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updated: 8/13/2013 8:28 PM

Ramsey is the cat's meow among horse owners

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  • Ken Ramsey, right, is hoping to be headed back to the winner's circle this weekend.

      Ken Ramsey, right, is hoping to be headed back to the winner's circle this weekend.
    Associated Press File Photo

 
 

Ken Ramsey is going to be one busy cat this weekend.

From New York to France to right here at Arlington, it will be a festival of Kittens and other Ramsey horses heading to various starting gates for some of the biggest turf races in the world.

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"You left out the Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Downs," Ramsey said with a laugh after the list of slightly more prominent weekend destinations for his stock was read off.

Though Ramsey -- who along with his wife, Sarah, won the 2004 Eclipse Award due in large part to the success of homebred champion Kitten's Joy -- will have horses all over the map, the one place that will play host to most of their uber successful litter this weekend will be Arlington Park.

Five of the Ramsey's horses are pre-entered for Million Day, one each in the Million, the Beverly D. and the American St. Leger; also, a pair of top cats are set to go postward in the Secretariat Stakes.

But it's the one who won't be running at Arlington that has thrown a slight damper on the proceedings for Ramsey.

"It's exciting, but I'm unexcited that a horse that probably would have been 2-1 in the Beverly D, Outstanding Kitten, had to miss because of a little hitch in her rear end," Ramsey said. "Now, instead, we have a 20-1, Artemus Kitten, filling in for her, which I don't think is probably going to get the job done, but nevertheless we're still going to be in there.

"Other than that, I'm really looking forward to the Arlington Million because the horse that was 2-5 in the Italian Derby (Real Solution) but ended up with a pretty bad lung infection after the race is in the field.

"(Trainer) Chad Brown is pretty high on him. He's been training well at Saratoga. That's my big hope if we can get past the Europeans in the Million."

In addition to Real Solution in the Million and Artemus Kitten in the Beverly D, Ramsey has Dark Cove entered in the American St. Leger and Amen Kitten and Admiral Kitten in the Secretariat.

That's a lot of Kittens.

Blame it on the stallion Kitten's Joy, the winner of the 2004 Secretariat and runner-up in the 2005 Million, as well as former Kentucky Governor Brereton Jones.

"He told me to incorporate the name of your stallions in the names of the horses you're intending to race," Ramsey said of the governor.

After struggling with the first crop of horses, Ramsey decided to again incorporate the name Kitten in his second group but then didn't use the name at all in the third crop.

That strategy didn't last.

"The second crop became so popular that I thought it was real good advertising, so now we put Kitten in all their names," Ramsey said. "It's worked out pretty well. Everyone knows who the Kittens are, and now Kitten's Joy has kind of become synonymous with the Ramseys.

Now the question is, how will Ramsey's Kittens and non-Kittens alike handle what figures to be a tough bunch of European invaders this weekend?

"I think we can compete with them," he said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge. I think we can have a big weekend at Arlington."

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