11/02/2015 1:09PM

Stephanie's Kitten sold privately to Japanese farm

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Susie Raisher
Stephanie's Kitten, winner of the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf, has been sold privately to Northern Farm in Japan.

Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf winner Stephanie's Kitten was sold privately to Northern Farm of Japan on Monday after failing to meet her reserve at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky fall selected mixed sale a day earlier.

The 6-year-old mare drew a high bid of $2.95 million at the auction, failing to meet her reserve of about $3 million. Northern secured the mare with a private offer of $2.8 million.

“A bidder last night came back and made another offer, and we accepted it,” said Jeff Ramsey, son of owner Ken Ramsey.

The Ramsey family bred Stephanie’s Kitten, daughter of their homebred turf champion Kitten’s Joy, and campaigned her throughout her career. Moments following the mare’s trip through the auction ring last night, Ken Ramsey said he was inclined to keep the mare and race her offspring.

“We'd already been talking about which stallion to breed her to,” said Jeff Ramsey, for whose daughter Stephanie’s Kitten is named. “We'd already actually made phone calls this morning. It's a business. Sometimes your heart gets broken. But I'm sure she'll have a very good home and a very successful career over there."

Stephanie's Kitten won the 2011 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf and notched her second marquee victory Saturday at Keeneland, where she held off European star Legatissimo to win the Filly and Mare Turf. She had finished second in last year's running to champion Dayatthespa.

Stephanie's Kitten sustained her high-level ability over five seasons, winning Grade 1 events at ages 2, 4, 5, and 6 and winning stakes events each year she competed. In addition to her Breeders’ Cup performances, she won two editions of the Grade 1 Flower Bowl at Belmont Park; the Grade 1 Just a Game, also contested at Belmont, in 2013; and the Grade 1 Alcibiades Stakes on Keeneland’s Polytrack as a juvenile.

In all, Stephanie's Kitten won 11 of 25 career starts, winning or placing in 16 graded stakes, for earnings of $4,292,904.