 3 winner Traverse City, who earned all 10 of her lifetime victories in dirt sprints, and Travers Stakes winner Willow Hour. The fourth dam won the Grade 3 Next Move Handicap at nine furlongs on the dirt.

The distance should be right up Derby Kitten's alley. While his full brother was solid on the dirt, lingering questions remain concerning Derby Kitten's effectiveness on the surface as he was beaten 27 1/2 lengths in his only previous race on dirt.


Slowly developing colt has become a late runner, who has sustained a closing rally from last place in each of his two most recent starts. He figures once again to be towards the back of the pack once again given the expected lively pace.