Ken and Sarah Ramsey's Kitten's Joy, the Eclipse Award winner as America's turf champion in 2004, heads a group of 36 older turf stars nominated to the $250,000-added Firecracker Breeders' Cup (gr. IIT) on July 4.
The one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up on the Matt Winn Turf Course includes a purse supplement of $75,000 from the Breeders' Cup Stakes fund.
Trainer Dale Romans is pointing the 4-year-old son of El Prado toward the Firecracker, which would mark Kitten Joy's 2005 season debut and his first race since he underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his left knee.
Kitten's Joy continued his preparation for the Firecracker on Tuesday with a five furlong breeze in 1:01 1/5 – the second fastest of eight at the distance – on the turf.
Nominees who are expected to contest the one-mile race include Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT) winner Singletary; Dixie Handicap (gr. IIT) winner Cool Conductor; and Senor Swinger, a two-time winner of Churchill Downs' Opening Verse Handicap.
Other horses nominated included Woodford Reserve Turf Classic (gr. IT) winner America Alive; Maker's Mark Mile (gr. IIT) winner Artie Schiller; 2003 Woodford Reserve winner Honor In War; Louisville Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Silverfoot; Appleton Handicap (gr. IIIT) winner Mr. Light; and veteran Del Mar Show.
Racing Secretary Doug Bredar will release weight assignments on Saturday.