(Edited press release)
A pair of $100,000 juvenile turf stakes from Retama Park Oct. 24 are serving as potential preps for the Breeders’ Cup next month.
Trainer Mike Maker shipped in a pair of Kitten’s Joy juveniles owned by prominent owners Ken and Sarah Ramsey hoping their performances will propel them to the World Championships Nov. 6 and 7 at Santa Anita Park.
The horses, which arrived in Texas Oct. 20 from Louisville, were supplemented for $6,000 each. Top rider Julien Leparoux is flying in to ride both promising youngsters.
Leparoux, second in earnings for the year through Oct. 22 with $14.4 million, is familiar with Lisa's Kitten
. He rode her to victory by three-quarters of a length in a field of eight on Sept. 25 at Belmont, covering the 1 1/16 miles on the grass in 1:43.
The filly trailed by 5 1/2 furlongs after six furlongs, launched her rally entering the stretch while making up ground, and won going away. Lisa’s Kitten will break from the 9 post in the M2 Technology La Senorita at a mile on the grass, the same distance as the BC Juvenile Fillies Turf on Nov. 6.
Her main opposition in the 12-filly field will come from Shotgun Gulch, undefeated in two sprints at Remington Park; C C’s Pal, winner of two straight by more than 10 lengths at Retama; and three others that have scored on the grass.
Leparoux also will climb aboard Kera's Kitten
, breaking from post 5 in the SKYY El Joven for colts and geldings at a mile on the grass, the same distance as the BC Juvenile Turf (gr. IIT).
He replaces Miguel Mena who was aboard the colt when he defeated seven others and won by a length on Sept. 21 going wire to wire at Kentucky Downs. He covered the six furlongs in 1:14 on a soft turf course.
Among the chief challengers in the 12-horse field are four that scored on the grass: geldings B’wanagoldmine and Nocknonheavensgate, and colts Prince Eddington and McKenna’s Justice.
The Ramseys bred and raced Kitten’s Joy, who was six-for-eight in 2004 en route to winning the Eclipse Award for top male turf horse as a 3-year-old. The son of El Prado came up 1 1/4 lengths short of Better Talk Now in the Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) that year.