The hot start to the Keeneland fall meet continued for Ken and Sarah Ramsey, as their homebred filly Holiday for Kitten held off Musical Romance by a head to win the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (gr. II) (VIDEO) Oct. 8.
A 3-year-old daughter of Kitten's Joy , Holiday for Kitten was sent off at 18-1 in the six-furlong TCA, her first graded stakes triumph. The bay filly was ridden to victory by Kendrick Carmouche for trainer Wesley Ward.
The Ramseys, who stand Kitten’s Joy at their Nicholasville, Ky., farm, won the $400,000 Darley Alcibiades (gr. I) on opening day Oct. 7 with another homebred, Stephanie's Kitten.
Holiday for Kitten was just off the lead of Rapport after an opening quarter mile of :21.96 and inched even closer when they reached the quarter pole in :44.61. She came off the turn with a narrow advantage, led by a length at the eighth pole, and looked like an easy winner until Musical Romance rallied under Juan Leyva in deep stretch. The fillies head-bobbed to the wire but it was Holiday for Kitten who got the photo on the inside.
The final time on Polytrack was 1:08.72. Musical Romance settled for second, three-quarters of a length in front of odds-on favorite Switch, who shipped in from California.
“She broke in front, and I knew Brian Hernandez (on Rapport) would be right on the lead or sitting second," Carmouche said. "I let him go to the lead, and I was sitting pretty comfortable at the quarter pole coming into the top of the stretch. When I asked her to go home and switch leads, I knew right there I had enough horse to compete with the rest of the horses whenever a challenge would come on.”
Holiday for Kitten won for the fourth time in 11 lifetime starts and upped her earnings to $271,945. She won the Giant’s Causeway Stakes at Keeneland during the 2011 spring meet for her first black-type score. Last out, she was sixth in the Turf Amazon Handicap Sept. 5 at Parx Racing.
Ward said Holiday for Kitten would probably move on to the Sentient Jet Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (gr. I) next month at Churchill Downs after earning an automatic berth with the TCA win.
The winner is out of the Cure the Blues mare Blue Holiday.
Sent off as the eighth choice in a field of 11, Holiday for Kitten paid $39.60, $17.20, and $7.80. The exacta (5-1) returned $367.40, and the trifecta (5-1-10) was worth $1,246.40.