Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Bobby's Kitten , a speed type who never had raced shorter than one mile, went from last to first with a dramatic run to capture the $1 million Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint (gr. IT) Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park (VIDEO).
It was the third Breeders' Cup win so far the past two days for trainer Chad Brown. Bobby's Kitten, a 3-year-old homebred colt by Kitten's Joy , finished third in last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf (gr. IT) at Santa Anita.
Bobby's Kitten, ridden by Joel Rosario, finished the 6 1/2 furlongs on the downhill turf course in 1:12.73. No Nay Never was second, a half-length back, in a blanket finish, followed by Undrafted in third and the mare Ageless in fourth.
Bobby's Kitten, winner of the $500,000 Penn Mile earlier this year, broke with the pack from post 6 and quickly dropped back to 11th as the mare Reneesgotzip grabbed control through fractions of :21.69 for the opening quarter-mile, :43.67 for the half-mile, and 1:06.70 for six furlongs on a course rated good. By the time the field passed the half-mile mark, Bobby's Kitten had dropped back to last.
No Nay Never, never far back, collared Reneesgotzip in the stretch and gradually pulled away as Ageless and Tightend Touchdown began to gain ground from just off the leaders. But in the final sixteenth of a mile, first Undrafted and then Bobby's Kitten began strong runs that carried them into the photo finish.
Bobby's Kitten got up to win by a half-length. No Nay Never held second by a nose over Undrafted, who had a neck on Ageless.
"I was kind of worried with my position in the beginning," Rosario said. "There was a lot of speed in the race, but I thought I could have been closer. I had to take a hold and was further back than I wanted to be. I thought I had no shot but he gave me a huge turn of foot."
Brown also said he was concerned when he saw Bobby's Kitten so far back, but he credited Rosario with a good ride.
"Joel rode him perfectly," Brown said. "He knows (the downhill course) so well, and that's one of the big reasons we put him on this horse. We had this race in mind, and it was a good decision. This makes up a little bit for the disappointment of this horse's race in the Juvenile Turf last year."
Dennis Ward, father of Wesley Ward, the trainer of No Nay Never, said the colt ran a "fantastic" race. His second-place finish gave 3-year-olds the top two spots in the order of finish.
Bobby's Kitten, the third choice in a 14-horse field, paid $16.40, $8, and $6.20 across the board. No Nay Never returned $6.60 and $4.80, while Undrafted paid $7.60 to show. The $1 exacta paid $54.10 and the $1 trifecta $647.
Bobby's Kitten now has five wins in 11 starts and pushed his earnings over the $1.7 million mark.
"This is probably the best Kitten's Joy I've ever raised," Ken Ramsey said. "We bred him on the farm and raised him, but he has the making of a stallion. All he needs is that grade I behind his name."
Bobby's Kitten is out of the Forestry mare Celestial Woods.