Kitten's Joy, who won his fifth stakes race on the grass this year – all at different tracks – proved he's the leader of the nation's 3-year-old turf division with a convincing stakes-record win in the $400,000 Secretariat (gr. IT) Saturday at Arlington Park.
The Secretariat was the first grade I victory for the son of El Prado
, who was the 4-5 favorite for trainer Dale Romans, the shortest price by far during Arlington's International Festival of Racing. His time for the 1 1/4-mile event for 3-year-olds was 1:59 3/5. The clocking was two-fifths of a second faster than the Arlington Million (gr. I), which was two races earlier on the card.
Jerry Bailey angled Kitten's Joy out coming off the far turn and they closed with conviction, leaving the previously undefeated Greek Son about 3 1/4 lengths behind. Kitten's Joy finished under a vigorous hand ride. Moscow Ballet was 1 1/4 lengths back in third.
Breaking from the rail, Bailey held Kitten's Joy off the early pace duel as Cool Conductor took over from Hazyview and set off on a fast clip. Cool Conductor, ridden by Pat Day led by five lengths on the backstretch, scooting along through fractions of :23 1/5, :46 3/5 and 1:11. As the field completed the mile in 1:35 1/5, Cool Conductor was nearly all done and Moscow Ballet and Jamie Spencer soon took the lead while battling between horses.
However, Kitten's Joy responded with his winning move to take control through the stretch run. Greek Sun, with Edgar Prado in the saddle, closed from the rear but was second best.
Greek Sun had won the first three races of his career, all on the grass, including the Cinema (gr. III) at Hollywood Park in his last start.
Kitten's Joy improved to 7-2-0 in 10 lifetime starts with earnings of $855,911 for Kentucky owners/breeders Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey. In 2004, he's won five times with a second in six outings with earnings of $775,911. All of his previous stakes were in grade III races.
Kitten's Joy is out of the Lear Fan
mare Kitten's First.
He paid $3.80, $2.20 and $2.10. Greek Sun returned $3 and $2.60, completing a $10 exacta. Moscow Ballet's show was $2.80.
Simple Exchange, Cool Conductor, Hazyview and Up Anchor followed.