07/10/2013 4:38PM

Hollywood Park: Emotional Kitten a rare West Coast starter for Ramseys in American Oaks

Tom Keyser
Emotional Kitten has won her last two races by a nose.

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Owner Kenneth Ramsey will have the nation covered in stakes horses this weekend.

A prominent Kentucky-based owner and breeder, Ramsey and his wife, Sarah, will have stakes starters at Arlington Park in Chicago, Canterbury Park in Minnesota, Colonial Downs in Virginia, and a rare California runner when Emotional Kitten starts in Saturday’s $350,000 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at Betfair Hollywood Park.

“It’s a big weekend,” he said Wednesday.

Emotional Kitten was one of nine nominees for the Grade 1 American Oaks, which is run over 1 1/4 miles on turf. When Ramsey noticed the field would be small, he made arrangements with trainer Wesley Ward for Emotional Kitten to be sent to California.

“I couldn’t pass it up,” he said.

Emotional Kitten is by the Ramsey-owned stallion Kitten Joy’s and is out of Silent Emotion, a mare the Ramseys raced. A winner of 3 of 10 starts and $133,815, Emotional Kitten beat maidens in a $75,000 claiming race on turf at Gulfstream Park last December in her seventh start.

After finishing a troubled third in her 2013 debut in an optional claimer in March, Emotional Kitten has won her last two races by a nose – an allowance race at Keeneland in April and the Hilltop Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at Pimlico on May 17. In both races, Emotional Kitten rallied from the back to win under jockey Joel Rosario.

“She’s really impressive in her last few races,” Ramsey said.

Emotional Kitten has never raced beyond 1 1/16 miles, but Ramsey is optimistic the longer trip will work.

“It looks like there is enough speed in the race,” he said.

Victor Espinoza will ride Emotional Kitten in the American Oaks, which drew a field of eight. The race is led by the first two finishers of the Grade 2 Honeymoon Handicap over 1 1/8 miles on turf here June 8 – Sarach and Scarlet Strike; and Emollient, who won the Grade 1 Ashland Stakes on Keeneland’s Polytrack surface in April.

The American Oaks will be the turf debut for Emollient, who is trained by Bill Mott.

Three other stakes on card

There are three other stakes on Saturday’s program, part of the final weekend of the spring-summer meeting. Del Mar opens July 17.

This is the last spring-summer meeting at Hollywood Park. The track is scheduled to be razed and developed in 2014.

Saturday’s $200,000 A Gleam Handicap for fillies and mares over seven furlongs has a projected field of eight, including Byrama, winner of the Grade 1 Vanity Handicap on June 15; Book Review, who won the Grade 1 La Brea Stakes at Santa Anita last December; and Teddy’s Promise, a troubled third to stablemate Include Me Out in the Desert Stormer Handicap.

Include Me Out is expected to pass the A Gleam in favor of the $300,000 Clement Hirsch Stakes for fillies and mares at Del Mar on Aug. 3, a race she won in 2012.

The Grade 2 A Gleam is part of the Breeders’ Cup Win and You’re In program, offering a fees-paid berth to the winner for the BC Filly and Mare Sprint at Santa Anita in November.

There are two stakes for 2-year-olds on Saturday.

The $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship for 2-year-olds over six furlongs is led by Willie B Awesome and Solid Wager, second and third in the Willard Proctor Memorial Stakes on June 15.

Proctor Stakes winner Kobe’s Back was not nominated but will run at Del Mar, trainer John Sadler said earlier this month.

The Hollywood Juvenile has a projected field of seven, with three first-time starters – Bond Holder (trained by Doug O’Neill), Carson’s Ten (Mike Puype), and Knock Em Flat (Jeff Mullins). Knock Em Flat was supplemented to the Hollywood Juvenile for $3,000 on Wednesday.

The June maiden race winners South Sound and She’s a Tiger are part of the field for the $100,000 Landaluce Stakes for 2-year-olds fillies over six furlongs. There will be support for Pleasant Miss, second in the Cinderella Stakes on June 15.