Ken and Sarah Ramsey, who lost handicap stars Roses in May and Kitten's Joy to injuries earlier this year, have a Breeders' Cup contender after all. Their overlooked juvenile Dawn of War sprang a major upset in the $500,000 Lane's End Breeders' Futurity (gr. I) at Keeneland Saturday.
The Ramseys diminutive homebred son of Catienus led throughout in the 1 1/16-mile Futurity and pulled clear in the stretch, winning in 1:48 3/5 with John Jacinto aboard. Trained by Dale Romans, Dawn of War was favored in his last start, the Miller Lite Cradle at River Downs, but after losing to Laity by 11 3/4 lengths, bettors jumped ship. At odds of 31-1, Dawn of War was the longest-priced winner of the Breeders' Futurity in 92 runnings."This is the biggest win I have ever had," Jacinto said. "Mr. Romans told me that if I wanted to go to the lead it was OK. My horse is fast and he ran easy."Dawn of War was able to get the lead and set a relaxed pace after breaking well from his outside post, going :23 4/5, :48 2/5 and 1:14 3/5 while leading Laity, the lukewarm 3-1 favorite, into the turn. Laity, ridden by Corey Lanerie, couldn't keep up as they reached the stretch and Dawn of War was able to ease away to win by about four lengths. "We kind of let Laity get away from us at River Downs," Romans related." From the outside we had to go. It's always nice to have a speed horse at Keeneland, regardless of how the earlier races have been running. He didn't switch leads but we are working on that. I am sure Mr. Ramsey will want to go to the Breeders' Cup."Catcominatcha, ridden by Rafael Bejarano, rallied for second with Stream Cat and Mike Smith finishing third. Sharp Attack finished fourth."My horse made up a lot of ground," Bejarano said. "For a while I thought we were going to win it and we were just unlucky today.""He lost so much ground at the start," Smith said of Stream Cat. "He was closing in the end. I think this horse has a world of talent. Those long sweeping turns at Belmont will fit him perfectly."
Greater Fool collapsed on the track. A preliminary report said he was suffering from exhaustion. He was revived by veterinarians and track workers and walked onto a waiting horse ambulance. Jockey Shaun Bridgmohan was thrown to the track but was not injured.Dawn of War had won two races in a row including a minor stakes at Canterbury Park prior to his second-place finish in the Cradle. The Futurity was his first start against graded stakes foes. The victory, his third in six career starts to go with three seconds, was worth $310,000 and increased his earnings to $403,800.He paid $74.60, $24.20 and $11.20. Catcominatcha returned $16.60 and $8.60, completing an $870.20 exacta. Stream Cat's show payoff was $4.20 and rounded out a $6,894 trifecta. (Chart, Equibase)