Firecracker Breeders' Cup H. (gr. II)

(gr. IIT , 8f ,)

KITTEN'S JOY (CH h, 124 lb) $169,880
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

Old Forester (CH h, 115 lb) $54,800
Forestry —Halo River , by Irish River (FR)
B—Robert B. Berger, KY.; O—Live Oak Plantation; T—William I. Mott

America Alive (B h, 119 lb) $27,400
American Chance —Alive With Hope , by Alydar
B—Mill House, KY.; O—Mill House; T—Neil J. Howard

Margins: 1, ½, 1¼. Others: Parker Run 114($13,700) , Senor Swinger 118($8,220) , Mighty Military 113 . Winning Jockey, Edgar S. Prado.

Kitten’s Joy came roaring like a tiger in his first start of the year to win the July 4 Firecracker Breeders’ Cup Handicap (gr. IIT) at Churchill Downs.

The Ken and Sarah Ramsey homebred, conditioned by Dale Romans, had been off since finishing second as the favorite in the John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf (gr. IT) last October. Following the Breeders’ Cup, the son of El Prado underwent surgery to remove bone chips from his left knee. He was subsequently named 2004 champion grass horse while the Ramseys were named leading owners, finishing the year ranked fourth on the list of leading owners by money won with earnings of $5,855,964. They also were eighth on the leading breeder list with earnings of $4,817,083.

As of July 4, the Ramseys rank 14th on the list of leading owners by money won with earnings of $1,320,990 with a record of 28-16-15 from 115 starts.

Kitten’s Joy is now being pointed toward the Aug. 13 Arlington Million (gr. IT) at Arlington Park, with the long-range plan sending him to Belmont Park Oct. 29 for the Breeders’ Cup Turf.

The Ramseys bred Kitten’s Joy from the Lear Fan mare Kitten’s First, who they purchased 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 husband and wife, Kitten’s First—named in honor of Sarah Ramsey—beat the colts by a nose at two in her maiden outing at Belmont Park that summer for trainer Bill Mott before injuring herself prior to her second career start.

Kitten’s First is kept at Ramsey Farm near Nicholasville, Ky., where she is carrying a full sibling to Kitten’s Joy on a May 26 cover. The mare was not bred in 2004 but has a yearling filly and a 2-year-old filly, Precious Kitten, who is currently in training with Romans at Churchill Downs. Both are by Ramsey-owned stallion Catienus, who stands at Highcliff Farm in New York. His 2005 fee is $6,500.

El Prado is the sire of Kitten’s Joy and 53 other added-money winners, including additional 2005 stakes winners Artie Schiller (gr. IIT), Lusty Latin, Fort Prado, Senor Swinger, and Lord Admiral (in Ireland). El Prado stands at Frank Stronach’s Adena Springs Kentucky near Midway, Ky. His 2005 fee is $100,000.—L.D.