Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational S. (gr. I)

(gr. IT , 12f ,)

KITTEN'S JOY (CH h, 121 lb) $450,000
El Prado (IRE) —Kitten's First , by Lear Fan
B—Sarah K. Ramsey, KY.; O—Ramsey, Kenneth L. and Sarah K.; T—Dale L. Romans

Magistretti (B h, 126 lb) $150,000
Diesis (GB) —Ms. Strike Zone , by Deputy Minister
B—Tri-County Farms LLC, KY.; O—Michael B. Tabor; T—Patrick L. Biancone

Tycoon (GB) (B h, 121 lb) $75,000
Sadler's Wells —Fleeting Glimpse (GB) , by Rainbow Quest
B—Juddmonte Farms Inc, GB.; O—Mrs. John Magnier; T—Aidan P. O'Brien

Margins: 2½, ¾, 3. Others: Request for Parole 126($37,500) , Polish Summer (GB) 126($22,500) , Kicken Kris 126($7,500) , Maktub (ITY) 126($7,500) . Winning Jockey, John R. Velazquez.

Tears of joy welled in the eyes of owner Ken Ramsey Oct. 2, when his homebred sensation Kitten’s Joy dusted a field of older horses by 21/2 lengths—and announced his presence as a candidate for Horse of the Year—by grabbing the $750,000 Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational Stakes (gr. IT) at Belmont Park.

Legendary turf scribe Hirsch was on hand in the winner’s circle to present the trophy to Ramsey and the Dale Romans-trained son of El Prado, who he co-owns and bred with his wife, Sarah. Their colt is now a multiple grade I winner, having won the Aug. 14 Secretariat Stakes at Arlington Park. He is just two head-losses away from 10 straight wins.

The Ramsey stable will now send two first-rate contenders in their red and white colors to Lone Star Park for the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, as they also campaign the Romans-trained Classic (gr. I) contender Roses in May, who was victorious in the Kentucky Cup Classic (gr. II) at Turfway Park Sept. 18.

Kitten’s Joy was foaled at Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky. The Ramseys purchased the winner’s dam, Kitten’s First, for $41,000 at the 1993 Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March 2-year-olds in training sale from the consignment of El Nino Farm. One of the very first horses ever purchased by the pair, Kitten’s First—named in honor of Sarah Ramsey—beat the colts by a nose at age two in her maiden outing at Belmont Park that summer for trainer Bill Mott before injuring herself in her second trip to the post in the Junior Champion Stakes at Monmouth Park.

Kitten’s First was initially purchased by Richard Neill for $17,000 at the 1992 Keeneland September yearling sale from the consignment of Brereton C. Jones, agent. She is a daughter of Lear Fan and was produced from the L’Enjoleur mare That’s My Hon. Kitten’s First is at Ramsey Farm and is being given a rest from breeding this season.

Kitten’s First has produced two full siblings—both fillies—in the last two years by a son of Storm Cat, Catienus. Kitten’s Joy is her second stakes winner as her first foal, Justenuffheart, by Broad Brush, raced to $373,229 in earnings, including a score in the 1998 Frances A. Genter Handicap at Calder.

El Prado is the sire of Kitten’s Joy and 52 additional added-money winners. Among his 15 2004 stakes victors are Medaglia d’Oro (gr. I), Senor Swinger (gr. IIT), Artie Schiller (gr. IIT), Timo (gr. IIIT), and Shaconage (gr. IIIT). El Prado stands at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs Kentucky near Midway. His 2004 fee was $75,000.—P.S.