Kera's Kitten Wins Prep on Way to Lane's End

Kera's Kitten easily won the WEBN Stakes at Turfway Park Jan. 30.

Kenneth and Sarah Ramsey’s Kera's Kitten, far back in the Jan. 2 Turfway Prevue Stakes after a poor start, bounced back in a big way with an easy score in the $50,000 WEBN Stakes for 3-year-olds at Turfway Park Jan. 30 (VIDEO).

Ridden by Tommy Pompell and showing no aversion to a temperature of about 20 degrees, Kera’s Kitten took the early lead in the one-mile stakes on Polytrack and never looked back, winning by 2 1/2 lengths over Slewzoom and Lucky Chuck, who were in the mix from the half-mile point of the race.

Trained by Michael Maker, Kera’s Kitten, a 3-year-old by the Ramsey stallion Kitten's Joy , won for the third time in five starts. The colt broke his maiden in his debut career on the turf at Kentucky Downs and then won the $100,000 El Joven Stakes on the turf at Retama Park in Texas.

Kera’s Kitten paid $13.80 to win as the fourth choice in the WEBN, one of Turfway’s steppingstones to the March 27 Lane’s End Stakes (gr. II). The final prep is the $100,000 John Battaglia Memorial Stakes at 1 1/16 miles Feb. 27; Maker said the colt would point to the Battaglia Memorial

Fractions for the WEBN were :24.25 for the opening quarter-mile, :48.56 for the half-mile, 1:13.88 for six furlongs, and 1:41.21 for the mile. The Polytrack was playing slower than usual due to the cold temperature. 

"(Maker) told me I had the speed,” said Pompell, who was aboard Kera’s Kitten for the first time. “He didn’t break real well, but I kind of got after him and got him to the lead and settled him down from there. On the final turn, they came up to me and I let mine out a little bit, seeing as how I had horse, but there was really no challenge.”

Maker, reached by phone from his winter base in Florida, said: “Well, he runs a lot better when he breaks good. He had to load first (in the WEBN), and he gets a little anxious standing in the gate, even though he had three schooling sessions this week. But of course, it’s different with other horses around.”