Most of the stakes winners campaigned in 2011 by Ken and Sarah Ramsey delivered a double reward. The Central Kentucky farm owners had the thrill of winning 16 stakes, seven of them graded, in their white and red silks emblazoned with the a block capital R. Adding to the thrill of those victories was the bonus of having bred nine of their 12 stakes winners, all by their homegrown stallion Kitten's Joy .
The Ramseys won 116 races last year out of 495 starts, a win percentage of 23.4%. Their horses were in the money 263 times and in total the Ramseys’ runners collected $4,954,201 in earnings. Using North American earnings only, they were the second-leading owners behind Richard and Karen Papiese’s Midwest Thoroughbreds.
This year’s Eclipse trophy is the second the Ramseys have won as leading owner, having picked up their first in 2004 when they campaigned top older horses Kitten’s Joy and Roses in May.
In a tight race, the Ramseys received 66 first-place votes with Midwest Thoroughbreds getting 60. Team Valor was tabbed first on 25 ballots.
The Ramseys’ top runners in 2011 included Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf (gr. IIT) winner Stephanie’s Kitten. Out of the unraced Catienus mare Unfold the Rose, Stephanie’s Kitten won three of five starts and earned more than $817,000. Besides the Breeders’ Cup, she also won the grade I Darley Alcibiades Stakes at Keeneland.
The other graded stakes winners throughout the year were Holiday for Kitten, winner of the grade II Thoroughbred Club of America Stakes; Big Blue Kitten, who won the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame Stakes (gr. IIT); and Derby Kitten, winner of the Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. III).
One top Ramsey horse that wasn’t a homebred was Headache, a 6-year-old gelding by Tapit who won the Hawthorne Gold Cup Handicap (gr. II) and the Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Handicap (gr. III).