Kitten's First, whose son, Kitten's Joy, was 2004 champion turf male, was euthanized Jan. 14 because of foundering. She was owned by Ken and Sarah Ramsey, owners of Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., and was carrying a full sibling to Kitten's Joy (by El Prado).
A homebred for the Ramseys, Kitten's Joy was an overwhelming choice for grass champion. He won six races--all graded stakes--and was second twice from eight starts his championship season. His wins include victories in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) and Secretariat (gr. IT) Stakes. He ended the season with a runner-up effort in the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) as the odds-on favorite.
Kitten's Joy made just two starts in 2005, winning the Firecracker Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) and running second in the Arlington Million Stakes (gr. IT). He was retired with nine wins from 14 starts and earnings of $2,075,791. Now five, he will enter stud for $25,000 at Ramsey Farm.
Bred by Charles H. Deters, Kitten's First was the first horse owned by Sarah Ramsey, who is nicknamed Kitten. Kitten's First captured one of two starts on grass before becoming a broodmare. Her other stakes winner, Justenuffheart, raced once for the Ramseys and won before being sold. A daughter of Broad Brush, Justenuffheart was a two-time stakes winner for Frank Calabrese.
Kitten's First produced six registered foals, three of which started and won. Her 3-year-old daughter, Precious Kitten (by the Ramseys' stallion Catienus), is in training with Dale Romans at Gulfstream Park. Her youngest offspring is a 2-year-old Catienus filly.
Kitten's First (Lear Fan--That's My Hon, by L'Enjoleur) is buried at Ramsey Farm.