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DRF Breeding Weekend Wrap: A “Joy”-ful trio of Grade 1 winners for Ramseys
By Patrick Reed
The racing headlines over the past weekend were dominated by a Saturday afternoon of excellence for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, the excitement of which has rarely been matched by the sport’s elite owner-breeders save for Triple Crown or Breeders’ Cup events.
In the span of a little more than one hour, the Ramseys took down the Grade 1 Secretariat, the Grade 1 Sword Dancer, and the Grade 1 Arlington Million (the last via disqualification) with a trio of come-from-behind turfers by their flagship stallion Kitten’s Joy: Admiral Kitten, Big Blue Kitten, and Real Solution. DRF Breeding’s Nicole Russo was on location at Arlington Park for the aftermath of Real Solution’s win, which came after South African-bred shipper The Apache, who bested Real Solution by a head, was placed second after veering out sharply and bumping the runner-up near the finish line. Click here for her report on the pedigrees of all three Ramsey Farm runners.
Admiral Kitten, who picked up his first graded stakes win in the Secretariat, earned a Beyer Speed Figure of 89 for his final time of 2:02.17 over 1 1/4 miles on Arlington’s turf. Big Blue Kitten tallied a 96 Beyer after finishing 1 1/2 miles at Saratoga Race Course in 2:26.46. Real Solution and The Apache both earned 100 Beyers for the Arlington Million’s 1 1/4 miles. The final time for that race was 2:00.99.
Kitten’s Joy, champion turf male of 2004, vaulted to the top of the 2013 North American general sire list by Sunday with $7,480,784. The success of his runners, particularly on turf and synthetic surfaces, will be examined in more detail by John Sparkman in the Aug. 25 issue of DRF Breeding.
The other major story over the weekend was Princess of Sylmar’s performance in the 1 1/4-mile Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. The 3-year-old daughter of Majestic Warrior, by A.P. Indy, toyed with four opponents in a 2 1/2-length score, covering the distance in 2:03.21 and earning a 98 Beyer. She entered the race off of two consecutive Grade 1 wins in the Kentucky Oaks and Coaching Club American Oaks and, visually at least, appeared to be in even sharper form in the Alabama.
Majestic Warrior’s win is but the latest evidence of the continuing deep influence of pensioned Lane’s End sire A.P. Indy on the breed, especially relating to stamina (Alabama second Fiftyshadesofhay is by A.P. Indy’s late son Pulpit, and third Carnival Court is out of a daughter of A.P. Indy). A.P. Indy, 1992’s Horse of the Year, was recently visited by Daily Racing Form contributor Mary Simon and will be profiled as Hot Sire in the Aug. 25 DRF Breeding.
Weekend notes: The results of two Group 1 races at Deauville in France stood out as signposts of ongoing excellence – one the continuation of a superior female family, the other the latest chapter in a promising young sire’s career.
On Sunday, Romantica captured the top-level Prix Jean Romanet in a final time of 2:10.72 for 2,000 meters (about 1 1/4 miles). The 4-year-old Galileo filly is by 2001 champion turf female Banks Hill, who is in turn out of Hasili, arguably the most influential broodmare of the last 20 years when it comes to grass runners. Hasili, by Kahyasi, produced champions Intercontinental and Champs Elysees and elite sire Dansili, among others. (Dansili’s daughter Dank interrupted the Ramsey onslaught at Arlington on Saturday with a pulverizing 4 1/4-length romp in the Grade 1 Beverly D. Stakes, earning a 108 Beyer). For more on this remarkable family, click here.
Two races earlier, the Wesley Ward-trained No Nay Never took the next step in a very promising career by annexing the 1,200-meter (about six-furlong) Group 1 Prix Morny. The Keeneland-based cross-Atlantic shipper, who won by a length in a final time of 1:09.82, is out of Coolmore’s Scat Daddy, a Grade 1 winner on the racetrack whose exploits as a rising international sire have been well-documented. No Nay Never, who is out of the winning Elusive Quality mare Cat’s Eye Witness, has totaled three wins without a defeat – his debut at Keeneland in April, a Group 2 score in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot, and now the Prix Morny.