Ken and Sarah Ramsey’s 3-year-old homebred filly Kitten's Dumplings overcame a poor effort in her last start and notched the first victory of her sophomore season in grand fashion May 3 at Churchill Downs.
Second-choice Wave Theory dumped rider Julien Leparoux shortly after the gates opened for the 1 1/16-mile turf contest and was caught by outriders. Judy in Disguise passed Birdlover after the opening quarter mile while clicking off early fractions of :23.52, :47.39, and 1:11.94 with Birdlover and Adriani trailing close behind.
With a late burst of speed down the stretch, 3-1 shot Kitten’s Dumplings came flying on the outside and decisively prevailed over her rivals by 3 3/4 lengths while recording a final time of 1:41.24. She was piloted by jockey Joel Rosario, who had a record-setting meet at Keeneland this year.
"What more can you say about Joel Rosario now?" said winning trainer Mike Maker. "He's in the zone. He's making all the right decisions and riding with a lot of confidence. I am glad he is on our team. I didn't give him any instructions since we know she comes from off the pace and he put her in the right position to win."
Kitten's Dumplings also gave the Ramseys consecutive victories in the Edgewood, having won with Stephanie's Kitten last year.
"She definitely belonged in the race," said Garcia of Praia. "She was working good. She ran a huge race last time she broke her maiden. So I was looking forward to riding her this time, to have the opportunity. So I can't complain about it. Just second best. I saved some ground, came running."
Kitten’s Dumplings entered the Edgewood off a distant fifth in the April 6 Central Bank Ashland Stakes (gr. I) over Polytrack at Keeneland. She ran second in the Feb. 2 Florida Oaks (gr. IIIT) on turf at Tampa Bay Downs prior to that. The bay filly scored her last victory in the La Senorita on turf at Retama Park last fall.
In all, she holds a record of 3-1-0 from eight starts, for earnings of $246,881. Bred in Kentucky, Kitten’s Dumplings is out of the Grand Slam mare Granny Franny.
"Perfect," said Rosario after the race. "She did really well today but that's kind of how she always is. When I rode her last time I was a little close to the pace but now I just took my time and let her finish up and she was there. She looked good."
Kitten’s Dumplings paid $8.40, $5.40, and $4.20. Praia returned $36.00 and $15.80, while Broken Spell paid $9.20 to show.
Tokyo Time, the 2-1 favorite in the field of nine, finished fourth in the Edgewood, followed by Judy in Disguise, Adriani, Birdlover, Street of Gold, and Private Ensign. Emotional Kitten was scratched.