Updated on 09/18/2011 1:11AM

Precious Kitten takes Martha Washington


The Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey-owned entry of Precious Kitten and Mambo With G displayed teamwork to perfection in the $200,000 Martha Washington Breeders' Cup on Saturday at Laurel Park.

Mambo With G, ridden by Rosie Napravnik, discouraged all the front-runners in the 1 1/16-mile turf race, setting a testing pace of 23.88 seconds for a quarter-mile, 47.59 for a half, and 1:11.50 for three quarters. Precious Kitten, ridden by Erick Rodriguez, settled back toward the rear of the field of 10 3-year-old fillies early, moved into contention on the turn, seized the lead at the head of the stretch, and held off the late-closing Meribel to win by a neck.

Ramon Dominquez, the rider of Meribel, claimed interference by Precious Kitten, but the stewards disallowed the claim.

Gasia rallied from last to be third, another 2 1/2 lengths behind.

Precious Kitten is trained by William Fox, an assistant to Kentucky-based trainer Dale Romans, who is currently serving a suspension. She was timed in 1:41.22 over turf labeled good, and the entry paid $20.40.

Sired by Catienus, Precious Kitten finally won a race on turf after finishing second three times and third once in five previous grass starts. She is a half-sister to Kitten's Joy, a $2 million earner and the 2004 champion male turf horse.

The $120,000 winner's share of the purse more than doubled her earnings to $205, 286. It was also the biggest purse ever won by the 26-year-old Rodriguez.