Ken Ramsey's Ten Cents a Shine, who finished second in last year's Kentucky Jockey Club Stakes (gr. II) for trainer Kenny McPeek, has been turned over to D. Wayne Lukas, Ramsey said Wednesday.
The son of Devil His Due had dead-heated for win in his 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream before finishing up the track in the Fountain of Youth Stakes. It was discovered that the colt had been suffering from a lung infection.
Ramsey said it was the lung infection that contributed most to his decision to send Ten Cents a Shine to California. "The switch was not intended to hurt Kenny McPeek, who I respect and admire very much," Ramsey said. "He's had to shop in the bargain basements for his athletes, and I've never had any first-round draft choices myself, so I feel especially sensitive about the situation because of that. But, the horse did have a lung infection and was coughing after the race, and it's been getting very hot and humid in South Florida. The weather is usually beautiful in California this time of the year, and I just thought a change of scenery would be good for the horse.
"I had a long conversation with Kenny at the sales yesterday, and he handled it very professionally. He told me he respected Wayne Lukas and felt I was putting him in good hands. He said he'd cooperate with him in any way he could. I'm giving Kenny a share in the horse if he should become fortunate enough to become a stallion, and he still has a couple of other horses for me, so we're not splitting. I just don't want to blow this opportunity and have regrets later.
"I think I've got the horse in the best hands I can get him in. I went with Lukas primarily because I know he and Bob Baffert are just noses apart on this Derby trail, and Wayne has done such a good job for me with Nothing to Lose. Wayne is very dedicated and focused on getting us there, and he's looking forward to the opportunity."
Ten Cents a Shine is scheduled to fly to California from Opa Locka Airport Wednesday evening, and likely will point for the Santa Anita Derby. As for Nothing to Lose, Ramsey said he's leaning toward keeping the horse on the grass, running him in the Transylvania Stakes at Keeneland, then switching to the dirt for the Kentucky Derby. Ramsey said his thinking is that a natural grass horse like Nothing to Lose will perform better on the dirt in his first start off the grass.
Nothing to Lose, a son of Sky Classic, had a pair of fourth-place finishes on the dirt before winning the Tropical Park Derby and Palm Beach Stakes on the grass.
Ramsey also owns the undefeated Badge of Silver, spectacular winner of the Risen Star Stakes. Badge of Silver, trained by Ronny Werner, may run next in the Louisiana Derby or wait for the Illinois Derby.