11/10/2004 1:00AM

Kitten's Joy has knee surgery

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Kitten's Joy, the standout 3-year-old grass specialist who is the favorite to win the Eclipse Award for top turf horse, underwent arthroscopic surgery Wednesday morning to have a bone chip removed from his front left knee.

Kitten's Joy, owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, is expected to get about 90 days off before returning to light training at Palm Meadows in south Florida "in February or so," said trainer Dale Romans. "The Woodford Reserve on Kentucky Derby Day will be our first major goal for next year."

Dr. Larry Bramlage performed the routine surgery at the Rood and Riddle clinic in Lexington, Ky.

"Dr. Bramlage said the chip was in the right kind of spot and the long-term prognosis is excellent," said Romans.

Kitten's Joy had six victories and two second-place finishes from eight starts this year, all on grass. He was second as the odds-on favorite behind Better Talk Now in his most recent race, the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup Turf at Lone Star Park.