Ramsey Overjoyed by Charming Kitten’s Victory in Kitten’s Joy.
Ken Ramsey always takes delight in leading his horses into the winner’s circle. The ever-enthusiastic breeder and owner, though, took special pride in taking Charming Kitten to get his picture taken Sunday following the 3-year-old colt’s victory in the $100,000 Kitten Joy’s at Gulfstream Park.
Ramsey, in partnership with his wife Sarah, bred and raced Kitten’s Joy, the 2004 Eclipse Award champion turf star, as well as the sire of Charming Kitten.
“I’m overjoyed,” exclaiming Ramsey when asked how it felt to win the Kitten’s Joy with a Kitten’s Joy.
Charming Kitten, who overcame a bumping incident in the stretch to win the turf stakes for 3-year-olds by a length, showed himself to be yet another offspring of Kitten’s Joy that is blessed with a special blend of toughness and talent.
The Todd Pletcher-trained colt appeared to be on his way to a dream trip when jockey John Velazquez positioned him in third-place behind dueling pacesetters Redwood Kitten (one of three sons of Kitten’s Joy in the race) and Prado Cat on the backstretch. After moving to the lead on the far turn, he was joined on the outside by Bambazonki, who leaned in and bumped him at the top of the stretch. Despite the efforts of jockey Jose Lezcano, Bambazonki continued to try to lean in on his foe and Charming Kitten responded to Velazquez’s urging and edged away to victory.
“He put up a good fight and made it easy for me,” said Velazquez, who rode four winners on Sunday’s card.
Charming Kitten, who narrowly lost in the $100,000 Dania’s Beach after a wide trip on Dec. 15, ran 1 1/16 miles on turf in 1:43.43. Bambazonki finished second, 1 ¾ lengths ahead of Redwood Kitten and jockey Elvis Trujillo.
“(Bambazonki) kind of leaned in and gave us a little bump at the top of the stretch and kind of knocked us sideways, but we were able to regroup,” said Pletcher, who saddled three winners Sunday. “I think this colt is continuing to improve and is putting things together. He’s figuring the game out.”
Charming Kitten earned $60,000 for his second victory and first stakes win for the Ramseys.
“It’s been a real joy. (Kitten’s Joy) has been doing well on the farm. He had a big book of mares last year, and they’re responding well this year,” Ken Ramsey said.
“We’re taking care of him and expect to have him around for another 15 years.”
Charming Kitten is expected to race next at Gulfstream.
"I guess we’ll stay here and look at the next stake ($150,000 Grade 3 Palm Beach on March 3) and try to keep doing more of the same,” Pletcher said