Fresh off victories in the Sept. 1 Palomar Handicap (gr. IIT) and the Aug. 4 John C. Mabee Handicap (gr. IT), Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s Precious Kitten seems poised to extend her winning streak to three races in the $400,000 First Lady Stakes (gr. IIT) at Keeneland. The winner of the Oct. 6 one-mile turf event will earn an automatic berth to the Oct. 27 Emirates Airline Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park as part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge “Win and You’re In” program.
Precious Kitten, a 4-year-old daughter of Catienus , has not finished worse than second since Aug. 12, 2006. This year, she alternated victories in the Martha Washington Breeders Cup Stakes, the Mrs. Revere Stakes, the Gallorette Handicap (gr. IIIT), and the John C. Mabee with narrow losses in the Valley View Stakes, the Honey Fox Handicap (gr. IIIT), the Jenny Wiley Stakes (gr. IIT), and Hollywood Park’s CashCall Mile Invitational Stakes (gr. IIT). Trainer Bobby Frankel will give a leg up to jockey Rafael Bejarano, part of the 125-pound high weight carried by Precious Kitten.
Racing under two pounds less and meeting Precious Kitten for a second time is CashCall Mile winner Lady of Venice (FR). The 4-year-old Loup Solitaire filly looks to recover from a third-place finish behind Royal Highness (GER) in the Aug. 11 Beverly D. (gr. IT) at Arlington Park, a loss that snapped her three-race winning streak for trainer Patrick Biancone. Lady of Venice has only finished off the board once in 11 career starts. She won the 2007 Ouija Board Distaff Handicap (gr. IIIT), the 2006 Regret Stakes (gr. IIIT), and Appalachian Stakes for owner Martin Schwartz.
Biancone’s fellow Frenchman Christophe Clement saddles one of his best fillies, Vacare, who ran five races unbeaten and won the Magna Distaff Stakes before finishing third in the May 28 Gamely Stakes (gr. IT) at Hollywood and second in the Balston Spa Handicap (gr. IIT) at Saratoga Aug. 23. The 4-year-old daughter of Lear Fan won the Queen Elizabeth II Challenge Cup (gr. IT) last year at Keeneland.
Also of interest is the Todd Pletcher-trained Quiet Royal, a 4-year-old daughter of Royal Academy who ran ninth in last year’s Breeders Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) and comes off a victory in the Kentucky Cup Ladies Turf Stakes at Kentucky Downs Sept. 22.
Ermine, Honour Colony, Arravale, and Beautiful Venue round out the field.
$400,000 First Lady Stakes (gr. II, Race 7, 4:45 p.m.), one mile, fillies and mares 3-yrs-old & up (turf)
PP, Horse, Weight, Jockey
1. Ermine, 119, Mark Guidry
2. Honour Colony, 119, Rene Douglas
3. Quite a Bride, 121, Robby Albarado
4. Precious Kitten, 125, Rafael Bejarano
5. Vacare, 121, Corey Nakatani
6. Lady of Venice, 123, Julien Leparoux
7. Arravale, 121, Jose Valdivia, Jr.
8. Beautiful Venue, 116, Florent Geroux
9. Quiet Royal, 119, John R. Velazquez