Friday, August 16, 2013
Welcome to Ken Ramsey's world
Some people may not know it, but the world, at least the racing world, now belongs to the Kentuckian whose dominance of the sport is extending far beyond normal boundaries.
This winter, he was the leading owner at the extended Gulfstream Park meet with 43 victories.
Then he set a record for most wins, 25, at the Keeneland spring meet.
For an encore, he smashed the record at the Churchill Downs spring meet with 32 wins.
At the nation's most prestigious meet, Saratoga, he has 11 wins through Aug. 14 and is well on his way to a third owner's crown in six years, which would halt Mike Repole's streak at three straight titles.
Now comes the nation's biggest weekend of turf racing and the red and white colors of Ken and Sarah Ramsey will dominate the scene in a fashion that's mind-boggling, even for them.
Owner Ken Ramsey has a busy racing weekend ahead.
Come Saturday afternoon, the Ramseys will have a starter in each of the seven stakes on the Arlington Million Day card, plus two runners in the $600,000 Sword Dancer at Saratoga.
Welcome to Ken Ramsey's World, where the grass is certainly greener.
Ramsey said earlier this week on a National Thoroughbred Racing Association teleconference that he'll be spending Saturday at Arlington where he'll be joined by about 17 family members in watching a day-long parade of his horses on the 12-race card.
"I'm looking forward to the challenge," Ramsey said during the teleconference. "I think we're going to have a big weekend at Arlington."
Without question it will be a busy weekend as Ramsey launched an unprecedented assault on the entry box at Arlington.
His string of runners includes Believe in Kitten in the $65,000 Straight Line Stakes; Bold Kitten in the first division of the $75,000 Hatoof; Dark Cove in the $400,000 American St. Leger; Admiral Kitten and Amen Kitten in the $500,000 Secretariat; Artemus Kitten in the $750,000 Beverly D.; Real Solution in the centerpiece Arlington Million; and Always Kitten in the second division of the Hatoof.
From hearing all names, just in case you thought an ailurophile (a.k.a. cat lover) hijacked the column, it's not a typo. All in all, Ramsey will be racing eight homebred horses from his prolific sire Kitten's Joy at Arlington on Saturday.
How many times Ramey will lead one of his horses into the winner's circle is debatable. None of the eight starters in the grass stakes are favored, though Ramsey's Saturday contingent also includes Coalport, the 5-2 choice in an allowance race on the card.
Yet even if he goes 0-for-9 in Illinois, Ramsey's string of horses on Arlington Million Day is a vivid indication of a year that has been a phenomenal success story.
Though second in the nation in total wins with 136 victories, Ramsey leads all owners with 2013 earnings of $6,356,860.
Those totals might even grow with some help from Ramsey's New York string as he will be represented by the entry of Big Blue Kitten and Stormy Lord in the $600,000 Sword Dancer at Saratoga.
Big Blue Kitten, named for Ramsey alma mater, the University of Kentucky, is the better of the two and rates as one of the main rivals for the favored Boisterous.
"We think [the Sword Dancer is a perfect spot for Big Blue Kitten]," Ramsey said. "He did real well in his last race [a victory in the United Nations] so he's already got a Grade 1 win under his belt and if he could pull off the Sword Dancer that would enhance his revenue as a stallion."
For good measure, Ramsey will also have a vested interest in the $100,000 Gold Rush Futurity at Arapahoe Park on Sunday.
Yes, not even Colorado is immune from the Ramsey-mania that will be running wild this weekend. He'll send out Big Blue Talent in that 2-year-old stakes, which could serve as the dessert at the end of a hectic weekend in a certain corner of the world -- namely the one that belongs to Ken Ramsey.