04/23/2011 5:57PM

Keeneland: Derby Kitten pays $20 in Lexington; Silver Medallion runs fourth

Keeneland/Coady Photography
Derby Kitten pulls away in the Lexington under jockey Julien Leparoux.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Derby Kitten ended a big afternoon for Ken and Sarah Ramsey when rallying from last to post a 9-1 upset Saturday in the 30th running of the Grade 3, $200,000 Coolmore Lexington Stakes at Keeneland.

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With Julien Leparoux aboard, Derby Kitten settled early before angling out with a searing stretch run, edging clear late to win the 1 1/16-mile Polytrack race by 1 1/2 lengths. Prime Cut was second, while pace-setting Casper’s Touch faded to third, another half-length back in a field of six 3-year-olds.

Derby Kitten, trained by Mike Maker, returned $20.40 after finishing in 1:42.03.

“We had a good trip,” said Leparoux. “I had a lot of horse and I knew I was going to get there.”

The Ramseys, the perennial leading owners in Kentucky, also were represented Saturday by Holiday for Kitten, winner of the Giant’s Causeway, and Dean’s Kitten, second in the Ben Ali. All three are homebreds by Kitten’s Joy.

Derby Kitten had won just once in eight previous start, with a maiden-claiming race at Gulfstream Park in early January accounting for his only career score.

“He’s been his own worst enemy but he’s been maturing,” said Maker.

Derby Kitten earned $120,000, a total that does not figure to get him close to the 20-horse cutoff for the 137th Kentucky Derby on May 7.

Run just after a heavy downpour, the Lexington had just one starter with the possibility of making the graded-earnings cutoff for the Derby: Silver Medallion, the 6-5 favorite. But the colt failed to fire after getting a good inside trip, finishing fourth. He earned $10,000, inching his graded total up to $194,334, which is still 24th on the current earnings list.

An ontrack crowd of 20,273 turned out for the final weekend card of the 15-day Keeneland spring meet. The final three-day stretch starts Wednesday, with Churchill Downs opening its spring meet Saturday evening with the Derby Trial.

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