Ken Ramsey, owner and breeder of 2004 turf champion Kitten's Joy, said Saturday that the 4-year-old colt will not travel to France for the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe (Fr-I) as originally planned, but will instead prepare for the John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT).
"My Daddy always said that a smart man changes his mind and a fool never does," Ramsey said. "This was a decision that Dale (Romans, trainer) and I both slept on. Based on what happened with Roses In May yesterday (when he was retired because of a torn tendon in his left front leg), we felt making this announcement this way was the right thing to do."
The plan had been to send Kitten's Joy, the runner-up to Powerscourt in the Arlington Million (gr. IT) Aug. 13, to Longchamp for the Oct. 2 Arc. But in a statement issued Saturday by the New York Racing Association, Ramsey said the chestnut would instead run in the 10-furlong Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational (gr. IT) at Belmont Park Oct. 1. By using the $750,000, 10-furlong race to prepare for the Breeders' Cup Turf on Oct. 29 at Belmont, they could also consider running him again in the Japan Cup (Jpn-I) Nov. 27.
"If I had my choice of running in the Arc d'Triomphe or the Breeders' Cup, I would have preferred the Arc because it is a challenge," Ramsey explained. "I talked with Jerry Bailey who rode Kitten's Joy on soft turf, and Edgar Prado, who rode him on firm and yielding turf. It is the opinion of the professionals that he is a better horse on firm turf, and if we were to go to Paris, there is an 80 percent chance of the course being good, yielding, soft or even heavy.
"By staying at Belmont Park, those odds are reversed. I had dinner with Patrick Biancone last night, and he told me there was an exceptional crop of American horses over there as well. Then, I started thinking that, if we went over there, we would have to get a French jockey, no medication, have him run on an up and down course; then factor in the trip over, quarantine, and the trip back, and he would be a knocked-out horse for Japan. So, when you put it all together, the smart and logical thing to do is to stay and train at Belmont Park."