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The weekend of Aug. 17-18 was dominated by kittens as Kitten's Joy offspring performed well around the country. From two Grade 1 wins at Arlington Park, including the Arlington Million, and another kitten winning the Grade 1 Sword Dancer, Saturday was the day of the cats.

To say that Ken and Sarah Ramsey had a successful day on Saturday is an understatement.

The Ramseys already had won the Grade 1 Sword Dancer Invitational Stakes with Big Blue Kitten and the Grade 1 Secretariat with Admiral Kitten. After the South African-bred The Apache came out from the rail several times and bumped the Ramsey’s Real Solution several times in their Arlington Million stretch duel, Real Solution was placed first via disqualification, giving the Ramsey’s an unprecedented third Grade 1 stakes won by a homebred. All three Grade 1 winners for the Ramseys were by their homebred signature stallion, champion Kitten’s Joy.

“It was yes, no, yes, no, yes ... no,” Ramsey said of the finish. "But a Kitten by any other name is still a Kitten. I've never had three Grade 1 wins [in one day] before."


Million Wrap

Photo by Eclipse Sportswire

Ridden by Alan Garcia for trainer Chad Brown, Real Solution’s win in the Arlington Million at 8.40-to-1 odds came as his first on American soil, with his first three victories coming in Italy. Since returning to the U.S., the Pennsylvania-bred ran fourth in the Grade 3 Fort Marcy Stakes in May and then third in the Grade 1 Manhattan Handicap on June 8, both at Belmont Park. With a career record of four wins, one second and one third from eight starts, Real Solution looks to be a real contender for the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Turf on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.

“At the top of the stretch, I had plenty of horse to go by and the other horse bumped us more than four times, made me lose my momentum," Garcia said. "If that didn't happen we might have won by two or three lengths.”

Big Blue Kitten’s score in the Sword Dancer was his second consecutive Grade 1 under regular rider Joe Bravo, also for trainer Brown. It was the first time Brown had won a pair of Grade 1s on the same day.

"I'll tell you, it was incredible," Brown said. "Like I said, so much planning goes into these races. They're on a calendar, and you work backwards a long way out, often, and with horses, the best-laid plans rarely work out. But this time, we pointed to those two races and hit them both. It's a tremendous feeling."


Sword Dancer Wrap

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

Big Blue Kitten won as the 2.95-1 second betting choice (as part of a coupled entry), with favorite Boisterous failing to fire when asked five wide in the stretch. Twilight Eclipse finished second in the Sword Dancer with Nutello third.

Saturday was a huge day for turf races, especially if your last name was Ramsey, but the highlight on the main track was once again King of Prussia Stable’s Princess of Sylmar, who won the Grade 1 Alabama Stakes at Saratoga. The Todd Pletcher trainee, with Javier Castellano aboard, ran away with her third straight Grade 1 by 2 ½ lengths, making her the clear favorite for champion 3-year-old filly when the Eclipse Awards roll around in January.


Sylmar Wrap

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

“We never make decisions right after a race, but [owner] Ed [Stanco] is committed to running her next year, and, who knows, maybe even as a 5-year-old,” Pletcher said. “At some point, you don't want to be greedy, but at the same time she is doing unbelievably well and sometimes you have to take advantage of that; so we have some thinking to do.”

Overwhelming favorite Princess of Sylmar beat out runner-up Fiftyshadesofhay and Carnival Court, who was third. This was the fifth win on the year for the Pennsylvania-bred daughter of Majestic Warrior, who has now banked $1,367,220 in earnings with a career record of seven wins and one second from nine races.

The other Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” race on Saturday was the $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park, which was taken by the European shipper Dank. James Wigan’s Dank was sent off as the 3.20-to-1 second betting  and earned her spot in the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Filly and Mare Turf on Nov. 1 as she drew away to a 4 ¼-length victory. Ridden by Ryan Moore for trainer Sir Michael Stoute, Dank was bred in Great Britain by London Thoroughbred Services.

"She's been real aggressive all year," Moore said. "She wasn't at her best over the last couple, but she was in excellent condition coming into this, and when she kicked in it was all over."


Dank Wrap

Photo courtesy of Eclipse Sportswire

The Beverly D. was the second stakes win for Moore on the Arlington card, as he captured the American St. Leger with Dandino just two races earlier.

In the Grade 1 Secretariat, the Ramsey’s winner Admiral Kitten was ridden home to a 1 ¼-length margin by Rosie Napravnik for trainer Mike Maker.

“He's very laid back, very enjoyable to ride,” Napravnik said. “We were able to sit back and relax, that's kind of the horse's style. We got a clear trip around the second turn and he was just finishing fast.”

Longshot Stormy Len finished second with favorite Jack Milton third. The second betting choice, Rydilluc, finished 11th.

Admiral Kitten improved to three wins and four seconds from eight starts with $459,080 in earnings. The Secretariat was his first career graded stakes win.

“After four second-place finishes, we were due for a good trip one of these times,” Maker said. “He had lost ground to the winners in those races, and Rosie saved ground on both turns here, and he came with his run.”


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John Cox

John Cox has worked as a brand ambassador for America's Best Racing, a staff writer for Churchill Downs, and has grown up around racing his entire life.

A University of Kentucky alum and Lexington, Ky. native, Cox currently serves as communications director of the Kentucky state Senate.

Image Description

John Cox

John Cox has worked as a brand ambassador for America's Best Racing, a staff writer for Churchill Downs, and has grown up around racing his entire life.

A University of Kentucky alum and Lexington, Ky. native, Cox currently serves as communications director of the Kentucky state Senate.

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