08/28/2013 5:39PM

Saratoga: Granny Mc’s Kitten gives Ramseys meet record for wins with P. G. Johnson victory

Barbara D. Livingston
Granny Mc’s Kitten, with Javier Castellano riding, gets clear for the P. G. Johnson victory.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - Long before opening day in mid-July, Ken Ramsey said it was his goal to be leading owner at Saratoga’s sesquicentennial meet.

Though that goal was achieved well in advance of closing week, Ramsey, who owns and breeds horses with his wife, Sarah, established a single-meet record for wins by an owner with 19 when Granny Mc’s Kitten won Wednesday’s $100,000 P. G. Johnson Stakes by 1 3/4 lengths over Duff One. It was 1 1/2 lengths back to Miss Frost in third.

The previous record for wins at a Saratoga meet was 18 set by Ahmed Zayat in 2007.

“I don’t want to brag or anything, but I think if you execute and do it, it’s considered not boasting about it,” Ken Ramsey said. “We won it in 2008 and ‘09 and [Mike] Repole won it in ’10, ’11 and ’12, so I thought it was our turn again. I found out the record was 18, so I geared up and brought enough horses and claimed enough horses I thought I could make it to 20. So it’s 19 down and 1 to go.”

[SARATOGA 2013: Complete meet coverage, exclusive DRF videos]

Ramsey would have to wait for win number 20, as he finished second in the ninth race with Sneaky Kitten and second in the 10th race with Present Course.

Granny Mc’s Kitten, named after Ken’s sister Lou Ann McElvain, was a maiden entering the P.G. Johnson, having run second in her lone start. But her speed figures were on par with the rest of the field, so Ramsey and trainer Chad Brown said it was an easy decision to run.

“We really liked this filly before we debuted her, thought she was a bit of an unlucky loser,” Brown said. “She ran a like a horse that needed the race a little more mentally more than I anticipated. I thought I had her more focused than that.”

On Wednesday, Granny Mc’s Kitten was more focused.

Under Javier Castellano, Granny Mc’s Kitten raced a close-up third behind Miss Frost, who ran a half-mile in 47.47 seconds while being chased by Candy Kitty.

Approaching the top of the stretch, Castellano got Granny Mc’s Kitten off the rail, and she took command in upper stretch before edging clear though she drifted out some late. Granny Mc’s Kitten, a daughter of Kitten’s Joy, covered the 1 1/16 miles in 1:42.07 and returned $5.70.

“She was kind of keen a little bit into the first turn but once I put her behind the horses she settled and I [bided] my time turning for home,” Castellano said. “By the eighth pole she split horses and did it the right way.”

Ramsey said Granny Mc’s Kitten will be pointed to the Grade 3, $200,000 Miss Grillo Stakes on Oct. 6 at Belmont Park, a “Win and You’re In” race toward the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf.

Having won owner  titles at Gulfstream, Keeneland, and Churchill Downs, Ramsey said he is setting his sights on Kentucky Downs.

“They got huge purses down there - $98,000 allowance races, $90,000 maidens. I’m looking to be leading owner down there,” he said.