"It's a relief that he made it all this way, and excitement for what he's going to do the rest of the year and what I think his potential is for the rest of the year," said Romans. "I think he's better than he was last year. He's grown up, he's stronger and he's doing everything right." Prado had been aboard Kitten's Joy just once before, when they teamed to win the Virginia Derby (gr. IIIT) at Centennial a year ago."He gave me that good feeling, like he had a couple of gears," he said of that race. "He had that again today. When I asked him, he just took off." The Kentucky bred-colt won for the ninth time in 13 lifetime starts with earnings of $1,875,791. Monday's victory was worth $169,880. Kitten's Joy has a record of nine wins and two seconds in 11 attempts on the turf.There was some concern whether the one-mile Firecracker distance would be long enough for Kitten's Joy, but he accomplished the win in a non-taxing 1:35 1/5 on firm going.Old Forester, the 2-1 second choice with Pat Day aboard, stalked Parker Run in second through fractions of :24 2/5, :48 2/5 and 1:12 2/5 and finished willingly while giving way late. America Alive, ridden by Robby Albarado, kept in touch with the tightly bunched field of six and was making up ground at the end."He went by me like I was not running," said Day. "My horse dropped down and ran hard off the turn and into the stretch and all the way to the finish. He just couldn't run with the winner."
"That was fun to watch," said Albarado of the performance by Kitten's Joy. "He's one of the best grass horses I've seen in a long time. He's an amazing horse. He's a phenomenal horse." Kitten's Joy paid $3.20, $2.20, and $2.10. Old Forester returned $2.60 and $2.10 while completing a microscopic $7 exacta. America Alive's show was $2.10.Parker Run held on for fourth followed by Senor Swinger and Mighty Military.(Chart, Equibase)