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Big Blue Kitten Stands Tallest as Turf Male

Big Blue Kitten adds to legacies of the Ramseys, Kitten's Joy.

Ken Ramsey believes so devoutly in his homebred Kitten's Joy  as a stallion that he and his wife, Sarah, have wholeheartedly supported him with a plethora of mares. An alumnus of the University of Kentucky, Ramsey also believes in his alma mater, especially its Big Blue sports teams.

Thus, it is fitting that Big Blue Kitten , whose name embodies his sire, Kitten's Joy, and Ramsey's beloved UK Wildcats, should win a championship. The consistent Big Blue Kitten won three of his six 2015 starts and never finished worse than third while racing almost exclusively in grade I company.

Big Blue Kitten followed in the footsteps of his sire, the champion male grass horse of 2004 at age 3. Big Blue Kitten won his championship at age 7, building to the feat through the patience and perseverance of the Ramseys and trainer Chad Brown.

Big Blue Kitten broke his maiden in 2011 for a $35,000 claiming tag and quickly moved up to graded company. He began 2015 at Belmont Park with the May 2 Fort Marcy Stakes (gr. IIIT), scoring by 2 1⁄4 lengths. Second in Belmont's Knob Creek Manhattan Stakes (gr. IT) behind Slumber , Big Blue Kitten got revenge against that runner with a sharp 1 1/2-length victory in the United Nations Stakes (gr. IT) at Monmouth Park.

The Ramseys and Brown shipped Big Blue Kitten to Chicago for the Arlington Million XXXIII Stakes (gr. IT). Big Blue Kitten valiantly tried to catch The Pizza Man in the stretch but ran out of room, losing by just a neck.

Back at Belmont, Big Blue Kitten turned in his finest performance of the year, in the Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Stakes (gr. IT). With Joe Bravo aboard, Big Blue Kitten grabbed the lead heading for home. He held off Slumber and Twilight Eclipse and set a course record of 2:23.39 for 1 1⁄2 miles.

Big Blue Kitten finished the year in the Longines Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT), running the best of the Americans when third to Europeans Found and Golden Horn.

Voting totals in male turf horse division: Big Blue Kitten, 134; Golden Horn; 63; The Pizza Man, 41; Flintshire , 18; Chiropractor, 1; Grand Arch, 1; voter abstentions, 3.