Ramsey Farm closed a deal Nov. 2 to sell Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf (gr. IT) winner Stephanie's Kitten to the Katsumi Yoshida's Northern Farm in Japan for $2.8 million.
The multiple grade I-winning daughter of Kitten's Joy had been offered the previous evening at the Fasig-Tipton November sale where she was bought back for $2.95 million. Owner/breeder Ken Ramsey said he'd set the reserve at $3 million and had initially kept the price there when Northern Farm came back with a private offer of $2.7 million, which was the value of the farm's last bid.
The counteroffer then went to $2.8 million.
"I saw the sale was down last night and that only one horse in the sale brought $3 million, so I thought that was where the market is now and accepted the offer," said Ramsey. "Now I have two reasons to go to Japan because my homebred stallion Roses in May is there at Big Red Farm. I think a little vacation in Japan is in store for the family."
Ramsey said he had already been planning a mating for Stephanie's Kitten, believing that the sale was not going to happen. He had already been inquiring about breeding the 6-year-old mare to Dubawi, Tapit, or possibly Galileo.
"There was a sigh of relief last night because the family did not want to sell her," Ramsey said about the mare who was named after one of his granddaughters. "But this was a business decision, and I wish them much success."
Ramsey did sell Stephanie's Kitten's dam, Unfold the Rose, at Fasig-Tipton for $550,000 to SF Bloodstock. He said he intends to keep a yearling full sister to Stephanie's Kitten, so he retains a piece of the family.
Stephanie's Kitten won 11 times in 25 starts and retired with more than $4.29 million in earnings.
Ramsey had offered her for sale a year ago at the Fasig-Tipton November sale where she was bought back for $3.95 million. He kept her in training and won three more stakes with her this year, including the grade I Flower Bowl and the Filly and Mare Turf. She earned $1,658,800 this year alone.
The deal with Northern Farm was negotiated with the help of Taylor Made Sales Agency, which offered Stephanie's Kitten at Fasig-Tipton. Ramsey said commissions will be paid to Taylor Made, Fasig-Tipton, and trainer Chad Brown, for managing the mare so well.